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Frequency in Language

Frequency in Language
Memory, Attention and Learning

AUD$154.95 inc GST

  • Publication planned for: December 2019
  • availability: Not yet published - available from December 2019
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107085756

AUD$ 154.95 inc GST

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About the Authors
  • Cognitive linguists are bound by the cognitive commitment, which is the commitment to providing a characterization of the general principles governing all aspects of human language, in a way that is informed by, and accords with, what is known about the brain and mind from other disciplines. But what do we know about aspects of cognition that are relevant for theories of language? Which insights can help us build cognitive reality into our descriptive practice and move linguistic theorizing forward? This unique study integrates research findings from across the cognitive sciences to generate insights that challenge the way in which frequency has been interpreted in usage-based linguistics. It answers the fundamental questions of why frequency of experience has the effect it has on language development, structure and representation, and what role psychological and neurological explorations of core cognitive processes can play in developing a cognitively more accurate theoretical account of language.

    • Explains how frequency of occurrence made its way into linguistics language over the past century and spells out how the findings have changed the field
    • Bridges the divide between cognitive linguistics and the cognitive sciences by explicitly linking work on learning, attention and memory to a usage-based analysis of linguistic complexity
    • Assigns a prominent role to learning, which was longed exiled form the linguistics scene and has only recently made a comeback
    Read more

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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: December 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107085756
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 mm
    • availability: Not yet published - available from December 2019
  • Table of Contents

    1. Frequency of experience
    2. A cognitive perspective on language
    3. What this book is not about
    4. What this book is about
    Part I:
    5. Counting occurrences: how frequency made its way into the study of language
    5.1. The frequency wars: the role of frequency in nativist and nurturist frameworks
    5.2. Lexical statistics and word (frequency) lists
    5.3. Word lists in psycholinguistics: the discovery of the (word) frequency effect
    5.4. Word frequency distributions and the beginning of quantitative linguistics
    5.5. Summary and outlook
    6. Measuring exposure: frequency as s linguistic game-changer
    6.1 Frequency and usage-based theories of language
    6.2. Frequency measures that have played an important role in the development of usage-based theories of language
    6.3. Summary and outlook
    7. More than frequencies: towards a probabilistic view on language
    7.1. Constructing a grammar from the ground up
    7.2. probabilistic grammar
    7.3. Probabilities link linguistics to information theory
    7.4. Summary and outlook
    Part II:
    8. Committing experiences to memory
    8.1. What is memory?
    8.2. The physiology or neurobiology of memory
    8.3. Memory systems, memory processes and neural mechanisms of memory storage
    8.4. Behavioural diagnostics of memory for language
    8.5. Summary and outlook
    9. Entrenching linguistic structures
    9.1. Entrenchment in the mind, or in society?
    9.2. Three types of entrenchment
    9.3. How are repeated experiences recorded?
    9.4. Frequently asked questions
    9.5. Summary and outlook
    Part III:
    10. The brain's attention-orienting mechanisms
    10.1. Grasping the phenomenon: what is attention and what does it do?
    10.2. Ways of deploying attention
    10.3. Attention and memory: encoding and retrieving information
    10.4. Summary and outlook
    11. Salience: capturing attention in and through language
    11.1. Capturing attention in language: linguistics versus psychology
    11.2. Attention and salience
    11.3. Conclusions and outlook
    Part IV:
    12. Predicting: using past experience to guide future action
    12.1. Predicting from stored memories
    12.2. Memoryless prediction: Bayesian predictive coding frameworks
    12.3. What does predictive processing mean for language cognition? 12.4. Conclusions and outlook
    13. Learning: navigating frequency, recency, context and contingency
    13.1. Background: learning theory
    13.2 Applications to linguistics
    13.3. Conclusions: the place of frequency in a learning theoretic approach to language
    14. Conclusions
    14.1. Why do frequencies of occurrence play an important role in usage-based linguistics?
    14.2 How can frequency be used to explain the construction of a grammar from the ground up?
    14.3. Memory, attention and learning in the emergence of grammar
    14.4. Looking forward: what lessons can we learn?
    14.5. By way of conclusion.

  • Author

    Dagmar Divjak, University of Birmingham
    Dagmar Divjak is a Professorial Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham where she holds a Chair in Cognitive Linguistics and Language Cognition. She is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Cognitive Linguistics and co-editor of Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics (2015, with Ewa Dąbrowska) and author of Structuring the Lexicon (2010).

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