Cognitive Linguistic Approaches to Literary Studies: State of the Art in Cognitive Poetics

Margaret H. Freeman

in The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Cognitive Linguistic Approaches to Literary Studies: State of the Art in Cognitive Poetics

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The emergence of cognitive linguistics has encouraged the development of new relations between literature and linguistics. Just as literary texts may serve as legitimate data for understanding the principles of language structure and use, linguistic analysis offers new perspectives on literary production, interpretation, reception, and evaluation. Although “literature” in its broadest sense refers to all written texts, this article restricts its scope to the more narrowly focused term used to cover the literary genres of fiction, poetry, and drama, written instances of humor, multimedia forms such as film, and religious writings that display literary qualities, such as the Bible and mystic poetry. All these writings are oriented toward the expressive, the emotive, and the aesthetic; it is here that the more inclusive approach of cognitive poetics may serve as a guide for further developments in the interdisciplinary area of linguistics and literature. This article also explores prototypicality and the notion of literature, conceptual structure in human cognition and narrative, metaphor and blending in literary texts, and embodiment, iconicity, and neurology in literary form and affect.

Keywords: cognitive linguistics; literature; cognitive poetics; prototypicality; cognition; narrative; metaphor; blending; embodiment; iconicity

Article.  12273 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Cognitive Linguistics

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