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These lectures deal with the role of cognitive modelling in language-based meaning construction. To make meaning people use a small set of principles which they apply to different types of conceptual characterizations. This yields predictable meaning effects, which, when stably associated with specific grammatical patterns, result in constructions or fixed form-meaning parings. This means that constructional meaning can be described on the basis of the same principles that people use to make inferences. This way of looking at pragmatics and grammar through cognition allows us to relate a broad range of pragmatic and grammatical phenomena, among them argument-structure characterizations, implicational, illocutionary, and discourse structure, and such figures of speech as metaphor, metonymy, hyperbole, and irony.
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.
Neuroscientists often consider free will to be an illusion. Contrary to this hypothesis, the contributions to this volume show that recent developments in neuroscience can also support the existence of free will. Firstly, the possibility of intentional consciousness is studied. Secondly, Libet’s experiments are discussed from this new perspective. Thirdly, the relationship between free will, causality and language is analyzed. This approach suggests that language grants the human brain a possibility to articulate a meaningful personal life. Therefore, human beings can escape strict biological determinism.
Applications for Usage-Based and Psycholinguistic Research
In this book, Stefan Th. Gries provides an overview on how quantitative corpus methods can provide insights to cognitive/usage-based linguistics and selected psycholinguistic questions. Topics include the corpus linguistics in general, its most important methodological tools, its statistical nature, and the relation of all these topics to past and current usage-based theorizing. Central notions discussed in detail include frequency, dispersion, context, and others in a variety of applications and case studies; four practice sessions offer short introductions of how to compute various corpus statistics with the open source programming language and environment R.
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.
Theoretical and Methodological Advances
Spelling and Writing Words: Theoretical and Methodological Advances provides a set of contributions about how individuals write words. Understanding word production is of major importance as it allows understanding how words -the basic elements of written language- are stored in the writers’ brain and how do writers select the spelling of a word.
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The theoretical chapters address hot topics in the field such as the role of phonology in writing, bilingualism, language disorders, orthographic acquisition, and the influence of handwriting on reading. The methodological chapters address individual differences, how to measure handwriting performance in different handwriting styles, and neuroscientific approaches. The concluding chapters explore the future of written word production research.
Editors: Chris de Wet and Wendy Mayer
In Revisioning John Chrysostom, Chris de Wet and Wendy Mayer harness and promote a new wave of scholarship on the life and works of this famous late-antique (c. 350-407 CE) preacher. New theories from the cognitive and neurosciences, cultural and sleep studies, and history of the emotions, among others, meld with reconsideration of lapsed approaches – his debt to Graeco-Roman paideia, philosophy, and now medicine – resulting in sometimes surprising and challenging conclusions. Together the chapters produce a fresh vision of John Chrysostom that moves beyond the often negative views of the 20th century and open up substantially new vistas for exploration.
The representation of events is a central topic for cognitive science. In this series of lectures, Jeffrey M. Zacks situates event representations and their role in language within a theory of perception and memory. Event representations have a distinctive structure and format that result from computational and neural mechanisms operating during perception and language comprehension. A crucial aspect of the mechanisms is that event representations are updated to optimize their predictive utility. This updating has consequences for action control and for long-term memory. Event cognition changes across the adult lifespan and can be impaired by conditions including Alzheimer’s disease. These mechanisms have broad impact on everyday activity, and have shaped the development of media such as cinema and narrative fiction.
Author: Johan de Joode
Metaphorical Landscapes and the Theology of the Book of Job demonstrates how spatial metaphors play a crucial role in the theology of the book of Job. Themes as pivotal as trauma, ill-being, retribution, and divine character are conceptualized in terms of space; its imagery is thus dependent on spatial configurations, such as boundaries, distance, direction, containment, and contact. Not only are spatial metaphors ubiquitous in the book of Job—possibly the most frequent conceptual metaphors in the book—they are essential to its theological reasoning. Job’s spatial metaphors form a metaphorical landscape in which God’s character and his creation are challenged in unprecedented ways. In the theophany, God reacts to that landscape. This book introduces a pragmatic synthesis of both conceptual metaphor theory and spatial semantics and it demonstrates their exegetical and hermeneutic potential.