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date: 10 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Analytic philosophy of language was originally based on a fundamentally disembodied view of meaning and language. In contrast, research in cognitive linguistics and neuroscience emphasizes the central role of the body and brain in shaping meaning, concepts, and thought. Meaning is not, in the first instance, linguistic. Instead, language depends on and recruits prior sensory, motor, and affective processes. This article surveys some of the more important embodied structures and processes of meaning-making that give rise to the syntax, semantics, and pragmatics of natural languages. This includes body-part projections, perceptual concepts, image schemas, emotions, body-based grammatical constructions, and conceptual metaphors, as those are understood from the perspective of simulation semantics, embodied construction grammar, and the neural theory of language. In addition to the four Es of cognition—embodied, embedded, enactive, extended—we need to add three more Es—emotional, evolutionary, and exaptative.

Keywords: meaning, embodiment, cognitive linguistics, image schemas, perceptual concepts, metaphor, construction grammar, simulation semantics, neural theory of language

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