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Meaning, Discourse and Society investigates the construction of reality within discourse. When people talk about things such as language, the mind, globalisation or weeds, they are less discussing the outside world than objects they have created collaboratively by talking about them. Wolfgang Teubert shows that meaning cannot be found in mental concepts or neural activity, as implied by the cognitive sciences. He argues instead that meaning is negotiated and knowledge is created by symbolic interaction, thus taking language as a social, rather than a mental, phenomenon. Discourses, Teubert contends, can be viewed as collective minds, enabling the members of discourse communities to make sense of themselves and of the world around them. By taking an active stance in constructing the reality they share, people thus can take part in moulding the world in accordance with their perceived needs.Read more
- Presents intriguing arguments regarding discourse as our collective mind
- Provides the reader with an in-depth analysis of the social construction of reality, adding to literature on this topic
- Develops arguments and current understanding to produce a blueprint for the means of constructing reality through a discourse community
Reviews & endorsements
'The power of this exciting new book lies simultaneously within the detailed, continental traditions of scholarship that it brings to many readers for the first time; and the internal skepticism that it impliedly expresses towards the empirical instrumentation available to corpus linguists … Teubert offers us an erudite and convincing reason for deep reflection before we contemplate discarding even the bath-water of hermeneutics. This book is a unique product of a tradition that combines philosophy, philology and hermeneutics on the one hand with an understanding of the power of corpora as a potential substitute for the experiences of a community during its lifetime … a compelling read right up to its last paragraph and has my warm recommendation.' Bill Louw, International Journal of Corpus LinguisticsSee more reviews
'… provides a refreshingly original and long overdue theoretical rationale for the effectiveness and value of corpus linguistics.' Geoff Thompson, Languages in Contrast
'The book is well-organized, inspiring and clear. It will be of great interest to those who view language as social interaction and are therefore concerned with the social contexts in which discourse is embedded.' Jing Chen, Discourse Studies
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- Date Published: June 2010
- format: Adobe eBook Reader
- isbn: 9780511764165
- availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
Table of Contents
Part I. Meaning, the Mind and the Brain:
1. The cognitive turn
2. The long history of mind linguistics
3. What do we know about mental concepts?
4. Morphing theoretical sémes into 'real' concepts
5. From mental representations to conceptual ontologies
6. What is meaning?
7. Where should we look for meaning?
Part II. Discourse and Society:
8. Language as discourse
9. Society presupposes language, and language presupposes society
10. A closer look at oral societies
11. Differences between oral and literate societies
12. Empirical linguistics deals only with recorded language
13. Meaning, knowledge and the construction of reality
14. The language of the scientific experimental report
15. Diachronicity, intertextuality and hermeneutics
16. Meaning and the interpretation of a haiku
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