Niels O. Schiller and Rinus G. Verdonschot
This chapter describes how speakers access words from the mental lexicon. Lexical access is a crucial component in the process of transforming thoughts into speech. Some theories consider lexical access to be strictly serial and discrete, while others view this process as being cascading or even interactive, i.e. the different sub-levels influence each other. We discuss some of the evidence in favour and against these viewpoints, and also present arguments regarding the ongoing debate on how words are selected for production. Another important issue concerns the access to morphologically complex words such as derived and inflected words, as well as compounds. Are these accessed as whole entities from the mental lexicon or are the parts assembled online? This chapter tries to provide an answer to that question as well.
This article provides details on human speech production involving a range of physical features, which may have evolved as specific adaptations for this purpose. All mammalian vocalizations are produced similarly, involving features that primarily evolved for respiration or ingestion. Sounds are produced using the flow of air inhaled through the nose or mouth, or expelled from the lungs. Unvoiced sounds are produced without the involvement of the vocal folds of the larynx. Mammalian vocalizations require coordination of the articulation of the supralaryngeal vocal tract with the flow of air, in or out. An extensive series of harmonics above a fundamental frequency, F0 for phonated sounds is produced by resonance. These series are filtered by the shape and size of the vocal tract, resulting in the retention of some parts of the series, and diminution or deletion of others, in the emitted vocalization. Human sound sequences are also much more rapid than those of non-human primates, except for very simple sequences such as repetitive trills or quavers. Human vocal tract articulation is much faster, and humans are able to produce multiple sounds on a single breath movement, inhalation or exhalation. The unique form of the tongue within the vocal tract in humans is considered to be a key factor in the speech-related flexibility of supralaryngeal vocal tract.
John H. Schumann
Neuroscience has made enormous strides in the last two decades. This article focuses on the concept of applied linguistics and the neurobiology of language. This article focuses on some issues related to the development of a neurobiology of language in applied linguistics. The first section discusses research on the neural underpinnings of language from a theoretical perspective, laying out hypotheses about what systems may support language acquisition. These proposals about the biological substrate for language are made even though the technology to investigate them may not yet exist. The second section addresses some reservations researchers have had about the relevance of neuroimaging research, and also explore the profound attraction such research have for scientists and applied linguists in particular. Next, the problem of finding of cognitive ontology that is appropriate for research on the brain is discussed. Finally, the problem of deciding what aspects of language are relevant for neurobiological investigation is the focus.
Are other animals as smart as great apes? Do others provide better models for the evolution of speech or language?
Kathleen R. Gibson
This article reviews recent evidence for advanced, language-pertinent, cognitive capacities in birds and mammals and evaluates the potential suitability of song and other animal vocal behaviors as models for the evolution of speech. Dolphins are extremely vocal, exhibit intelligence across a number of behavioral domains, are highly social, and often cooperate to herd schools of fish. Dolphins can also recognize themselves in mirrors, coordinate body postures and swimming patterns with those of other dolphins, and imitate each other's vocalizations, including unique signature whistles which serve for individual recognition among adults and in the mother-infant dyad. The only other non-primate mammals whose “language” capacities appear to have been investigated are domestic dogs. Some have also claimed that domestic dogs equal or exceed great apes in social intelligence. It is reported that both elephants and spotted hyenas are unusually intelligent. Elephants remember and recognize by olfactory and visual means numerous conspecifics and classify them into social groups. They also sometimes cooperate to achieve joint goals and seem to understand others' intentions and emotions. Elephants have highly manipulative trunks, use tools for varied purposes, may recognize themselves in mirrors, and may have a stronger numerical sense than non-human primates. They have elaborate vocal, olfactory, tactile, and gestural communication systems and can imitate some sounds.
Howard Lasnik and Jeffrey L. Lidz
This article explores what Noam Chomsky called ‘the argument from poverty of the stimulus’: the argument that our experience far underdetermines our knowledge and hence that our biological endowment is responsible for much of the derived state. It first frames the poverty of the stimulus argument either in terms of the set of sentences allowed by the grammar (its weak generative capacity) or the set of structures generated by the grammar (its strong generative capacity). It then considers the five steps to a poverty argument and goes on to discuss the possibility that children can learn via indirect negative evidence on the basis of Bayesian learning algorithms. It also examines structure dependence, polar interrogatives, and artificial phrase structure and concludes by explaining how Universal Grammar shapes the representation of all languages and enables learners to acquire the complex system of knowledge that undergirds the ability to produce and understand novel sentences.
This article introduces new work on the fundamental attentional system of language, while in part providing a framework in which prior linguistic work on attention can be placed. In a speech situation, a hearer may attend to the linguistic expression produced by a speaker, to the conceptual content represented by that expression, and to the context at hand. But not all of this material appears uniformly in the foreground of the hearer's attention. Rather, various portions or aspects of the expression, content, and context have differing degrees of salience. When the basic attentional factors combine and interact, the further attentional effects that result include incremental gradation, convergence, and conflict. This article discusses factors involving properties of the morpheme, factors involving morphology and syntax, factors involving forms that set attention outside themselves, phonological properties within an utterance including those of individual morphemes, factors involving properties of the referent, factors involving the relation between reference and its representation, factors involving the occurrence of representation, and factors involving properties of temporal progression.
Friedemann Pulvermüller, Bert Cappelle, and Yury Shtyrov
Monique Lamers and Esther Ruigendijk
Case provides the language user with a rich source of information for conveying meaningful messages in natural language use. Psycholinguistic research has shown that in the intact human language system, the morphologically realised case might help to distinguish the arguments, identify the syntactic function, and trigger certain parsing mechanisms, such as attachment decisions, establishing phrase boundaries, and, thus, providing essential information for comprehension. The question arises if and how a disturbance of the language system as in aphasia affects this ability to use case information. This article starts with a brief introduction to aphasiology, sketching the language problems known to characterise the different aphasic syndromes. It then discusses some important accounts for the aphasic impairment in language comprehension, either directly addressing morphological case in the impaired language system or highly related issues, such as the comprehension of canonical and non-canonical sentences. For production, the emphasis is on cross-linguistic findings on the realisation of case-marked entities such as demonstrative pronouns and pronouns.
The convergence between a linguistically motivated interest in cognition, on the one hand, and descriptive and typological interests, on the other, causes a growing number of scholars to recognize the need for enhanced linguistic anthropological work in the African context, which promises to be beneficial to both the study of human cognition and a richer understanding of African language cultures. By looking at how certain key areas of cognitive linguistics (conceptual metaphor, spatial language, temporality) have been applied to the study of African languages, this chapter focuses on the intersection of both perspectives: that of descriptivists and typologists. Current trends in the study of African languages that address language and cognition draw on grammaticalization studies, neo-relativism, and the emergence of linguistic areas by cross-linguistic conceptual convergence. How these relate to each other is briefly outlined in the second part of this chapter.
John R Taylor
After a brief account of the salient characteristics of Langacker’s Cognitive Grammar, this chapter highlights the distinctive perspective which this approach offers on traditional topics in the description of English, including the question of word classes, the nature of syntactic relations, and the status of constructions as an alternative to rule-based accounts of linguistic knowledge. It presents three case studies illustrating the role of background cognition, not only as a factor in semantic interpretation but also for its grammatical effects. These concern (i) the role of grounding in nominal and verbal systems, (ii) some of the manifestations of cognitive reference points in such diverse areas as possessive expressions and constraints on the use of participles, and (iii) processes of subjectification, as exemplified in such areas as modals, fictive motion, and causal relations.
Margaret H. Freeman
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.
John R Taylor
The object of the polemics is constituted by a cluster of trends in formalist, especially Chomskyan linguistics, trends which may conveniently be brought under the heading “autonomous linguistics.” A recurring theme has been that cognitive linguistics differentiates itself from “autonomous linguistics” in virtue of its claim that language is embedded in more general cognitive abilities. The rejection of autonomy often takes the form of more specific claims, for example, that syntactic (and morphological) patterning is inherently meaningful, that syntax, morphology, and lexicon form a continuum, and that semantics is inherently encyclopedic in scope. The cognitive linguistics enterprise offers a distinct perspective on language acquisition. This article explores the terms of the polemics which have been so prominent in much cognitive linguistics work. It also reviews some of the theoretical and methodological issues which characterize autonomous linguistics and looks at some recent developments in autonomous linguistics, which testify to a certain degree of convergence on positions characteristic of cognitive linguistics. Finally, the article addresses the extent to which autonomy is relevant to the polemics between cognitive and generative linguistics.
René Dirven, Hans-Georg Wolf, and Frank Polzenhagen
Language and cultural theory, as developed in pre-cognitive linguistics and anthropology, has a long tradition, beginning with Wilhelm von Humboldt and drastically reshaped by Ferdinand de Saussure. Humboldt argues that the relationship between thought and language is bidirectional rather than unidirectional and assumes mutual correspondences between culture and language. In contrast, Saussure, the father of modern linguistics, sees language not as a mere form of thought, but as a self-contained system with its own organization and classification of “content.” Although cognitive linguistics generally does not subscribe to linguistic relativity, it clearly sticks with the Humboldtian conception of the relation between thought, language, and culture, which is laid down in a number of cognitive models, or rather cultural models. This article discusses various cultural models and their mental locus, opposes universal and culture-specific aspects in cultural models, and challenges two models of deixis (corporeal deixis and environmental deixis). Finally, it examines cultural variation and shows how radically different cultural models can be created in one language, that is, English as a world language.
This article examines how cognitive linguistics relates to, complements, and/or differs from other approaches within the wider field of functionally oriented linguistics (of which cognitive linguistics is also a member). In order to avoid terminological confusion, it uses the notion “functional linguistics” strictly to refer to such “other functional approaches” only, to the exclusion of cognitive linguistics. This article discusses the problem of delimiting cognitive linguistics on the one hand, and functional linguistics on the other. It also looks at major dimensions along which one can compare cognitive linguistics and functional linguistics. Moreover, it assesses the position of the two paradigms vis-à-vis the basic theoretical notions from which their names have been derived: “functionalism” and “cognition.” Finally, it considers the theoretical conceptions of language and grammar, along with the “process versus pattern” view of language and mind.
Linguistic relativity (also known as the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis) is a general cover term for the conjunction of two basic notions. The first notion is that languages are relative, that is, that they vary in their expression of concepts in noteworthy ways. The second notion is that the linguistic expression of concepts has some degree of influence over conceptualization in cognitive domains, which need not necessarily be linguistically mediated. This article explores the treatment of linguistic relativity within works generally representative of cognitive linguistics and presents a survey of classic and more modern (pre- and post-1980s) research within linguistics, anthropology, and psychology. First, it provides a brief overview of the history of linguistic relativity theorizing from Wilhelm von Humboldt through to Benjamin Whorf. It then discusses the role of literacy to cognitive and cultural development, folk classification, and formulations of linguistic relativity.
Brigitte Nerlich and David D. Clarke
Cognitive linguistics has a long past and a short history. This article examines a number of aspects of the long past of cognitive linguistics. Specifically, it argues that the understanding that cognitive linguistics has of its own past is not in all respects optimal: on the one hand, the article points to forerunners that have hardly been recognized as such; on the other, it emphasizes that some of the theoreticians that served as a negative reference point for cognitive linguistics were actually closer to the cognitive approach than can be derived from the discussions. It concentrates on the history of linguistics only, with an occasional excursion to the history of philosophy. After briefly describing the internal history of cognitive linguistics, the article discusses three topic areas of specific importance for cognitive linguistics: polysemy, metaphor, and metonymy; the embodiment of cognition; and the gestalt psychology underlying linguistics.
René Dirven, Frank Polzenhagen, and Hans-Georg Wolf
From the past decade on, the issue of ideology and discourse has received increasing attention from scholars working within the cognitive linguistics framework. This article examines the particular contributions and insights this theoretical perspective may yield beyond the analytic methods applied so far by critical discourse analysis scholars. It outlines the ideological dimension of metaphor, with emphasis on covert ideology in the discourse domain of economics. It also discusses the notions of “ideological deixis” and “iconographic frames of reference,” with the focus on overt ideology in political discourse. Finally, it explores grammatical means that reflect deep-rooted unconscious norms within a sociocultural group, looks at the pervasiveness of metaphor and the role of cultural models in the highly abstract domain of science, and addresses their more often than not ideological orientation, more specifically in the metalanguage of biological and linguistic discourse.
This article sheds light on the history of the sciences of mind within which the development of cognitive linguistics can be situated. It shows that it is the modern inheritor of an older tradition, antedating the behaviorist ascendancy in mid-twentieth century psychology which preceded classical cognitive science. This tradition, centered in psychology but drawing heavily on biology, linguistics, philosophy, anthropology, and sociology, was a kind of cognitive science avant la lettre. It is a measure of the poverty of behaviorism that psychology was compelled to concede disciplinary leadership in classical cognitive science to formalist linguistics and computer science. This article also considers conceptual foundations in psychology, including rule versus schema, the role of imagery in language comprehension and in cognition, consciousness and metacognition, self and autobiographic memory, meaning, embodiment, linguistic schemas and metaphor, and representation and symbolization.
Frederick L. Coolidge and Thomas Wynn
This article proposes the important prerequisites for indirect speech that includes at least four major cognitive factors, adequate phonological storage capacity, recursion, a full theory of mind, and executive functions. The phonological store subsystem is considered to play a critical role in language production and comprehension. Adults who have greater phonological storage capacity have also been found to score higher on verbal tests of intelligence and higher on measures of verbal fluency and they also do better on retroactive and proactive interference tasks. The phonological storage capacity represents a short-term memory ensemble that can be phylogenetically tracked to earlier homologues in hominin evolution and to current primate brain systems. The recursion is highly dependent upon the phonological storage capacity. The theory of mind refers to the ability to infer the thoughts, emotions, and intentions of others. The theory of mind also consists of four independent skills that include detection of the intentions of others, detection of eye-direction, shared attention, and the final component called the theory of mind module. The final component, whose onset in humans is thought to develop by the age of four, contains a complex set of social-cognitive rules, and combined with the other three components, creates the full-fledged, adult-like theory of mind. The specific executive function might be involved in the theory of mind.
Kees de Bot
Cognitive processing in bilinguals is the focus of this article. It proposes a move from the current largely static models of multilingual processing to more dynamic models. As in the first edition of this book, the focus is on language production because the models that have been developed for this are detailed, well supported, and have been accepted as the standard at this moment. The first section is largely similar to that previously presented. Then, for the transition to a more dynamic model, Hartsuiker and Pickering's comparative study to evaluate different variants is discussed and contrasted with a view that is based on a dynamic perspective on representation and processing in which change over time is seen as the most important aspect of processing. Traditional psycholinguistic models and their variants are discussed at length. An analysis of the characteristics of the DST-based models of bilingual processing concludes this article.