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date: 02 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

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.

Keywords: cognitive linguistics, neo-relativism, grammaticalization, cognition, conceptual metaphor, spatial language, temporality

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