By William Croft
Truly prepared and written, this textbook presents an invaluable advent to the connection among language and cognitive processing within the human mind. It covers the subjects more likely to be encountered in a path or seminar, and offers a synthesis of analysis and examine in a fast-growing box of linguistics. The much-needed advent can be welcomed by way of undergraduates and graduates in linguistics and cognitive technological know-how.
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Extra info for Cognitive Linguistics (Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics)
Langacker makes the important point that there is in principle only a difference of degree between dimensions of a domain and domains in a matrix (Langacker 1987:152). In practice, we are more likely to call a semantic structure a domain if there are a substantial number of concepts profiled relative to that structure. If there are few if any concepts profiled relative to that structure alone, but instead there are concepts profiled relative to that structure and another one, then those structures are likely to be called two dimensions of a single domain.
In other words, the base against which a profile is defined can be more complex than just the whole of which some entity is a part. 4). 1. Consider another example, the word weekend (Fillmore 1985:223–24). The concept WEEKEND can only be understood against a whole background system of the calendrical cycle, defined partly by natural phenomena (the sequence of day and night) and cultural conventions (the seven-day week cycle, and its division into working days and nonworking days). Likewise, the concept BUY can only be understood against a background knowledge of the commercial transaction situation.
The semantic value of a symbolic unit is given by the openended set of relations . . in which this access node participates. Each of these relations is a cognitive routine, and because they share at least one component the activation of one routine facilitates (but does not always necessitate) the activation of another. (Langacker 1987:163) A word meaning is therefore a perspective on our knowledge of the world, as seen through the concept profiled by the word. This view of word meaning is not that different from the view of a conceptual category in cognitive psychology as a means of accessing further information about the individual categorized.