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Edited by Peter Bray and Marta Rzepecka

Communication decisively impacts upon all our lives. This inherent need to connect may either be soothing or painful, a source of intimate understanding or violent discord. Consequently, how it is brokered is challenging and often crucial in situations where those involved have quite different ways of being in and seeing the world. Good communication is equated with skills that intentionally facilitate change, the realisation of desirable outcomes and the improvement of human situations. Withdrawal of communication, or its intentional manipulation, provokes misunderstanding, mistrust, and precipitates the decline into disorder. This international collection of work specifically interrogates conflict as an essential outworking of communication, and suggests that understanding of communication’s potency in contexts of conflict can directly influence reciprocally positive outcomes.

Natural Language and Possible Minds

How Language Uncovers the Cognitive Landscape of Nature


Prakash Mondal

In Natural Language and Possible Minds: How Language Uncovers the Cognitive Landscape of Nature Prakash Mondal attempts to demonstrate that language can reveal the hidden logical texture of diverse types of mentality in non-humans, contrary to popular belief. The widely held assumption in mainstream cognitive science is that language being humanly unique introduces an anthropomorphic bias in investigations into the nature of other possible minds. This book turns this around by formulating a lattice of mental structures distilled from linguistic structures constituting the cognitive building blocks of an ensemble of biological entities/beings. This turns out to have surprising consequences for machine cognition as well. Challenging mainstream views, this book will appeal to cognitive scientists, philosophers of mind, linguists and also cognitive ethologists.

The Sequential Imperative

General Cognitive Principles and the Structure of Behaviour


William Edmondson

In The Sequential Imperative William Edmondson explains how deep study of linguistics – from phonetics to pragmatics – can be the basis for understanding the organization of behaviour in any organism with a brain. The work demonstrates that Cognitive Science needs to be anchored in a linguistic setting. Only then can Cognitive Scientists reach out to reconsider the nature of consciousness and to appreciate the functionality of all brains.

The core functionality of the brain – any brain, any species, any time – is delivery and management of the unavoidable bi-directional transformation between brain states and activity – the Sequential Imperative. Making it all work requires some general cognitive principles and close attention to detail. The book sets out the case in broad terms but also incorporates significant detail where necessary.

Quantifying Language Dynamics

On the Cutting edge of Areal and Phylogenetic Linguistics

Edited by Soren Wichmann and Jeff Good

Quantifying Language Dynamics: On the Cutting Edge of Areal and Phylogenetic Linguistics contains specially-selected papers introducing new, quantitative methodologies for understanding language interaction and evolution. It draws upon data from the phonologies, morphologies, numeral systems, constituent orders, case systems, and lexicons of the world’s languages, bringing large datasets and sophisticated statistical techniques to bear on fundamental questions such as: how to identify and account for areal distributions, when language contact leads to grammatical simplification, whether patterns of morphological borrowing can be predicted, how to deal with contact within phylogenetic models, and what new techniques are most effective for classification of the world’s languages. The book is relevant for students and scholars in general linguistics, typology, and historical and comparative linguistics.

Children's composing

A study into the relationships between writing processes, text quality, and cognitive and linguistic skills


José van der Hoeven

In this volume a relatively new approach to writing process research is attempted; time is included as a very important factor in describing the writing process. The link between the writing process of 12-year old students, the quality of the compositions, and writing skills is investigated in six studies, discussing the importance of genre knowledge, linguistic skills, and cognitive skills in writing. Including linguistic and cognitive skills gives new perspectives on the relationship between the writing process and the resulting composition. The concepts used in these studies are drawn from the fields of both linguistics and cognitive psychology.

It's about time

Temporal aspects of cognitive processes in text production


Joost Schilperoord

A central issue of cognitive studies of text production is What goes on in people's minds when they produce a text?, How do they plan the text?, How do they decide in what order to express their thoughts? In this volume, writers are followed in their footsteps during the moment-to-moment process of producing routine business letters. Their writing processes are explored in real time with the ultimate goal to contribute to a cognitive theory of text production. Such a theory should tell what kind of mental structures underly text production, how these structures are converted into coherent texts, and how this process is framed within real writing time.
The study starts from a large corpus of real-life text production processes. It combines methods to explore both process and product of text production. Processes are described by analyzing the pause patterns that emerge in the course of writing. Products are described by analyzing their hierarchical structure. Together, these descriptions yield several significant insights in the real time organization of cognitive processes in production.
The study can be characterized as a cognitive linguistic approach to text production. This volume will be of special interest to researchers in the field of (psycho-)linguistics, textlinguistics and cognitive science.

A Study on the Effect of Terminology on L2 Reading Comprehension

Should Specialist Terms in Medical Texts be Avoided?

R.E. Lankamp