Ten Lectures on Cognitive Evolutionary Linguistics


In these lectures, Arie Verhagen presents a version of cognitive linguistics that adheres to both the generalization and cognitive commitments that characterized the field from the start, and a biological commitment: understanding language as adaptive behavior of (human) organisms in the niche(s) that they inhabit. Drawing on the model of biological explanation (“Tinbergen’s four why’s”), Verhagen shows how proximate (individual level) and ultimate (population level) explanations apply to several features of language, shedding new light on basic notions like conventionality and entrenchment, norms/rules and habits, etc., and their causal connections. Topics include the relation between language, culture, and thinking, the role of language in social cognition and narrative, the evolution of sound structure and grammar, semantic change, and more.

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Arie Verhagen, Ph.D. (1986), Free University at Amsterdam, is emeritus professor of Dutch Linguistics and of Language, Culture, and Cognition at Leiden University. He has published several books and articles in Dutch and internationally, including Constructions of Intersubjectivity (OUP, 2005).
<Note on Supplementary Material
Preface by the Series Editor
Preface by the Author
About the Author

1 Usage-based Cognitive Linguistics, Entrenchment and Conventionality

2 The Biological Lens – Behavior, Cognition, Grammar, Meaning

3 The World View of Cultures – Individuals, Communities, and Linguistic Relativity

4 Language as a Tool for Social Cognition 1 – Inferential, Cooperative Communication

5 Language as a Tool for Social Cognition 2 – Complements and Perspective Management

6 Cognition and Semantic Change – The “Folk Model of the Mind” vs. Variation and Change in Causality Marking

7 On the Origins of Language 1 – Cognition and the Emergence of Sound Structure and Its Diversity

8 On the Origins of Language 2 – The Cultural Evolution of Words and Constructions

9 The Dynamics of Language and Social Cognition – Dialogues, Narratives, and Mind Reading

10 Towards an Integrated Science of Language, Cognition, Behavior, and Society
About the Series Editor
Websites for Cognitive Linguistics and CIFCL Speakers
All interested in the theoretical and conceptual foundations of the study of language: as at the same time a cognitive, a cultural, and a biological phenomenon.
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