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Author: Joan Casser
This annotated commentary of Pêcheux’s materialist theory of discourse anticipates the formation of a real social science which supersedes the metaphysical meanings of the empirical ideologies ‘always-already-there’. Structures of Language presents Pêcheux’s theory in reference to Ferdinand de Saussure’s epistemological breakthrough that founded the science of linguistics: the theoretical separation of sound from meaning. Noam Chomsky’s generative grammar, John Searle’s philosophy of language, B.F. Skinner’s indwelling agents, J.L. Austin’s speech situations, Lacan’s symbolic order, and the influential theories of other linguistic researchers, are cited to explain the functioning of semantic ideology.
What is the relationship between spatial and temporal representations in language and cognition? What is the role of culture in this relationship? I enter this discussion by offering a community-based, cross-generational study on the community of speakers of aṣ-Ṣāniʿ Arabic, members of a Negev Desert Bedouin tribe in Israel. The book presents the results of ten years of fieldwork, the linguistic and cognitive profiles of three generations, and first-hand narration of a century of history, from nomadism to sedentarism, between conservation, resilience, and change. Linguistic and cognitive representations change with lifestyle, culture, and relationships with nature and landscape. Language changes more rapidly than cognitive structures, and the relationship between spatial and temporal representations is complex and multifaceted.
Author: Martin Hilpert
In this book, Martin Hilpert lays out how Construction Grammar can be applied to the study of language change. In a series of ten lectures on Diachronic Construction Grammar, the book presents the theoretical foundations, open questions, and methodological approaches that inform the constructional analysis of diachronic processes in language. The lectures address issues such as constructional networks, competition between constructions, shifts in collocational preferences, and differentiation and attraction in constructional change. The book features analyses that utilize modern corpus-linguistic methodologies and that draw on current theoretical discussions in usage-based linguistics. It is relevant for researchers and students in cognitive linguistics, corpus linguistics, and historical linguistics.
Knowledge can be expressed in language using a plethora of grammatical means. Four major groups of meanings related to knowledge are Evidentiality: grammatical expression of information source; Egophoricity: grammatical expression of access to knowledge; Mirativity: grammatical expression of expectation of knowledge; and Epistemic modality: grammatical expression of attitude to knowledge. The four groups of categories interact. Some develop overtones of the others. Evidentials stand apart from other means in many ways, including their correlations with speech genres and social environment. This essay presents a framework which connects the expression of knowledge across the world's languages in a coherent way, showing their dependencies and complexities, and pathways of historical development in various scenarios, including language obsolescence.
The chapters collected in the volume Passives Cross-Linguistically provide analyses of passive constructions across different languages and populations from the interface perspectives between syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. The contributions are, in principle, all based on the background of generative grammatical theory. In addition to the theoretical contributions of the first part of this volume, all solidly built on rich empirical bases, some experimental works are presented, which explore passives from a psycholinguistic perspective based on theoretical insights. The languages/language families covered in the contributions include South Asian languages (Odia/Indo-Aryan and Telugu/Dravidian, but also Kharia/Austro-Asiatic), Japanese, Arabic, English, German, Modern Greek, and several modern Romance varieties (Catalan, Romanian, and especially southern Italian dialects) as well as Vedic Sanskrit and Ancient Greek.
Verbs of mental states or activity constitute a subject of considerable interest to both Cognitive Linguistics and Linguistic Typology. They promise to open a window on the invisible workings of the mind, while at the same time displaying a wide variety of historical sources across languages. In this book Michael Fortescue presents an innovative approach to the semantics and diachronic source of cognitive verbs across a representative array of the world’s languages. The relationship among the cognitive verbs of individual languages is essentially one of metonymy, and the book investigates in detail the specific metonymic relationships involved, as revealed largely by the polysemous spread of word meanings. The data is projected against a circular ‘map’ of interrelated cognitive categories.
Author: Silvia Luraghi
In Experiential Verbs in Homeric Greek:.A Constructional Approach Silvia Luraghi offers a comprehensive account of construction variation with two-place verbs belonging to different sub-domains of experience (including bodily sensation, perception, cognition, emotion and volitionality) in the Homeric language. Traditionally, variation is ascribed to the independent meaning of cases that mark the second argument, and explanations have focused on properties of the latter. By taking a constructional approach, the author shows that construction variation also brings about differences in the conceptualization of the subject/experiencer by pointing to different degrees of control and awareness. Variation is then shown to reflect the embodied construal of experience along with the social dimension of emotions.
In Ten Lectures on Event Structure in a Network Theory of Language, Nikolas Gisborne explores verb meaning. He discusses theories of events and how a network model of language-in-the-mind should be theorized; what the lexicon is; how to probe word meaning; evidence for structure in word meaning; polysemy; the lexical semantics of causation; a type hierarchy of events; and event types cross-linguistically. He also looks at the relationship between different classes of events or event types and aktionsarten; transitivity alternations and argument linking. Gisborne argues that the social and cognitive embedding of language, requires a view of linguistic structure as a network where even the analysis of verb meaning can require an understanding of the role of speaker and hearer.
The volume Questions in Discourse - Vol. 1 Semantics contains a comprehensive overview of the semantic analysis of questions and their role in structuring discourse, next to a series of in-depth contributions on individual aspects of question meanings. The expert contributions offer novel accounts of semantic phenomena such as negation and biased questions, question embedding, exhaustivity, disjunction in alternative questions, and superlative quantification particles in questions. Some accounts are modelled in the framework of inquisitive semantics, whereas others employ alternative semantics, and yet others point to the discourse-structuring potential of marked questions. All contributions are easily accessible against the background of the general introduction. Together, they give an excellent overview of current trends in question semantics.
The volume Questions in Discourse - Vol. 2 Pragmatics collects original research on the role of questions in understanding text structure and discourse pragmatics. The in-depth studies discuss the effects of focus, questions and givenness in unalternative semantics, as well as the role of scalar particles, question-answer pairs and prosody from the perspective of Questions under Discussion. Two contributions compare the discourse-structuring potential of Questions under Discussion and rhetorical relations, whereas another adds a perspective from inquisitive semantics. Some contributions also look at understudied languages. Together, the contributions allow for a better understanding of question-related pragmatic and discourse-semantic phenomena, and they offer new perspectives on the structure of texts and discourses.