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Cognitive Linguistics


Cognitive Linguistics is the study of language in its cognitive function, where cognitive refers to the crucial role of intermediate informational structures with our encounters with the world. It is concerned with investigating the relationship between human language, the mind and socio-physical experience. Cognitive Linguistics grew out of the work of a number of researchers active in the 1970s who were interested in the relation of language and mind, and who did not follow the prevailing tendency to explain linguistic patterns by means of appeals to structural properties internal to and specific to language. It is closely associated with semantics but is distinct from psycholinguistics, which draws upon empirical findings from cognitive psychology in order to explain the mental processes that underlie the acquisition, storage, production and understanding of speech and writing. The most important way in which cognitive linguistics differs from other approaches to the study of language, then, is that language is assumed to reflect certain fundamental properties and design features of the human mind." The most important way in which cognitive linguistics differs from other approaches to the study of language, then, is that language is assumed to reflect certain fundamental properties and design features of the human mind."

Cognitive linguistics has emerged in the last twenty-five years as a powerful approach to the study of language, conceptual systems, human cognition, and general meaning construction. It addresses within language the structuring of basic conceptual categories such as space and time, scenes and events, entities and processes, motion and location, force and causation. It addresses the structuring of ideational and affective categories attributed to cognitive agents, such as attention and perspective, volition and intention. In doing so, it develops a rich conception of grammar that reflects fundamental cognitive abilities: the ability to form structured conceptualizations with multiple levels of organization, to conceive of a situation at varying levels of abstraction, to establish correspondences between facets of different structures, and to construe the same situation in alternate ways. Language does not "represent" meaning; it prompts for the construction of meaning in particular contexts with particular cultural models and cognitive resources. Very sparse grammar guides us along the same rich mental paths, by prompting us to perform complex cognitive operations. Thus, a large part of cognitive linguistics centers on the creative on-line construction of meaning as discourse unfolds in context. The dividing line between semantics and pragmatics dissolves and truth-conditional compositionality disappears.

Cognitive linguistics goes beyond the visible structure of language and investigates the considerably more complex backstage operations of cognition that create grammar, conceptualization, discourse, and thought itself. The theoretical insights of cognitive linguistics are based on extensive empirical observation in multiple contexts, and on experimental work in psychology and neuroscience. Results of cognitive linguistics, especially from metaphor theory and conceptual integration theory, have been applied to wide ranges of non-linguistic phenomena.

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Associations of Cognitive Linguistics
• International Cognitive Linguistics Association
• UK Cognitive Linguistics Association
• Slavic Cognitive Linguistics Association (SCLA)
• German Cognitive Linguistics Association
• Estonian Cognitive Linguistics Association
• Spanish Cognitive Linguistics Association
• Japanese Cognitive Linguistics Association
• Finnish Cognitive Linguistics Association
• Norwegian Cognitive Linguistics Association

Conferences on Cognitive Linguistics
• 5th UK Cognitive Linguistics Conference on July 29 – 31 2014 at Lancaster University, United Kingdom.
• Sixth International Conference of the German Cognitive Linguistics Association from September 30 to October 2, 2014 at FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg.
• 13th International Cognitive Linguistics Conference (ICLC-13) is being held 20-25 July 2015 in Northumbria University, Newcastle, England.
• 4th Chinese National Conference on Cognitive Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition on 18-Oct-2014 - 19-Oct-2014 in Ningbo, Zhejiang, China.
• 9th International Conference of the Spanish Cognitive Linguistics Association from 15-Oct-2014 - 17-Oct-2014 in Badajoz, Spain.
• Cognitive Linguistics and Pragmatics: Theory and Practice from 24-Oct-2014 - 26-Oct-2014 in Nanjing, China.
• MLA 2015: Studies in Cognitive Linguistics from 08-Jan-2015 - 11-Jan-2015 in Vancouver, Canada.
• Corpus Methods in Cognitive Linguistics from 20-Jul-2015 - 25-Jul-2015 in Newcastle, United Kingdom.

This page will be updated regularly.

This page was last updated on 10th Oct, 2014

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