Toward an Embodied Cognitive Semantics

In: Cognitive Semantics

This article strives to move forward toward an embodied account of cognitive semantics. Using current empirical embodiment findings and theoretical interpretations thereof, the major schematic systems of Talmyan cognitive semantics (configurational structure, attention, perspective, and force dynamics) are all presented within one unified embodied account. It will be shown that there is much empirical evidence that thought is spatialized and that our eyes project this spatialized thought into the external (usually near) space in front of our body. This—eyes projecting spatialized thought into peripersonal space—will be called the theory of ocular cognitive semantics (and will sometimes also more generally be referred to as the theory of the ocular mind). Ocular cognitive semantics is meant to be a first step forward toward a more comprehensive theory of embodied cognitive semantics. Clinical implications of ocular cognitive semantics for people with schizophrenia are discussed.

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