Cognitive Linguistics and Linguistic Typology

Johan Van Der Auwera and Jan Nuyts

in The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780199738632
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Cognitive Linguistics and Linguistic Typology


This article examines the relations between cognitive linguistics and linguistic typology. First, it offers a “neutral” characterization of the field of linguistic typology, defined as a cross-linguistic, descriptive as well as explanatory enterprise devoted to the unity and diversity of language with respect to linguistic form or the relation between linguistic form and meaning or function. It then argues that cognitive linguistics and linguistic typology are eminently compatible, that there is work that illustrates this, but also that most cognitive linguists and typologists nevertheless work in different spheres. It also considers the difficulty of applying typology's sampling method in cognitive linguistics. Finally, the article looks at the typologists' prime orientation on grammar and their hesitation to relate their strictly speaking linguistic generalizations to wider cognitive concerns.

Keywords: cognitive linguistics; linguistic typology; grammar; language; sampling method; form; meaning; function

Article.  7880 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Linguistic Typology

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