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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.
Author: Arie Verhagen
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.
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.
A text usually provides more information than a random sequence of clauses: It combines sentence-level information to larger units which are glued together by coherence relations that may induce a hierarchical discourse structure. Since linguists have begun to investigate texts as more complex units of linguistic communication, it has been controversially discussed what the appropriate level of analysis of discourse structure ought to be and what the criteria to identify (minimal) discourse units are. Linguistic structure–and more precisely, the extraction and integration of syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic information–is shown to be at the center of text processing and discourse comprehension. However, its role in the establishment of basic building blocks for a coherent discourse is still a subject of debate. This collection addresses these issues using various methodological approaches. It presents current results in theoretical, diachronic, experimental as well as computational research on structuring information in discourse.
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.
Multilingualism and Ageing provides an overview of research on a large range of topics relating to language processing and language use from a life-span perspective. It is unique in covering and combining psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic approaches, discussing questions such as: Is it beneficial to speak more than one language when growing old? How are languages processed in multilingual persons, and how does this change over time? What happens to language and communication in multilingual aphasia or dementia? How is multilingual ageing portrayed in the media?
Multilingualism and Ageing is a joint, cross-disciplinary venture of researchers from the Centre for Multilingualism in Society across the Lifespan at The University of Oslo and the editors of this publication.
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.