Language, Space and Mind
The Conceptual Geometry of Linguistic Meaning
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- Author: Paul Chilton, Lancaster University
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The idea that spatial cognition provides the foundation of linguistic meanings, even highly abstract meanings, has been put forward by a number of linguists in recent years. This book takes this proposal into new dimensions and develops a theoretical framework based on simple geometric principles. All speakers are conceptualisers who have a point of view both in a literal and in an abstract sense, choosing their perspective in space, time and the real world. The book examines the conceptualising properties of verbs, including tense, aspect, modality and transitivity, as well as the conceptual workings of grammatical constructions associated with counterfactuality, other minds and the expression of moral force. It makes links to the cognitive sciences throughout and concludes with a discussion of the relationship between language, brain and mind.Read more
- A new approach to linguistic meaning and grammatical constructions based on spatial concepts and point of view
- Highly abstract meanings of perspective, time and modality are analysed in terms of spatial concepts of direction and distance
- Includes clear geometrical diagrams to illustrate the theory
Reviews & endorsements
'For many years cognitive linguists have argued that language is grounded in space. This accessible and engaging book explores just how far simple geometric principles can be pushed to account for a wide range of language phenomena.' Kenny Coventry, University of East Anglia
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- Date Published: June 2014
- format: Adobe eBook Reader
- isbn: 9781139989565
- contains: 95 b/w illus.
- availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: space, geometry, mind
2. Viewpoint, reference frames and transformations
3. Distance, direction and verbs
4. Event types and cognitive operators
5. Times, tenses and reference frames
6. Counterfactual reflections
7. Reference frames and other minds
8. Mental distance and complement clauses
9. Verbs, complements and their conceptual effects
10. The deontic dimension
11. Concluding perspectives.
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