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Topic 1.

Issues of reality conceptualization in linguistic world-image

Lecture 1.Cognitive Linguistics as a science.
Study the background of Cognitive linguistics science and stages of its
Specify the central problem, the main aims, and the subject of Cognitive
Trace the relations of Cognitive linguistics to other scientific fields.
1.1 Cognitive linguistics becoming a science.
Cognitive Linguistics as represented in this Handbook is an approach to the
analysis of natural language that originated in the late seventies and early eighties
in the work of George Lakoff, Ron Langacker, and Len Talmy, and that focuses on
language as an instrument for organizing, processing, and conveying information.
Given this perspective, the analysis of the conceptual and experiential basis of
linguistic categories is of primary importance within Cognitive Linguistics: the
formal structures of language are studied not as if they were autonomous, but as
reflections of genera conceptual organization, categorization principles, processing
mechanisms, and experiential and environmental influences.
Because Cognitive Linguistics sees language as embedded in the overall
cognitive capacities of man, topics of special interest for Cognitive Linguistics
include: the structural characteristics of natural language categorization (such as
prototypicality, systematic polysemy, cognitive models, mental imagery, and
metaphor); the functional principles of linguistic organization (such as iconicity
and naturalness); the conceptual interface between syntax and semantics (as
explored by Cognitive Grammar and Construction Grammar); the experiential and
pragmatic background of language-in-use; and the relationship between language
and thought, including questions about relativism and conceptual universals.
Crucially, there is no single, uniform doctrine according to which these
research topics) are pursued by Cognitive Linguistics. In this sense, Cognitive
Linguistics is a flexible framework rather than a single theory of language. In
terms of category structure (one of the standard topics for analysis in Cognitive
Linguistics), we might say that Cognitive Linguistics itself, when viewed as a
category, has a family resemblance structure: it constitutes a cluster of many
partially overlapping approaches rather than a single welldefined theory.
Even so, the recognition that Cognitive Linguistics has not yet stabilized into a
single uniform theory should not prevent us from looking for fundamental common
features and shared perspectives among the many forms of research that come
together under the label of Cognitive Linguistics. An obvious question to start
from relates to the cognitive aspect of Cognitive Linguistics: in what sense
exactly is Cognitive Linguistics a cognitive approach to the study of language?
Against the background of the basic characteristics of the cognitive paradigm in
cognitive psychology, the philosophy of science, and related disciplines, the
viewpoint adopted by Cognitive Linguistics can be defined more precisely.

Cognitive Linguistics is the study of language in its cognitive function,
where cognitive refers to the crucial role of intermediate informational structures in
our encounters with the world. Cognitive Linguistics is cognitive in the same way
that cognitive psychology is: by assuming that our interaction with the world is
mediated through informational structures in the mind. It is more specific than
cognitive psychology, however, by focusing on natural language as a means for
organizing, processing, and conveying that information. Language, then, is seen as
a repository of world knowledge, a structured collection of meaningful categories
that help us deal with new experiences and store information about old ones.
From this overall characterization, three fundamental characteristics of
Cognitive Linguistics can be derived: the primacy of semantics in linguistic
analysis, the encyclopedic nature of linguistic meaning, and the perspectival nature
of linguistic meaning. The first characteristic merely states that the basic function
of language involves meaning; the other two characteristics specify the nature of
the semantic phenomena in question. The primacy of semantics in linguistic
analysis follows in a straightforward fashion from the cognitive perspective itself:
if the primary function of language is categorization, then meaning must be the
primary linguistic phenomenon. The encyclopedic nature of linguistic meaning
follows from the categorical function of language: if language is a system for the
categorization of the world, there is no need to postulate a systemic or structural
level of linguistic meaning that is different from the level where world knowledge
is associated with linguistic forms. The perspectival nature of linguistic meaning
implies that the world is not objectively reflected in the language: the
categorization function of the language imposes a structure on the world rather
than just mirroring objective reality.
Specifically, language is a way of organizing knowledge that reflects the
needs, interests, and experiences of individuals and cultures. The idea that
linguistic meaning has a perspectivizing function is theoretically elaborated in the
philosophical, epistemological position taken by Cognitive Linguistics.
The experientialist position of Cognitive Linguistics vis-a`-vis human knowledge
emphasizes the view that human reason is determined by our organic embodiment
and by our individual and collective experiences.
To conclude, if we can agree that contemporary linguistics embodies a
tendency (a cluster of tendencies, to be more precise) toward the
recontextualization of linguistic enquiry, we may also agree that Cognitive
Linguistics embodies this trend to an extent that probably no other theoretical
movement does. It embodies the resemanticization of grammar by focusing on the
interplay between language and conceptualization. It embodies the recovery of the
lexicon as a relevant structural level by developing network models of grammatical
structure, like Construction Grammar. And it embodies the discursive turn of
contemporary linguistics by insisting explicitly on the usage-based nature of
linguistics. Other approaches may develop each of these tendencies separately in
more detail than Cognitive Linguistics does, but it is the latter movement that
combines them most explicitly and so epitomizes the characteristic underlying drift
and drive of present-day linguistics.

The two primary commitments of cognitive linguistics:
Cognitive linguistics is distinct from other movements in linguistics, both
formalist and functionalist, in two respects. First, it takes seriously the cognitive
underpinnings of language, the so-called Cognitive Commitment. Cognitive
linguists attempt to describe and model language in the light of convergent
evidence from other cognitive and brain sciences. Second, cognitive linguists
subscribe to a generalization commitment: a commitment to describing the nature
and principles that constitute linguistic knowledge as an outcome of general
cognitive abilitiesrather than viewing language as constituting, for instance, a
wholly distinct encapsulated module of mind. In this section I briefly elaborate on
these two commitments which lie at the heart of the cognitive linguistics
The Cognitive Commitment represents the view that principles of linguistic
structure should reflect what is known about human cognition from the other
cognitive and brain sciences, particularly psychology, artificial intelligence,
cognitive neuroscience, and philosophy. In other words, the Cognitive
Commitment asserts that the models of language and linguistic organization
proposed should reflect what is known about the human mind, rather than purely
aesthetic dictates such as the use of particular kinds of formalisms or economy of
The generalization commitment represents a dedication to characterising
general principles that apply to all aspects of human language. This goal reflects
the standard commitment in science to seek the broadest generalizations possible.
In contrast, some approaches to the study of language often separate what is
sometimes termed the language faculty into distinct areas such as phonology
(sound), semantics (word and sentence meaning), pragmatics (meaning in
discourse context), morphology (word structure), syntax (sentence structure), and
so on. As a consequence, there is often little basis for generalization across these
aspects of language, or for study of their interrelations.
While cognitive linguists acknowledge that it may often be useful to treat
areas such as syntax, semantics, and phonology as being notionally distinct,
cognitive linguists do not start with the assumption that the subsystems of
language are organized in significantly divergent ways.
Hence, the generalization commitment represents a commitment to openly
investigating how the various aspects of linguistic knowledge emergefrom a
common set of human cognitive abilities upon which they draw, rather than
assuming that they are produced in an encapsulated module of the mind, consisting
of distinct knowledge types, or subsystems.
1.2The five postulates of cognitive linguistics.
1 the thesis of embodied cognition,
2 the thesis of encyclopedic semantics,
3 the symbolic thesis,
4 the thesis that meaning is conceptualization, and
5 the usage-based thesis.

Together with the two primary commitments, these theses give rise to a
distinctive worldview.
The thesis of embodied cognition
The thesis consists of two related parts. The first part holds that the nature of
reality is not objectively given, but is a function of our species-specific and
individual embodimentthis is the sub-thesis of embodied experience. Second,
our mental representation of reality is grounded in our embodied mental states:
mental states captured from our embodied experiencethis is the sub-thesis of
grounded cognition.
The sub-thesis of embodied experience maintains that due to the nature of
our bodies, including our neuro-anatomical architecture, we have aspecies-specific
view of the world. In other words, our construal of reality is mediated, in large
measure, by the nature of our embodiment.
A further consequence of the sub-thesis of embodied experience is that as
individual embodiment within a species varies, so too will embodied experience
across individual members of the same species. There is now empirical support for
the position that humans have distinctive embodied experience due to individual
variables such as handedness. That is, whether one is left- or right-handed
influences the way in which one experiences reality.
The fact that our experience is embodiedthat is, structured in part by the
nature of the bodies we have and by our neurological organization has
consequences for cognition: the sub-thesis of grounded cognition. In other words,
the concepts we have access to, and the nature of the reality we think and talk
about, are grounded in the multimodal representations that emerge from our
embodied experience.
The thesis of encyclopedic semantics
The thesis of encyclopedic semantics is also made up of two parts. First, it
holds that semantic representations in the linguistic system, what is often referred
to as semantic structure, relate toor interface with representations in the
conceptual system.The second part of the thesis relates to the view that conceptual
structure, to which semantic structure relates, constitutes a vast network of
structured knowledge, a semantic potential (Evans, 2009) which is hence
encyclopedia-like in nature and in scope.
The symbolic thesis holds that the fundamental unit of grammar is a form
meaning pairing, or symbolic unit. The symbolic unit is variously termed a
symbolic assembly in Langackers cognitive grammar, or a construction in
construction grammar approaches (e.g., Goldbergs cognitive construction
grammar, 1995, 2006). Symbolic units run the full gamut from the fully lexical to
the wholly schematic. For instance, examples of symbolic units include
morphemes (for example, dis- as in distasteful), whole words (for example, cat,
run, tomorrow), idiomatic expressions such as He kicked the bucket, and sentence-
level constructions such as the ditransitive (or double object) construction, as
exemplified by the expression: John baked Sally a cake. More precisely, the
symbolic thesis holds that the mental grammar consistsof a form, a semantic unit,
and symbolic correspondence that relatesthe two.Constituency structureand

hence the combinatorial nature oflanguageis a function of symbolic units
becoming integrated or fused in order to create larger grammatical units, with
different theorists proposing slightly different mechanisms for how this arises.
The thesis that meaning is conceptualization
Language understanding involves the interaction between semantic structure
and conceptual structure, as mediated by various linguistic and conceptual
mechanisms and processes. In other words, linguistically mediated meaning
construction doesnt simply involve compositionality, in the Fregean sense,
whereby words encode meanings which are integrated in monotonic fashion such
that the meaning of the whole arises from the sum of the parts. Cognitive linguists
subscribe to the position that linguistically mediated meaning involves
conceptualiizationwhich is to say, higher-order cognitive processing some, or
much, of which is non-linguistic in nature. In other words, the thesis that meaning
is conceptualization holds that the way in which symbolic units are combined
during language understanding gives rise to a unit of meaning which is non-
linguistic in naturethe notion of a simulation introduced above and relies, in
part, on non-linguistic processes of integration.
The usage-based thesis holds that the mental grammar of the language user
is formed by the abstraction of symbolic units from situated instances of language
use: utterances specific usage events involving symbolic units for purposes of
signaling local and contextually relevant communicative intentions. An important
consequence of adopting the usage-based thesis is that there is no principled
distinction between knowledge of language, and use of language (competence and
performance, in generative grammar terms), since knowledge emerges from use.
From this perspective, knowledge of language is knowledge of how language is
Problem Questions:What is the practical value of Cognitive
Linguistics?What role can the findings of this science play in the development of
language communication?

Lecture 2: Conceptualization and categorization in cognitive linguistics.
Study the core sense of two notions conceptualization and
Study the main approaches to research of language phenomena

Categorization is the process in which ideas and objects are recognized,
differentiated, and understood. Categorization implies that objects are grouped into
categories, usually for some specific purpose. Ideally, a category illuminates a
relationship between the subjects and objects of knowledge. Categorization is
fundamental in language, prediction, inference, decision making and in all kinds of
environmental interaction. It is indicated that categorization plays a major role in
computer programming.
categorizationis our ability to identify entities as members of groups. Of
course, the words we use to refer to entities rest upon categorization: there are
good reasons why we call a cat cat and not, say, fish. One of the reasons behind
the interest in this area stems from the Cognitive Commitment: the position
adopted by cognitive linguists that language is a function of generalized cognition.
The ability to categorize is central to human cognition; given the Cognitive
Commitment, we expect this ability to be reflected in linguistic organization. The
other reason behind
In the 1970s, pioneering research by cognitive psychologist Eleanor
Roschand her colleagues presented a serious challenge to the classical view of
categorization that had dominated Western thought since the time of Aristotle.
According to this classical model, category membership is defined according to a
set of necessary and sufficient conditions, which entails that category membership
is an all-or-nothing affair.
The findings of Eleanor Rosch and her team revealed that categorization is
not an all or nothing affair, but that many categorizationjudgments seemed to
exhibit prototype or typicality effects. For example, when we categorizebirds,
certain types of bird (like robins or sparrows) are judged as better examples of
the category than others (like penguins).
In his famous book Women, Fire and Dangerous Things, George Lakoff
(1987) explored some of the consequences of the observations made by Rosch and
her colleagues for a theory of conceptual structure as manifested in language. An
important idea that emerged from Lakoffs study is the theory of idealized
cognitive models (ICMs), which are highly abstract frames. These can account for
certain kinds of typicality effects in categorization.
For example, lets consider once more the concept BACHELOR. This is
understood with respect to a relatively schematic ICM MARRIAGE. The
ICM includes the knowledge that bachelors are unmarried adult males. As
we have observed, the category BACHELOR exhibits typicality effects. In
otherwords, some members of the category BACHELOR (like eligible young men)

are better or more typical examples than others (like the Pope). The knowledge
associated with the MARRIAGE ICM stipulates that bachelors can marry.
However, our knowledge relating to CATHOLICISM stipulates that the
Pope cannot marry. It is because of this mismatch between the MARRIAGE ICM
(with respect to which BACHELOR is understood) and the CATHOLICISM ICM
(with respect to which the Pope is understood) that this particular typicality effect
The position adopted in cognitive linguistics is that there are commonalities
in the ways humans experience and perceive the world and in the ways human
think and use language. This means that all humans share a common
conceptualizing capacity. However, these commonalities are no more than
constraints, delimiting a range of possibilities. As we have seen, there is striking
diversity in the two domains we have surveyed, which shows that the way English
speakers think and speak about space and time by no means represents the only
way of thinking and speaking about space and time. According to cognitive
linguists, language not only reflects conceptual structure, but can also give rise to
conceptualization. It appears that the ways in which different languages cut up
and label the world can differentially influence non-linguistic thought and action.
It follows that the basic commitments of cognitive linguistics are consonant with a
weak version of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, a position that some linguists argue is
gathering increasing empirical support.
There are two notable approaches to meaning construction that have been
developed within cognitive linguistics. The first is concerned with the sorts of
mechanisms central to meaning construction that are fundamentally non-linguistic
in nature. Meaning construction processes of this kind have been referred to as
backstage cognition (Fauconnier, 1985/ 1994, 1997). There are two distinct, but
closely related, theories of backstage cognition: mental spaces theory, developed in
two monographs by Gilles Fauconnier (1985/1994, 1997), and conceptual blending
theory, developed by Gilles Fauconnier and Mark Turner (2002). Mental spaces
theory is concerned with the nature and creation of mental spaces, small packets
of conceptual structure built as we think and talk. Conceptual blending theory is
concerned with the integrative mechanisms and networks that operate over
collections of mental spaces in order to produce emergent aspects of meaning
Behind the idiosyncrasies of language, cognitive linguistics has repeatedly
uncovered evidence for the operation of more general cognitive processes.
Mappings between mental spaces are part of this general organization of thought.
Although language provides considerable data for studying such mappings, they
are not in themselves specifically linguistic. They show up generally in
conceptualization. A striking case of a general cognitive operation on mental
spaces, that is reflected universally in the way we think, is conceptual integration.
Conceptual integration consists in setting up networks of mental spaces which map
onto each other and blend into new mental spaces in various ways. In everyday
thinking and talking, we use conceptual integration networks systematically in the
on-line construction of meaning. Some of the integrations are novel, others are
more entrenched, and we rarely pay conscious attention to the process, because it is

so pervasive. In a conceptual integration network, partial structure from input
mental mental spaces is projected to a new blended mental space which develops
dynamic (imaginative) structure of its own.
Most aspects of human life, not just language, bring in conceptual
integration networks. This remarkable cognitive capacity has been studied in a
variety of domains, such as mathematics, action and design, distributed cognition,
magic and religion, anthropology and political science. It has been suggested that
the capacity of conceptual integration evolved biologically to reach a threshold,
double-scope creativity, that constitutes a necessary condition for the cognitively
modern human singularities of art, creative toolmaking,religious thought, and
Problem questions: To what extent do the personal experience and interests
reflect the speech of communicants.How can the language influence the persons
understanding and interpretation of the environment?

Lecture3Reality conceptualization and the worldview.
Studythetermthe worldview
Study the components of the linguistic worldview
Look at the role of conceptualization in the worldview formation
The primary commitments and theses of cognitive linguistics give rise to a
specific and distinctive worldview, which has a number of dimensions.
Collectively, these give rise to a distinctive cognitive linguistic perspective on the
nature of language, its interaction with non-linguistic aspects of cognition, and the
nature of the human mind.
Five dimensions of the cognitive linguistics worldview can be identified:
Language reflects the embodied nature of conceptual organization.
Language is a lens for studying conceptual organization.
Language provides a mechanism for construal.
Language can influence aspects of non-linguistic cognition.
Humans have a common conceptualizing capacity.
Language reflects conceptual organization
Following the thesis of embodied cognition, cognitive linguists view language as
reflecting the embodied nature of conceptual structure and organization. Hence,
cognitive linguists study language by taking seriously the way language manifests
embodied conceptual structure.
An outstanding example of this is the study of conceptual metaphor. For
instance, we use language relating to more abstract domains such as time, in terms
of space, as exemplified by the example in (1), or states in terms of locations
exemplified in (2), precisely because at the level of conceptual structure time is
systematically structured in terms of conceptual structure recruited from the
domain of space, and states are structured in terms of locations in space. I consider
the issue of conceptual metaphor in more detail later on.
1) Christmas is approaching.
2) She is in love.
Language is a lens on the mind
Second, language serves as a lens for studying aspects of the mind. Itdoes so
precisely because it reflects organizational principles of embodied cognition. For
instance, by studying metaphorical patterns in language, the cognitive linguist is
able to discern patterns in the nature and organization of conceptual structure.
Conceptual metaphors, qua cross-domain mappingsmappings that relate distinct
conceptual domainsare evidenced by virtue of examining distinctive and
productive patterns in language in order to uncover their existence.
Language provides a mechanism for construal
Third, as language is constituted of a language-specific inventory of
symbolic units, following the symbolic thesis, any given language provides a
means of viewing the same state, situation, or event from the range of perspectives
that are conventionally available to the language user, given the language-specific
symbolic resources available. In other words, a language provides the language

user with resources for viewing the same scene in multiple, and hence alternative,
ways. This constitutes a mechanism for construal. Construal is a technical term
for the facility whereby the same situation can be linguistically encoded in multiple
ways. For example, someone who is not easily parted from his or her money could
be either described as stingy or as thrifty. In keeping with the thesis of
encyclopedic semantics, each of these words is understood with respect to a
different background frame or cognitive model, which provides a distinct set of
evaluations. While stingy represents a negative assessment against an evaluative
frame of giving and sharing, thrifty relates to a frame of careful management of
resources (husbandry), against which it represents a positive assessment. Hence,
lexical choice provides a different way of framing ostensibly the same situation,
giving rise to a different construal. Indeed, any given language, by virtue of
containing a language-specific set of symbolic units, thereby provides a ready-
made language-specific repertoire for construing human experience and the world
in, necessarily, different ways. One reason for this is because different languages
often encode culture-specific ideas and hence perspectives. For instance, the
Korean word nunchi, which might be translated as eye-measure in English,
provides a conventionalized means of encoding the idea that a host evaluates
whether a guest requires further food or drink in order to avoid the guest being
embarrassed by having to request it. Of course, languages provide conventional
means of alternate construalseven when two similar ideas are both conveyed in two
different languages.
For instance, both English and Frenchrelated genetically and by area
have conventional means of expressing the notion of containment: the preposition
in for English and dans for French. Yet the scene depicted by examples, involving
a woman walking in the rain, is conventionally construed, in English, as exhibiting
a containment relationship as evidenced by (1), but in French as exhibiting an
under relationship, as encoded by the French preposition sous, evidenced in (2).
(1) The woman is walking in the rain.
(2) La femme marche sous la pluie.
The woman walks under the rain.
The woman is walking in the rain.
Language influences non-linguistic cognition
The discussion of the English and French utterances in (1) and (2) also helps
illustrate the fourth dimension of the cognitive linguistics worldview. As language
provides a means of construing reality in alternate ways, and moreover remains
connected to conceptual representation, it has a transformative function: It can
influence aspects of non-linguistic cognition. That is, language doesnt merely
reflect conceptual representation; it can influence and affect it. For instance, as
French and English each have conventionalized alternative ways of encoding a
particular spatial scene, this leads to what Slobin has labeled differences in
thinking for speaking: Users of any given language must pay attention to
particular aspects of their experienced reality, at the expense of others, in order to
package their thoughts for purposes of linguistic communication. Cognitive
linguists hold that this language-specific packaging has profound consequences

on non-linguistic cognition. That is, language influences how we categorize
aspects of our socio-physical environment, and how we think about reality,
independently of language.Thus, different choices of language for representing
concepts can indeed affect non-linguistic thought, such as reasoning and problem
A common human conceptualizing capacity
Of course, one of the charges that has been leveled at those who subscribe to
a (neo) Whorfian perspective is that this entails that language determines how the
world is viewed and categorized. If this view were correct, language would
effectively provide a straitjacket, resulting in wholly distinct ways of
conceptualization across languages and language users, which would be
However, the cognitive linguistics worldview treats language as but one of
the mechanisms whereby humans construct their perceptual, cognitive, and socio-
cultural reality. Cognitively modern humans have a common conceptualizing
capacity: we share with our conspecifics a similar range of cognitive mechanisms
and processes that provide us with multiple ways of construing reality. Language is
but one modality, and hence but one way in which we interact with and learn about
our environment, our socio-cultural reality, others around us, and ourselves.
Cognitive linguists fully recognize that there are myriad ways in which
humans experience their environment, including sense-perceptory experience,
proprioception, and subjective experiences including affect, the visceral sense, and
diverse cognitive evaluations and states. All of these experiences provide a rich
basis for a multiplicity of mental representations, providing often complementary
and even competing views of reality. From the perspective of cognitive
linguistics, semantic structure encoded by language can influence our
conceptualizations, and other outputs of cognitive function, such as categorization,
for instance. However, languagedoesnotdeterminethem.
Problemquestions: Can it be assumed that native speakers of different
languages see the world differently, why (not)? Why
hasntthetheoryoflinguisticrelativitystill found its complete acceptance?

Topic 2. The main trends of modern cognitive linguistics
Lecture 1.Stages of cognitive linguistics development
To distinguish the main stages of cognitive linguistics formation as a
To define the role of a language in world acquisition

Cognitive linguistics is a modern school of linguistic thought and practice. It is
concerned with investigating the relationship between human language, the mind
and socio-physical experience. It originally emerged in the 1970s (Fillmore 1975,
Lakoff& Thompson 1975, Rosch 1975) and arose out of dissatisfaction with
formal approaches to language which were dominant, at that time, in the
disciplines of linguistics and philosophy. While its origins were, in part,
philosophical in nature, cognitive linguistics has always been strongly influenced
by theories and findings from the other cognitive sciences as they emerged during
the 1960s and 1970s, particularly cognitive psychology. Nowhere is this clearer
than in work relating to human categorization, particularly as adopted by Charles
Fillmore in the 1970s (e.g., Fillmore 1975) and George Lakoff in the 1980s (e.g.,
Lakoff 1987). Also of importance have been earlier traditions such as Gestalt
psychology, as applied notably by Leonard Talmy (e.g., 2000) and Ronald
Langacker (e.g., 1987). Finally, the neural underpinnings of language and
cognition have had longstanding influence on the character and content of
cognitive linguistic theories, from early work on how visual biology constrains
colour terms systems (Kay and McDaniel 1978) to more recent work under the
rubric of the Neural Theory of Language (Gallese and Lakoff 2005).
In recent years, cognitive linguistic theories have become sufficiently
sophisticated and detailed to begin making predictions that are testable using the
broad range of converging methods from the cognitive sciences. Early research
was dominated in the 1970s and early 1980s by a relatively small number of
scholars, primarily (although not exclusively) situated on the western seaboard of
the United States. During the 1980s, cognitive linguistic research began to take
root in northern continental Europe, particularly in Belgium, Holland and
Germany. By the early 1990s, there was a growing proliferation of research in
cognitive linguistics throughout Europe and North America, and a relatively large
internationally-distributed group of researchers who identified themselves as
cognitive linguists. This led, in 1989, with a major conference held at Duisburg,
Germany, to the formation of the International Cognitive Linguistics Association,
together with, a year later, the foundation of the journal Cognitive Linguistics. In
the words of one of the earliest pioneers in cognitive linguistics, Ronald Langacker
(1991b, p. xv), this event marked the birth of cognitive linguistics as a broadly
grounded, self-conscious intellectual movement. Cognitive linguistics is best
described as a 'movement' or an enterprise, precisely because it does not
constitute a single closely-articulated theory. Instead, it is an approach that has
adopted a common set of core commitments and guiding principles, which have
led to a diverse range of complementary, overlapping (and sometimes competing)

theories. The purpose of this article is to trace some of the major assumptions and
commitments that make cognitive linguistics a distinct and worthwhile enterprise.
The new insights into the system of conceptual structuring in language that
have been coming from the relatively recent tradition of cognitive linguistics have
rested mainly on the methodologies already standard in the field of linguistics
overall: introspection in conjunction with theoretical analysis. The aim of the
workshop that the present volume arises from was to help foster the application of
additional methodologies to this emerging body of understanding. The spirit of the
workshop and the papers here has been to value all of the applicable methodologies
for their distinctive contribution to the total picture. Each methodology can be seen
as having certain capacities and limitations that accord it a particular perspective
on the nature of conceptual organization in language. In this respect, no single
methodology is privileged over others or considered the gold standard of
investigation. Though not all of them were represented at the workshop or are in
this volume, the range of methodologies that apply to conceptual structure in
language includes the following: introspection into the meanings and structures of
linguistic forms and expressions, whether in isolation or in context, as well as the
comparison of ones own introspections with those reported by others (the more
recent notion of "metacognition" largely overlaps with that of introspection); the
comparison of linguistic characteristics across typologically distinct languages and
modalities (e.g., spoken and signed language); the examination of how speech
events interact with context, such as with the physical surroundings, the
participants background knowledge, or the cultural pattern; the analysis of
audiovisual recordings of naturally occurring communication events, including
their text, vocal dynamics, gesture, and body language; the (computer-aided)
examination of collated corpora, often annotated; the examination of cumulatively
recorded observations of linguistic behavior, as by children acquiring language; the
experimental techniques of psycholinguistics; the instrumental probes of the
brains linguistic functioning in neuroscience; and the simulations of human
linguistic behavior in artificial intelligence. Used in conjunction with all of these is
the methodology of analytic thought, which includes the systematic manipulation
of ideas, abstraction, comparison, and reasoning, and which is itself introspective
in character, though with its object of attention not limited to language, as in the
case of the linguistic introspection otherwise treated here. A selection of these
methodologies is considered next for their respective capacities and limitations, so
as to demonstrate their complementary character.
Because Cognitive Linguistics sees language as embedded in the overall
cognitive capacities of man, topics of special interest for Cognitive Linguistics
include: the structural characteristics of natural language categorization (such as
prototypicality, systematic polysemy, cognitive models, mental imagery, and
metaphor); the functional principles of linguistic organization (such as iconicity
and naturalness); the conceptual interface between syntax and semantics (as
explored by Cognitive Grammar and Construction Grammar); the experiential and
pragmatic background of language-in-use; and the relationship between language
and thought, including questions about relativism and conceptual universals.

Crucially, there is no single, uniform doctrine according to which these research
topics are pursued by Cognitive Linguistics. In this sense, Cognitive Linguistics is
a flexible framework rather than a single theory of language. In terms of category
structure (one of the standard topics for analysis in Cognitive Linguistics), we
might say that Cognitive Linguistics itself, when viewed as a category, has a
family resemblance structure: it constitutes a cluster of many partially overlapping
approaches rather than a single welled-fined theory.
Even so, the recognition that Cognitive Linguistics has not yet stabilized into
a single uniform theory should not prevent us from looking for fundamental
common features and shared perspectives among the many forms of research that
come together under the label of Cognitive Linguistics. An obvious question to
start from relates to the cognitive aspect of Cognitive Linguistics: in what sense
exactly is Cognitive Linguistics a cognitive approach to the study of language?
Terminologically, a distinction imposes itself between Cognitive Linguistics, and
(uncapitalized) cognitive linguistics (all approaches in which natural language is
studied as a mental phenomenon). Cognitive Linguistics is but one form of
cognitive linguistics, to be distinguished from, for instance, Generative Grammar
and many forms of linguistic research within the field of Artificial Intelligence.
What, then, determines the specificity of Cognitive Linguistics within cognitive
science? The question may be broken down in two more specific ones: what is the
precise meaning of cognitive in Cognitive Linguistics, and how does this meaning
differ from the way in which other forms of linguistics conceive of themselves as
being a cognitive discipline? Against the background of the basic characteristics
of the cognitive paradigm in cognitive psychology, the philosophy of science, and
related disciplines (see De Mey 1992), the viewpoint adopted by Cognitive
Linguistics can be defined more precisely.
Cognitive Linguistics is the study of language in its cognitive function,
where cognitive refers to the crucial role of intermediate informational structures in
our encounters with the world. Cognitive Linguistics is cognitive in the same way
that cognitive psychology is: by assuming that our interaction with the world is
mediated through informational structures in the mind. It is more specific than
cognitive psychology, however, by focusing on natural language as a means for
organizing, processing, and conveying that information. Language, then, is seen as
a repository of world knowledge, a structured collection of meaningful categories
that help us deal with new experiences and store information about old ones. From
this overall characterization, three fundamental characteristics of Cognitive
Linguistics can be derived: the primacy of semantics in linguistic analysis, the
encyclopedic nature of linguistic meaning, and the perspectival nature of linguistic
meaning. The first characteristic merely states that the basic function of language
involves meaning; the other two characteristics specify the nature of the semantic
phenomena in question. The primacy of semantics in linguistic analysis follows in
a straightforward fashion from the cognitive perspective itself: if the primary
function of language is categorization, then meaning must be the primary linguistic
phenomenon. The encyclopedic nature of linguistic meaning follows from the
categorical function of language: if language is a system for the categorization of

the world, there is no need to postulate a systemic or structural level of linguistic
meaning that is different from the level where world knowledge is associated with
linguistic forms. The perspectival nature of linguistic meaning implies that the
world is not objectively reflected in the language: the categorization function of the
language imposes a structure on the world rather than just mirroring objective
reality. Specifically, language is a way of organizing knowledge that reflects the
needs, interests, and experiences of individuals and cultures. The idea that
linguistic meaning has a perspectivizing function is theoretically elaborated in the
philosophical, epistemological position taken by Cognitive Linguistics (see
Johnson 1987; Lakoff 1987; Geeraerts 1993). The experientialist position of
Cognitive Linguistics vis-a`-vis human knowledge emphasizes the view that
human reason is determined by our organic embodiment and by our individual and
collective experiences.
Cognitive linguistics is described as a movement or an enterprise because
it is not a specific theory. Instead, it is an approach that has adopted a common set
of guiding principles, assumptions and perspectives which have led to a diverse
range of complementary, overlapping (and sometimes competing) theories.
Cognitive linguists, like other linguists, study language for its own sake;
they attempt to describe and account for its systematicity, its structure, the
functions it serves and how these functions are realized by the language system.
However, an important reason behind why cognitive linguists study language
stems from the assumption that language reflects patterns of thought. Therefore, to
study language from this perspective is to study patterns of conceptualization.
Language offers a window into cognitive function, providing insights into the
nature, structure and organization of thoughts and ideas. The most important way
in which cognitive linguistics differs from other approaches to the study of
language, then, is that language is assumed to reflect certain fundamental
properties and design features of the human mind. As we will see throughout this
book, this assumption has far-reaching implications for the scope, methodology
and models developed within the cognitive linguistic enterprise. Not least, an
important criterion for judging a model of language is whether the model is
psychologically plausible.
Cognitive linguistics is a relatively new school of linguistics, and one of the
most innovative and exciting approaches to the study of language and thought that
has emerged within the modern field of interdisciplinary study known as cognitive
science. In this chapter we will begin to get a feel for the issues and concerns of
practicing cognitive linguists. We will do so by attempting to answer the following
question: what does it mean to know a language? The way we approach the
question and the answer we come up with will reveal a lot about the approach,
perspective and assumptions of cognitive linguists. Moreover, the view of
language that we will finish with is quite different from the view suggested by
other linguistic frameworks.
Cognitive linguistics took its plays in the paradigm of modern world
linguistic concepts. Its appearance and rapid development today is a typical
feature of language study of century boarder.

In cognitive linguistics we see new stage of study of difficult relationships
between language and thinking, problems, which are typical particularly for
national language study.
The beginning of the research was laid by neurophysiologists, doctors,
psychologists (P. Broka, K.Vernike, I. Sechenov, V.Bechterev, I.Pavlovandn
others). Neurolinguistics was formed on the basis of neurophysiology (L.Vigotsky,
A. Luriya). It became clear that language activity is processing in peoples brains,
and that different kinds of language activities (language acquisition, listening,
speaking, reading, writing etc.) are connected with different parts of the brain.
The following stage of development of the problem of collocation of language and
thinking was psycholinguistics, in the framework of which the processes of speech
making and perception, processes of studying the language as a system of symbols
saved in peoples mind, balance between the system of language and its usage and
function were studied. (American psycholinguists are Ch. Osgud, T. Sebeok, J.
Greenberg, J.Carrol and others, Russian linguists are A. Leontiev, I. Gorelov, A.
Zalevskaya, U. Karaulov and others)
Cognitive linguistics has been forming for the last two decades of the 20th
century, but its subject- peculiarities of assimilation and working with information,
ways of mental representation of knowledge through the language was noticed
even in the first theoretical works on language study in 19th century. Thus,
considering the theory of B. Humbold about national spirit, A. Potebnya admits the
question about language foundation to be a question about phenomenon of spiritual
life, going before the language, about rules of its formation and development,
about its effect on the following spiritual activity, in this way to be only a
psychological question.
A. Potebnya believes that there are the strongest notions moving forward and
the notions staying behind in spiritual activity. Exactly the strongest believes take
part in the development of new thoughts (Herbarts law of apperception). A.
Potebnya sees the role of association and the combination of associations in the
development of images line very well.
Problem questions: What did the development of cognitive linguistics as a
science start from? What play does a language take in cognitive science? What are
the main problems which are placed before cognitive linguistics at every stage of
its development?

Lecture 2. The main trends of Cognitive Linguistics in works of native
To study the main stages of Cognitive Linguistics development in works of
To give characteristic to the main approaches distinguished by the authors

Modern cognitive linguistics is rapidly developing in various scientific
centers all over the world, which leads to particular differences in approaches,
categorical and terminological apparatus, understanding of the main aims of
cognitive linguistics and applied methods.
In the dissertation research and review papers, scientists are increasingly
attempting to classify trends in modern cognitive linguistics. Recognizing the
relativity of these classifications, however, we note that they have a sense, as
different areas primarily use different methodological approaches the study of
EY Balashova, describing prevailing in the domestic cognitive linguistics
research areas, distinguishes two basic approaches: Cognitive and Lingvocultural.
Lingvocultural approach would address the specifics of the national concept sphere
of culture to consciousness. For researchers working within Lingvocultural
approach, EY S. Balashova refers Stepanov, VI Karasik, VV Red, VA Maslov, NF
Alefirenko etc. This approach defines concept as the basic unit of culture that has
the figurative, conceptual and value components, with a predominance of the latter
one (VI Karasik).
Cognitive approach according to EY Balashova refers researchers who come
from the fact that the basis of knowledge of the world is a unit of mental
information, as a concept, which provides "access to the concept sphere of
society." From the standpoint of Cognitive approach to the study of the concept
was designed by the field model presented in terms of the core and the periphery.
Representatives of this approach are ES Cubreacov, D. Popov, IA Sternin, VN
Teliyu etc.
EY Balashova, except the two mentioned approaches in cognitive linguistics, also
allocates more psychological, psycholinguistic, neuro-psycholinguistic, semantic,
logical and conceptual, logical analysis of cultural concepts and approach of the
traditional linguistics, identifying the terms "concept" and "concept".
A. Kostin described lingu-ocultural direction in cognitive linguistics. By his
definition, linguo-cultural approach is based on the idea of cumulative
(cumulative) of the language by which it is impressed, stored and transmitted
experience of the people of his world view and attitude. Language, according to
this view, is a universal form of initial conceptualization of the world and the
rationalization of human experience, the exponent and guardian of the unconscious
knowledge of the natural world, the historical memory of socially significant
events in human life.
By lingvokultural direction A. Kostin considers works of SG Vorkacheva, V.
Vorobiev, VN Telii, G. Tokarev, F. Farkhutdinova, AT Hro-lenco, V. M.

Shakleina etc. This may also include investigations of Kostomarov and EM
Vereshchagin, VA Maslova, Vladimir Vorobiev.
A. Kostin highlights a number of approaches in contemporary cognitive
linguistics, "mentally-activational approach of SA Askold, the approach of
individual speech by Likhachev, semantic approach (NF Alefirenko, A. Vezh-
bitskaya, V. V. Kolesov, IP Mikhalchuk VP Neroznak), cultural studies (S.
Stepanov, VI Karasik), logical approach (ND Arutyunov, TV Bulygin, AD
Shmelev GV Makowicz, RI Pavilionis, MR ProskuryakovProskurjakova IG),
cognitive approach (AP Grandmother, ES Cubreacov, D. Popov, IA Sternin , G.
Tokarev, JF Richard, S. X. Lyapin, AV Kravchenko, GA Volokhina, GV Bykov),
linguo-cultul approach (SG Vorkachev, VN Telia, FF Farkhutdinova). "
V. Kolesov distinguishes cognitive linguistics (the connection between the
word and the thing) cognitive linguistics (which studies the semantic "prototypes" -
modality, mortgage, temporality and etc.) and conceptual linguistics that studies
the actual concepts.
C. Kuzlyakin differentiates psychological approach (Likhachev), logical (N
Arutyunov and the school, "Logical Analysis of Language"), philosophical
approach (V Kolesov), cultural approach (S. Stepanov) , integrative approach ( X.
Lyapin, G Slyshkin) in cognitive linguistics.
E Kubreacova separates classical cognitivism - research of knowledges structures
and types predominantly by means of logical methods - and cognitive-discursive
trend that is a logical development of the entire modern linguistics in general:
"every linguistic phenomenon can be adequately described and clarified only in
cases if it is considered at the intersection of cognition and communication ", the
purpose of cognitive linguistics is not only to be associated with each language
form its cognitive counterpart, its conceptual or cognitive structures (thus
explaining the meaning or content of a particular form of cognitive structure, the
structure of opinion or knowledge) but also to explain the reasons for the selection
or creation of this "package" for the content. "
N. Boldyrev fairly notes that it is possible speak of two stages in the development
of cognitivism "early - logical, or objectivist, and modern experimental, based on
Thus, we can say, at least, that the following directions in cognitive linguistics,
which are defined to date (refer to typical representatives of these areas): cultural -
research of concepts as elements of culture by relying on data from different
sciences (S. Stepanov) . Such studies are usually interdisciplinary, not exclusively
related to linguistics, though they can run linguists (which allows us to consider
this approach in the framework of cognitive linguistics), language in this case is
the only one of the sources of knowledge of concepts (for example, to describe the
concept of using data on the etymology of the word, the name of this concept);
lingvo-cultural - study these language units concepts as elements of national
lingvo-cultural study in their relationship with national values and national
characteristics of the culture: the direction of "the language of the culture" (VI
Karasik, SG Vorkachev, GG Slyshkin, Mr. Tokarev); logical - analysis of concepts
by means of logical methods is directly related to their linguistic form (ND

Arutyunov, RI Pavilionis); semantic and cognitive study of lexical and
grammatical semantics of the language as a means of access to the content of the
concept as a means of modeling the semantics of the language to the conceptual
sphere (E Cubreacov, N. Boldyrev, Rachel's , E Lukashevich , A Grandmother, D.
Popov, I Sternin, G Bykov); philosophical and semiotic study of cognitive
foundations of semiotics (AV Kravchenko).
Each of these can be considered as an already taken shape in modern
linguistics, they all have their methodological principles (they are all primarily
united by a theoretical understanding of the concept of consciousness as a unit) and
they all have their supporters among linguists, cognitive science, they are quite
well-known scientific schools.
Of course, the proposed division of approaches as the reference of
individual scientists to the different areas, are rather relative (many scientists at
different stages of their scientific career are working within the framework of
different concepts), but, nevertheless, such a classification reflects the key
linguistic trends, which take place in the modern domestic cognitive.
In addition, there are quite a number of works that share the actual identification of
the concepts and the concept of the word: the traditional analysis of the semantics
of speech called for an analysis of this concept, a semantic study cognitive
For example, V Myrkinsvery interesting and informative article on the types of
the word begins with a phrase: "The concept, adopting a particular word is a
(lexical) meaning of the word."
Such identification is barren; it simply reflects the tendency to use a fashionable
term concept, cognitive. The existence of such work once again explains the need
for a system of presentation of the postulates of cognitive linguistics with a clear
definition of its categories and the establishment of a relationship with the
categories of traditional semasiology.
Problem questions:
What reflects the difference in approaches to the study of cognitive linguistics?
What are the main approaches which can be identified in the works of authors?
What trends in contemporary cognitive linguistics does the presented classification

Lecture 3.The main trends of Cognitive Linguistics in works of foreign
To view the main approaches to Cognitive Linguistics in works of foreign
To trace the similarities and differences of foreign and native approaches.

The cognitive linguistics enterprise is characterized by two fundamental
commitments (Lakoff 1990). These underlie both the orientation and approach
adopted by practicing cognitive linguists, and the assumptions and methodologies
employed in the two main branches of the cognitive linguistics enterprise:
cognitive semantics, and cognitive approaches to grammar, discussed in further
detail in later sections.
The first key commitment is the Generalization Commitment (Lakoff 1990).
It represents a dedication to characterizing general principles that apply to all
aspects of human language. This goal is just a special subcase of the standard
commitment in science to seek the broadest generalizations possible. In contrast to
the cognitive linguistics approach, other approaches to the study of language often
separate the language faculty into distinct areas such as phonology (sound),
semantics (word and sentence meaning), pragmatics (meaning in discourse
context), morphology (word structure), syntax (sentence structure), and so on. As a
consequence, there is often little basis for generalization across these aspects of
language, or for study of their interrelations. This is particularly true of formal
Formal linguistics attempts to model language by positing explicit
mechanical devices or procedures operating on theoretical primitives in order to
produce all the possible grammatical sentences of a given language. Such
approaches typically attempt precise formulations by adopting formalisms inspired
by computer science, mathematics and logic. Formal linguistics is embodied most
notably by the work of Noam Chomsky and the paradigm of Generative Grammar,
as well as the tradition known as Formal Semantics, inspired by philosopher of
language Richard Montague.
Within formal linguistics it is usually argued that areas such as phonology,
semantics and syntax concern significantly different kinds of structuring principles
operating over different kinds of primitives. For instance, a syntax module is an
area in the mind concerned with structuring words into sentences, whereas a
phonology module is concerned with structuring sounds into patterns permitted
by the rules of any given language, and by human language in general. This
modular view of mind reinforces the idea that modern linguistics is justified in
separating the study of language into distinct sub-disciplines, not only on grounds
of practicality, but because the components of language are wholly distinct, and, in
terms of organization, incommensurable.
Cognitive linguists acknowledge that it may often be useful to treat areas
such as syntax, semantics and phonology as being notionally distinct. However,
given the Generalization Commitment, cognitive linguists do not start with the

assumption that the modules or subsystems of language are organized in
significantly divergent ways, or indeed that wholly distinct modules even exist.
Thus, the Generalization Commitment represents a commitment to openly
investigating how the various aspects of linguistic knowledge emerge from a
common set of human cognitive abilities upon which they draw, rather than
assuming that they are produced in encapsulated modules of the mind.
The Generalization Commitment has concrete consequences for studies of
language. First, cognitive linguistic studies focus on what is common among
aspects of language, seeking to re-use successful methods and explanations across
these aspects. For instance, just as word meaning displays prototype effects there
are better and worse examples of referents of given words, related in particular
ways so various studies have applied the same principles to the organization of
morphology (e.g., Taylor, 2003), syntax (e.g., Goldberg, 1995), and phonology
(e.g., Jaeger &Ohala, 1984). Generalizing successful explanations across domains
of language isn't just a good scientific practice it is also the way biology works;
reusing existing structures for new purposes, both on evolutionary and
developmental timescales. Second, cognitive linguistic approaches often take a
'vertical', rather than a 'horizontal' strategy to the study of language. Language can
be seen as composed of a set of distinct layers of organisation the sound
structure, the set of words composed by these sounds, the syntactic structures these
words are constitutive of, and so on. If we array these layers one on top of the next
as they unroll over time (like layers of a cake), then modular approaches are
horizontal, in the sense that they take one layer and study it internally just as a
horizontal slice of cake. Vertical approaches get a richer view of language by
taking a vertical slice of language, which includes phonology, morphology, syntax,
and of course a healthy dollop of semantics on top. A vertical slice of language is
necessarily more complex in some ways than a horizontal one it is more varied
and textured but at the same time it affords possible explanations that are simply
unavailable from a horizontal, modular perspective.
The second commitment is termed the Cognitive Commitment (Lakoff
1990). It represents a commitment to providing a characterization of the general
principles for language that accord with what is known about the mind and brain
from other disciplines. It is this commitment that makes cognitive linguistics
cognitive, and thus an approach which is fundamentally interdisciplinary in nature.
Just as the Generalization Commitment leads to the search for principles of
language structure that hold across all aspects of language, in a related manner, the
Cognitive Commitment represents the view that principles of linguistic structure
should reflect what is known about human cognition from the other cognitive and
brain sciences, particularly psychology, artificial intelligence, cognitive
neuroscience, and philosophy. In other words, the Cognitive Commitment asserts
that models of language and linguistic organization proposed should reflect what is
known about the human mind, rather than purely aesthetic dictates such as the use
of particular kinds of formalisms or economy of representation (see Croft 1998 for
discussion of this last point).
The Cognitive Commitment has a number of concrete ramifications. First,

linguistic theories cannot include structures or processes that violate known
properties of the human cognitive system. For instance, if sequential derivation of
syntactic structures violates time constraints provided by actual human language
processing, then it must be jettisoned. Second, models that use known, existing
properties of human cognition to explain language phenomena are more
parsimonious than those that are built from a priori simplicity metrics. For
example, quite a lot is known about human categorization, and a theory that
reduces word meaning to the same mechanisms responsible for categorization in
other cognitive domains is simpler than one that hypothesizes a separate system for
capturing lexical semantics. Finally, it is incumbent upon the cognitive linguistic
researcher to find convergent evidence for the cognitive reality of components of
any proffered model or explanation.
Having briefly set out the two key commitments of the cognitive linguistics
enterprise, we now briefly map out the two, hitherto, best developed areas of the
field. Cognitive linguistics practice can be roughly divided into two main areas o
research: cognitive semantics and cognitive (approaches to) grammar. The area of
study known as cognitive semantics is concerned with investigating the
relationship between experience, the conceptual system, and the semantic structure
encoded by language. In specific terms, scholars working in cognitive semantics
investigate knowledge representation (conceptual structure), and meaning
construction (conceptualization). Cognitive semanticists have employed language
as the lens through which these cognitive phenomena can be investigated.
Consequently, research in cognitive semantics tends to be interested in modelling
the human mind as much as it is concerned with investigating linguistic semantics.
A cognitive approach to grammar is concerned with modelling the language
system (the mental grammar), than the nature of mind per se. However, it does so
by taking as its starting points the conclusions of work in cognitive semantics. This
follows as meaning is central to cognitive approaches to grammar.4 It is critical to
note that although the study of cognitive semantics and cognitive approaches to
grammar are occasionally separate in practice, this by no means implies that their
domains of inquiry are anything but tightly linked most work in cognitive
linguistics finds it necessary to investigate both lexical semantics and grammatical
organization jointly.
As with research in cognitive semantics, cognitive approaches to grammar
have also typically adopted one of two foci. Scholars such as Ronald Langacker
have emphasized the study of the cognitive principles that give rise to linguistic
organization. In his theory of Cognitive Grammar, Langacker has attempted to
delineate the principles that structure a grammar, and to relate these to aspects of
general cognition.
The second avenue of investigation, pursued by researchers including
Fillmore and Kay, Lakoff),Goldberg and more recently Bergen and Chang (2005)
and Croft (2002), aims to provide a more descriptively and formally detailed
account of the linguistic units that comprise a particular language. These
researchers attempt to provide a broad-ranging inventory of the units of language,
from morphemes to words, idioms, and phrasal patterns, and seek accounts of their

structure, compositional possibilities, and relations. Researchers who have pursued
this line of investigation are developing a set of theories that are collectively
known as construction grammars. This general approach takes its name from the
view in cognitive linguistics that the basic unit of language is a form-meaning
pairing known as a symbolic assembly, or a construction.
Cognitive semantics, like the larger enterprise of which it is a part, is not a
unified framework. Those researchers who identify themselves as cognitive
semanticists typically have a diverse set of foci and interests. However, there are a
number of guiding principles that collectively characterize a cognitive approach to
semantics. In this section we identify these guiding principles (as we see them). In
section 5 we explore some of the major theories and research areas which have
emerged under the banner of cognitive semantics. The four guiding principles of
cognitive semantics are as follows:
i) Conceptual structure is embodied (the embodied cognition thesis)
ii) Semantic structure is conceptual structure
iii) Meaning representation is encyclopaedic
iv) Meaning construction is conceptualization
Conceptual structure is embodied
Due to the nature of our bodies, including our neuro-anatomical architecture,
we have a species-specific view of the world. In other words, our construal of
reality is mediated, in large measure, by the nature of our embodiment. One
example of the way in which embodiment affects the nature of experience is in the
realm of color. While the human visual system has three kinds of photoreceptors
(i.e., color channels), other organisms often have a different number. For instance,
the visual system of squirrels, rabbits and possibly cats, makes use of two color
channels, while other organisms, including goldfish and pigeons, have four color
channels. Having a different range of color channels affects our experience of color
in terms of the range of colors accessible to us along the color spectrum. Some
organisms can see in the infrared range, such as rattlesnakes, which hunt prey at
night and can visually detect the heat given off by other organisms. Humans are
unable to see in this range. The nature of our visual apparatus one aspect of our
embodiment determines the nature and range of our visual experience. The
nature of the relation between embodied cognition and linguistic meaning is
contentious. It is evident that embodiment underspecifies which color terms a
particular language will have, and whether the speakers of a given language will be
interested in color in the first place (Saunders, 1995; Wierzbicka, 1996).
However, the interest in understanding this relation is an important aspect of the
view in cognitive linguistics that the study of linguistic meaning construction
needs to be reintegrated with the contemporary study of human nature. The fact
that our experience is embodied that is, structured in part by the nature of the
bodies we have and by our neurological organization has consequences for
cognition. In other words, the concepts we have access to and the nature of the
reality we think and talk about are a function of our embodiment. We can only
talk about what we can perceive and conceive, and the things that we can perceive
and conceive derive from embodied experience. From this point of view, the

human mind must bear the imprint of embodied experience. This thesis, central to
cognitive semantics, is known as the thesis of embodied cognition. This position
holds that conceptual structure (the nature of human concepts) is a consequence of
the nature of our embodiment and thus is embodied.
Semantic structure is conceptual structure
The second guiding principle asserts that language refers to concepts in the
mind of the speaker rather than, directly, to entities which inhere in an objectively
real external world. In other words, semantic structure (the meanings
conventionally associated with words and other linguistic units) can be equated
with conceptual structure (i.e., concepts). This representational view is directly at
odds with the denotational perspective of what cognitive semanticists sometimes
refer to as objectivist semantics, as exemplified by some formal approaches to
semantics. However, the claim that semantic structure can be equated with
conceptual structure does not mean that the two are identical. Instead, cognitive
semanticists claim that the meanings associated with linguistic units such as words,
for example, form only a subset of possible concepts. After all, we have many
more thoughts, ideas and feelings than we can conventionally encode in language.
For example, as Langacker (1987) observes, we have a concept for the place on
our faces below our nose and above our mouth where moustaches go. We must
have a concept for this part of the face in order to understand that the hair that
grows there is called a moustache. However, there is no English word that
conventionally encodes this concept (at least not in the non-specialist vocabulary
of everyday language). It follows that the set of lexical concepts, the semantic units
conventionally associated with linguistic units such as words is only a subset of
the full set of concepts in the minds of speaker-hearers.
Meaning representation is encyclopedic
The third guiding principle holds that semantic structure is encyclopedic in
nature. This means that lexical concepts do not represent neatly packaged bundles
of meaning. Rather, they serve as points of access to vast repositories of
knowledge relating to a particular concept or conceptual domain (e.g., Langacker
1987). Of course, to claim that lexical concepts are points of access to
encyclopedic meaning is not to deny that words have conventional meanings
associated with them.
Meaning construction is conceptualization.
The fourth guiding principle is that language itself does not encode
meaning. Instead, as we have seen, words (and other linguistic units) are only
prompts for the construction of meaning. Accordingly, meaning is constructed at
the conceptual level. Meaning construction is equated with conceptualization, a
process whereby linguistic units serve as prompts for an array of conceptual
operations and the recruitment of background knowledge. Meaning is a process
rather than a discrete thing that can be packaged by language.
Problem questions: What has the main role in performing thinking activity
according to one of the approaches of 90s? Works of which scientists did influence
Cognitive Linguistics as a science? What contribution did Lakoff make for
cognitive science?

Topic 3.The main categories of cognitive linguistics
Lecture 1.Concept
Give the definition to the notion of concept
View the structure of the concept
1.1 The notion of the concept
Conceptsare the constituents of thoughts. Consequently, they are crucial to
such psychological processes as categorization, inference, memory, learning, and
decision-making. This much is relatively uncontroversial. But the nature of
conceptsthe kind of things concepts areand the constraints that govern a
theory of concepts have been the subject of much debate. This is due, at least in
part, to the fact that disputes about concepts often reflect deeply opposing
approaches to the study of the mind, to language, and even to philosophy itself.
oncepts are psychological entities, taking as its starting point the representational
theory of the mind (RTM). According to RTM, thinking occurs in an internal
system of representation. Beliefs and desires and other propositional attitudes enter
into mental processes as internal symbols. For example, Sue might believe that
Dave is taller than Cathy, and also believe that Cathy is taller than Ben, and
together these may cause Sue to believe that Dave is taller than Ben. Her beliefs
would be constituted by mental representations that are about Dave, Cathy and Ben
and their relative heights. What makes these beliefs, as opposed to desires or other
psychological states, is that the symbols have the characteristic causal-functional
role of beliefs. (RTM is usually presented as taking beliefs and other propositional
attitudes to be relations between an agent and a mental representation (e.g., Fodor
1987). But given that the relation in question is a matter of having a representation
with a particular type of functional role tokened in one's mind, it is simpler to say
that occurrent beliefs just are mental representations with a characteristic type of
functional role.)
Many advocates of RTM take the mental representations involved in beliefs
and other propositional attitudes to have internal structure. Accordingly, the
representations that figure in Sue's beliefs would be composed of more basic
representations. For theorists who adopt the mental representation view of
concepts, concepts are identified with these more basic representations.
Early advocates of RTM (e.g., Locke (1690/1975) and Hume (1739/1978)) called
these more basic representations ideas, and took them to be mental images. But
modern versions of RTM assume that much thought is not grounded in mental
images. The classic contemporary treatment maintains, instead, that the internal
system of representation has a language-like syntax and a compositional semantics.
According to this view, much of thought is grounded in word-like mental
representations. This view is often referred to as the language of thought
hypothesis (Fodor 1975).
Some philosophers maintain that possession of natural language is necessary
for having any concepts (Brandom 1994, Davidson 1975, Dummett 1993) and that
the tight connection between the two can be established on a priori grounds. In a
well known passage, Donald Davidson summarizes his position as follows:

We have the idea of belief only from the role of belief in the interpretation of
language, for as a private attitude it is not intelligible except as an adjustment to
the public norm provided by language. It follows that a creature must be a member
of a speech community if it is to have the concept of belief. And given the
dependence of other attitudes on belief, we can say more generally that only a
creature that can interpret speech can have the concept of a thought.
Can a creature have a belief if it does not have the concept of belief? It seems to
me it cannot, and for this reason. Someone cannot have a belief unless he
understands the possibility of being mistaken, and this requires grasping the
contrast between truth and errortrue belief and false belief. But this contrast, I
have argued, can emerge only in the context of interpretation, which alone forces
us to the idea of an objective, public truth.(Davidson 1975, p. 170).

The argument links having beliefs and concepts with having the concept of
belief. Since Davidson thinks that non-linguistic creatures can't have the concept of
belief, they can't have other concepts as well. Why the concept of belief is needed
to have other concepts is somewhat obscure in Davidson's writings (Carruthers
1992). And whether language is necessary for this particular concept is not
1.2 The structure of concepts
Just as thoughts are composed of more basic, word-sized concepts, so these
word-sized conceptsknown as lexical conceptsare generally thought to be
composed of even more basic concepts.
The classical theory
In one way or another, all theories regarding the structure of concepts are
developments of, or reactions to, the classical theory of concepts. According to the
classical theory, a lexical concept C has definitional structure in that it is composed
of simpler concepts that express necessary and sufficient conditions for falling
under C. The stock example is the concept BACHELOR, which is traditionally
said to have the constituents UNMARRIED and MAN. If the example is taken at
face value, the idea is that something falls under BACHELOR if it is an unmarried
man and only if it is an unmarried man. According to the classical theory, lexical
concepts generally will exhibit this same sort of definitional structure. This
includes such philosophically interesting concepts as TRUTH, GOODNESS,
Before turning to other theories of conceptual structure, it's worth pausing to
see what's so appealing about classical or definitional structure. Much of its appeal
comes from the way it offers unified treatments of concept acquisition,
categorization, and reference determination. In each case, the crucial work is being
done by the very same components. Concept acquisition can be understood as a
process in which new complex concepts are created by assembling their
definitional constituents. Categorization can be understood as a psychological
process in which a complex concept is matched to a target item by checking to see
if each and every one of its definitional constituents applies to the target. And

reference determination, we've already seen, is a matter of whether the definitional
constituents do apply to the target.
The classical theory has come under considerable pressure in the last thirty
years or so, not just in philosophy but in psychology and other fields as well. For
psychologists, the main problem has been that the classical theory has difficulty
explaining a robust set of empirical findings. At the center of this work is the
discovery that certain categories are taken to be more representative or typical and
that typicality scores correlate with a wide variety of psychological data (for
reviews, see Smith &Medin 1981, Murphy 2002). For instance, apples are judged
to be more typical than plums with respect to the category of fruit, and
correspondingly apples are judged to have more features in common with fruit.
There are many other findings of this kind. One other is that more typical items are
categorized more efficiently. For example, subjects are quicker to judge that apples
are a kind of fruit than to judge that plums are.
What other type of structure could they have? A non-classical alternative
that emerged in the 1970s is the prototype theory. According to this theory, a
lexical concept C doesn't have definitional structure but has probabilistic structure
in that something falls under C just in case it satisfies a sufficient number of
properties encoded by C's constituents. The prototype theory has its philosophical
roots in Wittgenstein's (1953/1958) famous remark that the things covered by a
term often share a family resemblance, and it has its psychological roots in Eleanor
Rosch's experimental treatment of much the same idea (Rosch&Mervis 1975,
Rosch 1978). The prototype theory is especially at home in dealing with the
typicality effects that were left unexplained by the classical theory. One standard
strategy is to maintain that, on the prototype theory, categorization is to be
understood as a similarity comparison process, where similarity is computed as a
function of the number of constituents that two concepts hold in common. On this
model, the reason apples are judged to be more typical than plums is that the
concept APPLE shares more of its constituents with FRUIT. Likewise, this is why
apples are judged to be a kind of fruit faster than plums are.
The prototype theory does well in accounting for a variety of psychological
phenomena and it helps to explain why definitions may be so hard to produce. But
the prototype theory has its own problems and limitations. One is that its treatment
of categorization works best for quick and unreflective judgments. Yet when it
comes to more reflective judgments, people go beyond the outcome of a similarity
comparison. If asked whether a dog that is surgically altered to look like a raccoon
is a dog or a raccoon, the answer for most of us, and even for children, is that it is
remains a dog (see Keil 1989, Gelman 2003 for discussion). Another criticism that
has been raised against taking concepts to have prototype structure concerns
compositionality. When a patently complex concept has a prototype structure, it
often has emergent properties, ones that don't derive from the prototypes of its
constituents (e.g., PET FISH encodes properties such as brightly colored, which
have no basis in the prototype structure for either PET or FISH). Further, many
patently complex concepts don't even have a prototype structure (e.g., CHAIRS

Fodor 1998; for responses to the arguments from compositionality, see Prinz 2002,
Robbins 2002, Hampton &Jnsson 2011).
One general solution that addresses all of these problems is to hold that a
prototype constitutes just part of the structure of a concept. In addition, concepts
have conceptual cores, which specify the information relevant to more considered
judgments and which underwrite compositional processes. Of course, this just
raises the question of what sort of structure conceptual cores have.
The theory theory
Another and currently more popular suggestion is that cores are best
understood in terms of the theory theory of concepts. This is the view that
concepts stand in relation to one another in the same way as the terms of a
scientific theory and that categorization is a process that strongly resembles
scientific theorizing (see, e.g., Carey 1985, 2009, Gopnik&Meltzoff 1997, Keil
1989). It's generally assumed, as well, that the terms of a scientific theory are
interdefined so that a theoretical term's content is determined by its unique role in
the theory in which it occurs.
The theory theory is especially well-suited to explaining the sorts of
reflective categorization judgments that proved to be difficult for the prototype
theory. For example, theory theorists maintain that children override perceptual
similarity in assessing the situation where the dog is made to look like a raccoon,
claiming that even children are in possession of a rudimentary biological theory.
This theory, an early form of folk biology, tells them that being a dog isn't just a
matter of looking like a dog. More important is having the appropriate hidden
properties of dogsthe dog essence (see Atran&Medin 2008 on folkbiology).
Another advantage of the theory theory is that is supposed to help to explain
important aspects of conceptual development. Conceptual change in childhood is
said to follow the same pattern as theory change in science.
One problem that has been raised against the theory theory is that it has
difficulty in allowing for different people to possess the same concepts (or even for
the same person to have the same concept over time). The reason is that the theory
theory is holistic. A concept's content is determined by its role in a theory, not by
its being composed of just a handful of constituents. Since beliefs that enter
people's mental theories are likely to be different from one another (and are likely
to change), there may be no principled basis for comparison (Fodor &Lepore
1992). Another problem with the theory theory concerns the analogy to theory
change in science. The analogy suggests that children undergo radical conceptual
reorganization in development, but many of the central case studies have proved to
be controversial on empirical grounds, with evidence that the relevant concepts are
implicated in core knowledge systems that are enriched in development but not
fundamentally altered (see Spelke 1994 on core knowledge).
Conceptual atomism
A radical alternative to all of the theories we've mentioned so far is
conceptual atomism, the view that lexical concepts have no semantic structure
(Fodor 1998, Millikan 2000). According to conceptual atomism, the content of a

concept isn't determined by its relation to other concepts but by its relation to the
Conceptual atomism follows in the anti-descriptivist tradition that traces
back to Saul Kripke, Hilary Putnam, and others working in the philosophy of
language (see Kripke 1972/80, Putnam 1975, Devitt 1981). Kripke, for example,
argues that proper names function like mere tags in that they have no descriptive
content (Kripke 1972/80). On a description theory one might suppose that Gdel
means something like the discoverer of the incompleteness of arithmetic. But
Kripke points out we could discover that Schmitt really discovered the
incompleteness of arithmetic and that Gdel could have killed Schmitt and passed
the work off as his own. The point is that if the description theory were correct, we
would be referring to Schmitt when we say Gdel. But intuitively that's not the
case at all. In the imagined scenario, the sentence Gdel discovered the
incompleteness of arithmetic is saying something false about Gdel, not
something trivially true about the discoverer of the incompleteness of arithmetic,
whoever that might be (though see Machery et al. 2004 on whether this intuition is
universal).Kripke's alternative account of names is that they achieve their reference
by standing in a causal relation to their referents. Conceptual atomism employs a
similar strategy while extending the model to all sorts of concepts, not just ones for
proper names.
At present, the nature of conceptual structure remains unsettled. Perhaps part
of the problem is that more attention needs to be given to the question of what
explanatory work conceptual structure is supposed to do and the possibility that
there are different types of structure associated with different explanatory
functions. We've seen that conceptual structure is invoked to explain, among other
things, typicality effects, reflective categorization, cognitive development,
reference determination, and compositionality. But there is no reason to assume
that a single type of structure can explain all of these things. As a result, there is no
reason why philosophers shouldn't maintain that concepts have different types of
structure. For example, notice that atomism is largely motivated by anti-
descriptivism. In effect, the atomist maintains that considerable psychological
variability is consistent with concepts entering into the same mind-world causal
relations, and that it's the latter that determines a concept's reference. But just
because the mechanisms of reference determination permit considerable
psychological variability doesn't mean that there aren't, in fact, significant patterns
for psychologists to uncover. On the contrary, the evidence for typicality effects is
impressive by any measure. For this reason, it isn't unreasonable to claim that
concepts do have prototype structure even if that structure has nothing to do with
the determination of a concept's referent. Similar considerations suggest that
concepts may have theory-structure and perhaps other types of structure as well.
One way of responding to the plurality of conceptual structures is to suppose that
concepts have multiple types of structure. This is the central idea behind
conceptual pluralism. According to one version of conceptual pluralism, suggested
by Laurence & Margolis (1999), a given concept will have a variety of different
types of structure associated with it as components of the concept in question. For

example, concepts may have atomic cores that are linked to prototypes,
internalized theories, and so on. On this approach, the different types of structure
that are components of a given concept play different explanatory roles. Reference
determination and compositionality have more to do with the atomic cores
themselves and how they are causally related to things outside of the mind, while
rapid categorization and certain inferences depend on prototype structure, and
more considered inferences and reasoning depend upon theory structure. Many
variants on this general proposal are possible, but the basic idea is that, while
concepts have a plurality of different types of structure with different explanatory
roles, this differing structure remains unified through the links to an atomic
representation that provides a concept's reference. One challenge for this type of
account is to delineate which of the cognitive resources thich are associated with a
concept should be counted as part of its structure and which should not. As a
general framework, the account is neutral regarding this question, but as the
framework is filled in, clarification will be needed regarding the status of potential
types of structure.
Problemquestions:Do the concepts and their components differ in various
languages? Why?
Arethereanyuniversalconceptswhichareappropriatetomostlanguages of the world?

Lecture 2. Sphere of concepts (Conceptual system of a language)
Give the definition to the sphere of concepts
Consider the relation between a concept and the sphere of concepts
Study how is the sphere of concepts organized
The human conceptual system is not open to direct investigation.
Nevertheless, cognitive linguists maintain that the properties of language allow us
to reconstruct the properties of the conceptual system, and to build a model of that
system. The logic of this claim is as follows. As language structure and
organization, as revealed in the previous section, reflect various known aspects of
cognitive structure, by studying language, which is observable, we thereby gain
insight into the nature of the conceptual system. The sub-branch of cognitive
linguistics concerned with employing language as a lens, in order to study
otherwise hidden aspects of conceptual structure, is often referred to as cognitive
One of the earliest, and perhaps best-known, cognitive semantic theories is
conceptual metaphor theory, developed by Lakoff and Johnson (1980, 1999). The
central insight of this approach is that figurative patterns in language reflect
underlying, highly stable associations, known as mappings, which hold between
domains in the conceptual system. Sets of mappings holding between two distinct
conceptual domains are referred to as conceptual metaphors, which is what gives
the theory its name. For instance, one particularly common way in which we talk
and think about a love relationship is in terms of journeys. To illustrate, consider
thefollowing everyday expressions, drawn from Lakoff and Johnson (1980), which
we might use to describe aspects of a love relationship:
a. Look how far weve come.
b. Were at a crossroads.
c. Well just have to go our separate ways.
d. We cant turn back now.
e. I dont think this relationship is going anywhere.
f. This relationship is a dead-end street.
g. Our marriage is on the rocks.
h. This relationship is foundering.
According to Lakoff and Johnson, utterances such as these are motivated by
an entrenched pattern in our conceptual system: A conceptual metaphor. The
conceptual metaphor can be stated as Love as a Journey. This conceptual metaphor
is made up of a fixed set of established mappings which structure concepts that are
located in the more abstract domain of love, in terms of concepts belonging to the
more concrete domain of journey. For instance, in the domain of love we have
concepts for lovers, the love relationship, events that take place in the love
relationship, difficulties that take place in the relationship, progress we make in
resolving these difficulties, and in developing the relationship, choices about what
to do in the relationship, such as moving in together, whether to split up, and so on,
and the shared and separate goals we might have for ourselves in the relationship,
and for the relationship itself. Similarly, we represent a range of concepts relating

to the domain of journeys. These include conceptsfor the travellers, the vehicle
used for the journey, plane, train, or automobile, the distance covered, obstacles
encountered, such as traffic jams, that lead to delays and hence impediments to the
progress of the journey, our decisions about the direction and the route to be taken,
and our knowledge about destinations.
The conceptual metaphor, Love is a Journey, provides a means of
systematically mapping these knowledge slots from the domain of journeyonto
corresponding slots in the domain of love. This means that slots in the love domain
are structured in terms of knowledge from the domain of journey. For instance, the
lovers in the domain of love are structured in terms of travellers such that we
understand lovers in terms of travellers.
Similarly, the love relationship itself is structured in terms of the vehicle
used on the journey. For this reason we can talk about marriage foundering, being
on the rocks, or stuck in a rut and understand expressions such as these as relating,
not literally to a journey, but rather to two people in a long-term love relationship
that is troubled in some way. In other words, we must have knowledge of the sort
specified by the conceptual metaphor stored in our heads if we are to be able to
understand these English expressions: to understand lovers in terms of travellers,
and the relationship interms of the vehicles, and so on. The linguistic expressions
provide compelling evidence for the conceptual metaphors. The mappings
implicated by the linguistic evidence are given in Table.
In essence, the claim at the heart of conceptual metaphor theory is that the
mappings, which lie at the level of conceptual structure, are revealed by evidence
from language, as exemplified by the sentences in forinstance. Language can thus
be employed as a key methodological tool for revealing conceptual patterns that
underlie language use.
Philosophers, psychologists and computer scientists have proposed that
semantic knowledge is best understood as a system of relations. Two questions
immediately arise: how can these systems be represented, and how are these
representations acquired?The possible answer can be found in the domain theory.
Suppose that a domain includes several types, or sets of entities. One role of
a domain theory is to specify the kinds of entities that exist in each set, and the
possible or likely relationships between those kinds. Consider the domain of
medicine, and a single type defined as the set of terms that might appear on a
medical chart. A theory of this domain might specify that cancer and diabetes are
both disorders, asbestos and arsenic are both chemicals, and that chemicals can
cause disorders. This model assumesthat each entity belongs to exactly one kind,
or cluster, and simultaneously discovers the clusters and the relationships between
clusters that are best supported by the data. A key feature of our approach is that it
does not require the number of clusters to be fixed in advance. The number of
clusters used by a theory should be able to grow as more and more data are
encountered, but a theory-learner should introduce no more clusters than are
necessary to explain the data. This approach automatically chooses an appropriate
numberof clusters using a prior that favors small numbers of clusters, but has
access to a countably infinite collection of clusters. Previous infinite models

(Rasmussen 2002;Antoniak 1974) have focused on feature data, and the IRM
extends these approaches to work with arbitrary systems of relational data.
The concepts that govern our thought are not just matters of the intellect.
They also govern our everyday functioning, down to the most mundane details.
Our concepts structure what we perceive, how we get around in the world, and
how we relate to other people. Our conceptual system thus plays a central role in
defining our everyday realities. If we are right in suggesting that our conceptual
system is largely metaphorical, then the way we think, what we experience, and
what we do every day is very much a matter of metaphor.
But our conceptual system is not something we are normally aware of. In
most of the little things we do every day, we simply think and act more or less
automatically along certain lines. Just what these lines are is by no means obvious.
One way to find out is by looking at language. Since communication is based on
the same conceptual system that we use in thinking and acting, language is an
important source of evidence for what that system is like.
Lakoff and Johnson have found a way to begin to identify in detail just what
the metaphors are that structure how we perceive, how we think, and what we do.
Sphere of concepts is a structured knowledge, an information base of mental
images, consisting of universal object code units. The semantic language space as a
part of the sphere of concepts is verbalized in the system of linguistic signs: words,
phrase combinations, syntactic structures, frames. It is formed by the linguistic
units meanings. A concept conceived as a unit of the sphere of concepts reflects
peculiarities of thinking, worldview and culture of people. Any person can be a
concepts bearer, as he or she has its own cultural experience and cultural identity.
Thus, individual verbal activity is determined by the language sphere of
concepts and national sphere of concepts.
Constructs such as frames, Idealized Cognitive Models (ICMs), and domains
have been central to various methods of analysis in Cognitive Linguistics. Each of
them provides a way of characterizing the structured encyclopedic knowledge
which is inextricably connected with linguistic knowledgethat assertion being an
important tenet in much of the cognitive linguistic research. Frames, ICMs, and
domains all derive from an approach to language as a system of communication
that reflects the world as it is construed by humans, rather than as it might be
represented from some gods-eye point of view.
Charles J. Fillmorebegan using the term solely on the level of linguistic
description, and later, he and others extended its use to include characterization of
knowledge structures, thus linking the analysis of language to the study of
cognitive phenomena.
In his papers Frame semantics and A private history of the concept
Frame, Fillmore reveals the influences which led to his formulation and
development of the notion.
In the 1950s, he was exploring the principles behind the co-occurrence of
strings of words, influenced by Fries, and later by Pikes work on tagmemic
formulas. Fillmores early work on transformational syntax led him into
researching the distributional properties of individual verbs. This research involved

looking at the substitutability of words, within what could be called syntactic
frames, while preserving the meaning of the utterance. But soon the use of
frame extended from syntax to semantics. Fillmore reflects that by the late
1960s, I began to believe that certain kinds of groupings of verbs and
classifications of clause types could be stated more meaningfully if the structures
with which verbs were initially associated were described in terms of the semantic
roles of their associated arguments. He explains: I use the word frame for any
system of linguistic choicesthe easiest cases being collections of words, but also
including choices of grammatical rules or linguistic categoriesthat can get
associated with prototypical instances of scenes. Though frames are talked about
from a linguistic viewpoint, it is noteworthy that they are not presented as an
independent approach to linguistic analysis, but rather as one part of a paradigm,
integrally linked to the idea of scenes.Influenced by work in the 1970s on
pragmatics and speech acts, Fillmore also claimed that we not only employ
cognitive frames to produce and understand language, but also to conceptualize
what is going on between the speaker and addressee, or writer and reader. This
introduced the idea of framing on another level, in terms of interactional
frames. Such interactional frames provide a tool for talking about the background
knowledge and expectations one brings to bear for the production, and
interpretation, of oral or written discourse, particularly in relation to accepted genre
types. Knowing that a text is a business contract, a folktale, or marriage proposal,
one employs specific structures of expectations which help lead to a full
interpretation of the meaning, and also help one know when the text is ending, and
how to respond, if that is appropriate. The notion of Idealized Cognitive Models
was preceded by a theoretical exploration of the application of Gestalts in
linguistics, namely in a new approach dubbed experiential linguistics. The basic
claim of experiential linguistics, as Lakoff proposes, is that a wide variety of
experiential factorsperception, reasoning, the nature of the body, the emotions,
memory, social structure, sensorimotor and cognitive development, etc.
determine in large measure, if not totally, universal structural characteristics of
The following are some of the many properties which Lakoffascribes to
o Gestalts are structures that are used in cognitive processing;
o Gestalts are wholes whose component parts take on additional significance
by virtue of being within those wholes;
o Gestalts have internal relations among parts, which may be of different
o Gestalts may have external relations to other Gestalts;
o there may be partial mappings of one Gestalt onto another, or embedding
of one within another;
o a Gestalt analysis need not necessarily make claims about the ultimate parts
into which something can be decomposed, since such analysis would be
o guided by cognitive purposes and viewpoints, and thus different analyses
may be possible; but

o Gestalts must distinguish prototypical from nonprototypical properties; and
o Gestalts are often cross-modal.
Instantiations of Gestalts in language may involve a number of types of
properties, such as grammatical, pragmatic, semantic, and/or phonological ones.
This notion of Gestalts provided the underpinnings for the development of
Idealized Cognitive Models (ICMs) in Cognitive Linguistics. The first detailed
explication of ICMs appeared in Lakoff, as part of a synthesis of existing research
on categorization within the various branches of cognitive science. ICMs are
proposed as a way in which we organize knowledge, not as a direct reflection of an
objective state of affairs in the world, but according to certain cognitive structuring
principles. The models are idealized, in that they involve an abstraction, through
perceptual and conceptual processes, from the complexities of the physical world.
At the same time, these processes impart organizing structurefor example,
in the form of conceptual categories.They provide an advantageous means of
processing information becausethey are adapted to human neurobiology, human
embodied experience, human actions and goals, and human social interaction.
Johnson characterizes an image schema as a recurring, dynamic pattern of our
perceptual interactions and motor programs that gives coherence and structure to
our experience.
Problemquestions: How are a sphere of concepts and a national mentality
related? Can one of these phenomena take part in forming the other? In what way?
What triggers an appearance of cultural stereotypes? Can they be a reliable source
of information about the mentality of people of different nationalities?

Lecture 3.The World-view

Give the definition to world view
Definethetypesofworld-viewandstudythe correlation between them

One of the biggest problems of present society is the effect of overall change
and acceleration on human psychology. Neither individual minds nor collective
culture seem able to cope with the unpredictable change and growing complexity.
Stress, uncertainty and frustration increase, minds are overloaded with information,
knowledge fragments, values erode, and negative developments are consistently
overemphasized, while positive ones are ignored. The resulting climate is one of
nihilism, anxiety and despair. While the wisdom gathered in the past has lost much
of its validity, we don't have a clear vision of the future either. As a result, there
does not seem to be anything left to guide our actions.
What we need is a framework that ties everything together, that allows us to
understand society, the world, and our place in it, and that could help us to make
the critical decisions which will shape our future. It would synthesize the wisdom
gathered in the different scientific disciplines, philosophies and religions. Rather
than focusing on small sections of reality, it would provide us with a picture of the
whole. In particular, it would help us to understand, and therefore cope with,
complexity and change. Such a conceptual framework may be called a "world
The world-view is by no means all the views and notions of the surrounding
world, that is to say, it is not simply a picture of the world taken in its integral
form. Not a single specific science can be identified with a world-view, although
each science does contain a world-view principle. For example, Darwin discovered
the laws of the origin of species. This caused a revolution in biology and evoked
universal interest. Did these laws evoke such interest because they were merely
biological laws? Of course, not. They awakened such interest because they helped
us to understand various philosophical questions, the question of purpose in living
nature, the origin of man, and so on. The name of Einstein was made immortal by
his discovery. But was this discovery purely physical, a solution to some particular
scientific problem? No, Einstein's theory provided a key to the philosophical
problem of the essence of space and time, their unity with matter. Why did the
ideas of Sechenov on cerebral reflexes create such a furore among intellectuals?
Not because they were merely physiological ideas, but because they solved certain
philosophical problems of the relationship between consciousness and the brain.
We know what a broad impact the principles of cybernetics have had. But
cybernetics is not just a specific scientific theory. Cybernetics, and also genetics,
raise profound philosophical problems.
The world-view contains something more than scientific information. It is a
crucial regulative principle of all the vital relationships between man and social
groups in their historical development. With its roots in the whole system of the
individual and society's spiritual needs and interests, determined by human
practice, by all man's accumulated experience, the world-view in its turn exerts a
tremendous influence on the life of society and the individual.

The world-view is usually compared with ideology and these two concepts
are sometimes treated as synonyms. But they intersect rather than coincide.
Ideology embraces that part of the world-view that is oriented on social, class
relationships, on the interests of certain social groups and, above all, on the
phenomena of political power. The world-view, on the other hand, is oriented on
the world as a whole, on the "man-universe" system.
The world-view may exist on the ordinary, everyday level generated by the
empirical conditions of life and experience handed down from generation to
generation. It may also be scientific, integrating the achievements of modem
science concerning nature, society and humanity itself.
The world-view is not only the content, but also the mode of thinking about reality,
and also the principles of life itself. An important component of the world-view is
the ideals, the cherished and decisive aims of life. The character of a person's
notion of the world, his world-view, facilitates the posing of certain goals which,
when generalized, form a broad plan of life, ideals, notions of wellbeing, good and
evil, beauty, and progress, which give the world-view tremendous power to inspire
action. Knowledge becomes a world-view when it acquires the character of
conviction, of complete and unshakable confidence in the rightness of certain
ideas, views, principles, ideals, which take command of a person's soul,
subordinate his actions, and rule his conscience or, in other words, form bonds that
cannot be escaped without betraying oneself, set free "demons" that a person can
conquer only by submitting to them and acting in accordance with their
overwhelming power. The world-view influences standards of behavior, a person's
attitude to his work, to other people, the character of his aspirations in life, his
everyday existence, tastes and interests. It is a kind of spiritual prism through
which everything around us is perceived, felt and transformed.
As most people would agree, it is ideological conviction, that is to say, a
certain view of the world, that enables a person at a moment of mortal danger to
overcome the instinct of self-preservation, to sacrifice his own life, to perform
feats of daring in the name of freedom from oppression, in the name of scientific,
moral, socio-political and other principles and ideals. The world-view does not
exist by itself, apart from specific historical individuals, social groups, classes and
parties. In one way or another, by reflecting certain phenomena of reality it
expresses their value orientations, their relationship to events of social life.
Philosophy, too, as the theoretical nucleus of the world-view, basically defends the
interests of certain social groups and thus has a class and, in this sense, a party
character. Depending on whether the socio-political interests of a given class
coincide with the objective trend of history, its philosophical positions are either
progressive or reactionary. They may be optimistic or pessimistic, religious or
atheistic, idealist or materialist, humane or misanthropic. The whole history of
philosophical thought is, in fact, a struggle between various world-views, a
struggle which has often raged so fiercely that people preferred to be burnt at the
stake, thrown into prison or condemned to penal servitude rather than betray their
chosen cause.

So, a comprehensive world view (or worldview) is the fundamental
cognitive orientation of an individual or society encompassing the entirety of the
individual or society's knowledge and point-of-view, including natural philosophy;
fundamental, existential, and normative postulates; or themes, values, emotions,
and ethics. The term is a calque of the German word Weltanschauung, composed
of Welt ('world') and Anschauung ('view' or 'outlook'). It is a concept fundamental
to German philosophy and epistemology and refers to a wide world perception.
Additionally, it refers to the framework of ideas and beliefs through which an
individual, group or culture interprets the world and interacts with it.
A worldview is a network of presuppositions which is not verified by the
procedures of natural science but in terms of which every aspect of mans
knowledge and experience is interpreted and interrelated.
One of the most important concepts in cognitive philosophy and cognitive
sciences is the German concept of Weltanschauung. This expression has often been
used to refer to the "wide worldview" or "wide world perception" of a people,
family, or person. The Weltanschauung of a people originates from the unique
world experience of a people, which they experience over several millennia. The
language of a people reflects the Weltanschauung of that people in the form of its
syntactic structures and untranslatable connotations and its denotations.
The term 'Weltanschauung' is often wrongly attributed to Wilhelm von
Humboldt the founder of German ethnolinguistics. As Jrgen Trabant points out,
however, and as Underhll reminds us in his 'Humboldt, Worldview and Language'
(2009), Humboldt's key concept was 'Weltansicht'. 'Weltanschauung', used first by
Kant and later popularized by Hegel, was always used in German and later used in
English to refer more to philosophies, ideologies and cultural or religious
perspectives, than to linguistic communities and their mode of apprehending
reality. 'Weltansicht' was used by Humboldt to refer to the overarching conceptual
and censorial apprehension of reality shared by a linguistic community (Nation).
But Humboldt maintained that the speaking human being was the core of language.
Speech maintains worldviews. Worldviews are not prisons which contain
and constrain us, they are the spaces we develop within, create and resist creatively
in speaking together.
Worldview can be expressed as the fundamental cognitive, affective, and
evaluative presuppositions a group of people make about the nature of things, and
which they use to order their lives.
If it were possible to draw a map of the world on the basis of
Weltanschauung, it would probably be seen to cross political borders
Weltanschauung is the product of political borders and common experiences of a
people from a geographical region, environmental-climatic conditions, the
economic resources available, socio-cultural systems, and the language family.
Regardless of whether thought strongly shapes language and culture or vice
versa, the worldview map of the world would likely be closely related to the
linguistic map of the world. Similarly, it would probably almost coincide with a
map of the world drawn on the basis of music across people.

The construction of integrating worldviews begins from fragments of
worldviews offered to us by the different scientific disciplines and the various
systems of knowledge. It is contributed to by different perspectives that exist in the
world's different cultures. This is the main topic of research at the Center Leo
Apostel for Interdisciplinary Studies.
While Apostel and his followers clearly hold that individuals can construct
worldviews, other writers regard worldviews as operating at a community level,
and/or in an unconscious way. For instance, if one's worldview is fixed by one's
language, as according to a strong version of the SapirWhorf hypothesis, one
would have to learn or invent a new language in order to construct a new
According to Apostel, a worldview is an ontology, or a descriptive model of
the world. It should comprise the following elements:
A model of the world
It should allow us to understand how the world functions and how it is
structured. "World" here means the totality, everything that exists around us,
including the physical universe, the Earth, life, mind, society and culture. We
ourselves are an important part of that world. Therefore, a world view should also
answer the basic question: "Who are we?"
The second component is supposed to explain the first one. It should answer the
questions: "Why is the world the way it is? Where does it all come from? Where
do we come from?" This is perhaps the most important part of a world view. If we
can explain how and why a particular phenomenon (say life or mind) has arisen,
we will be able to better understand how that phenomenon functions. It will also
help us to understand how that phenomenon will continue to evolve.
This extrapolation of past evolution into the future defines a third component of
a world view: futurology. It should answer the question "Where are we going to?"
It should give us a list of possibilities, of more or less probable future
developments. But this will confront us with a choice: which of the different
alternatives should we promote and which should we avoid?
This is the more fundamental issue of value: "What is good and what is evil?"
The theory of values defines the fourth component of a world view. It includes
morality or ethics, the system of rules which tells us how we should or should not
behave. It also gives us a sense of purpose, a direction or set of goals to guide our
actions. Together with the answer to the question "why?" the answer to the
question "what for?", may help us to understand the real meaning of life.
Knowing what to strive for does not yet mean knowing how to get there, though.
The next component must be a theory of action (praxiology). It would answer the
question "How should we act?" It would help us to solve practical problems and to
implement plans of action.

Plans are based on knowledge and information, on theories and models
describing the phenomena we encounter. Therefore, we need to understand how we
can construct reliable models. This is the component of knowledge acquisition. It
is equivalent to what in philosophy is called "epistemology" or "the theory of
knowledge". It should allow us to distinguish better theories from worse theories. It
should answer the traditional philosophical question "What is true and what is
Building Blocks
The final point on the agenda of a world view builder is not meant to answer any
fundamental question. It just reminds us that world views cannot be developed
from scratch. You need building blocks to start with. These building blocks can be
found in existing theories, models, concepts, guidelines and values, scattered over
the different disciplines and ideologies. This defines the seventh component:
fragments of world views as a starting point.
A worldview describes a consistent (to a varying degree) and integral sense
of existence and provides a framework for generating, sustaining, and applying
The true founder of the idea that language and worldview are inextricable is
the Prussian philologist, Wilhelm von Humboldt (17671835). Humboldt remains,
however, little known in English-speaking countries, despite the works of Brown,
Manchester and Underhill. Humboldt argued that language was part of the creative
adventure of mankind. Culture, language and linguistic communities developed
simultaneously, he argued, and could not do so without one another. In stark
contrast to linguistic determinism, which invites us to consider language as a
constraint, a framework or a prison house, Humboldt maintained that speech is
inherently and implicitly creative. Human beings take their place in speech and
continue to modify language and thought by their creative exchanges. Worldview
remains a confused and confusing concept in English, used very differently by
linguists and sociologists. It is for this reason that Underhill suggests five
subcategories: world-perceiving, world-conceiving, cultural mindset, personal
world, and perspective.
Though the work of Humboldt offers a deep insight into the relationship
between thinking and speaking, and though Edward Sapir gives a very subtle
account of this relationship in English. English linguists tend to persist in attaching
discussion of worldviews to the work of Whorf. And this trend has not changed
with cognitive linguistics.
The linguistic relativity hypothesis of Benjamin Lee Whorf describes how
the syntactic-semantic structure of a language becomes an underlying structure for
the Weltanschauung of a people through the organization of the causal perception
of the world and the linguistic categorization of entities. As linguistic
categorization emerges as a representation of worldview and causality, it further
modifies social perception and thereby leads to a continual interaction between
language and perception.
The hypothesis was well received in the late 1940s, but declined in
prominence after a decade. In the 1990s, new research gave further support for the

linguistic relativity theory, in the works of Stephen Levinson and his team at the
Max Planck institute for psycholinguistics at Nijmegen, Netherlands. The theory
has also gained attention through the work of LeraBoroditsky at Stanford
Problem questions:Can you give the examples of lexical items which
reflect the view of the particular culture representatives on the existing reality?
What can these items tell about the features of the world which these people

Topic 4: Thedevelopmentoflinguistic concept study as anthropocentric
conceptualization of reality in pragma-functional realization of a concept.
Lecture 1:The development of linguistic concept study

To look at the main backgrounds of linguistic concept study development
To trace the differences in understanding of concepts, in methods and
devices of their investigation
To give the examples of conceptual opposition

Language is often central to the ideas that are put forward in theories about
education. We can see this in a number of so-called socio-cultural theories about
learning and conceptual change, where language often plays a foundational role for
the theory as a whole. Another reason for considering language together with ideas
of learning is that there are several different concepts of language that could be
used in such discussions. In socio-cultural theories about language one also often
claim to have another concept of language than mentalist theories have. It seems
moreover that many problems in those investigations are based upon the concept of
language used. Many socio-cultural theories unintentionally do have the same
basic conception about language as mentalist ones, and that they both do also often
share the same presuppositions about what language is.
The most common view about language in general is an idea that we will
here call a linguistic or grammatical view. It is a view that is based upon language
as a lexicon and a grammar. Language is then a set of words and grammar
regulates how these words can be meaningfully combined and altered. This is the
view that is used in ordinary school grammar that most people are familiar with
since their youth.
This view of language is also usual in philosophy of language and in several
theories in linguistics such as Chomskys generative grammar. Language is here
supposed to consist of words, and rules for the use of these words. Some words are
classified as nouns others as verbs, etc. There are then rules for these words about
how they are allowed to be combined into meaningful sentences etc. The grammar
has then the function of being the rules that regulates the use of words and gives
language a structure. Language is thus a system of expressions.
The idea of language as a system of expressions is common to most
mentalist theories of language. In Chomskys theories language is supposed to be
build up by simple units such as verb phrases and noun phrases etc. There are
moreover transformation rules that regulate how these units are allowed to be
combined. We have then a grammar in the mind that is a system that specifies the
phonetic, syntactic and semantic properties of an infinite class of potential
sentences (Chomsky, 1980, p. 35). Language is thus regulated by rules to form a
We can say the same about language and rules in for example Piagets theories.
But what kind of claim do a theory have regarding the question of explaining
understanding. Is the theory supposed to explain how understanding works or is it
a theory that is restricted to give a method that can be used in teaching? Let us look
at an example from James Wertsch (Wertsch, 1998).
Wertsch discusses some ideas from K. Burke (Burke, 1969). Wertsch is interested
in using Burkes ideas about a so-called pentad together with his own ideas of
mediated tools. A pentad consists of five elements that are to be used in an

investigation of analyzing the understanding of an agents action and motives. The
elements are: Act, Scene, Agent, Agency, and Purpose. Wertsch explains them as
roughly being the same as the questions What? Where? Who? How? and Why?.
He also says that they are what school children are taught to answer in essays and
what journalists use in writing an article.
One question one now could ask about the pentad is if it is supposed to give
an explanation of the problem of how human understanding works, or is it just a
method that can be used to analyze what motive an agent has with an action. I
guess that Wertsch would say that the theory is supposed to give an explanation of
what understanding is. Nonetheless, if the pentad consists of the ultimate
components that constitute understanding of motives, these components ought to
be in a way non-analyzable or at least the primary ingredients in understanding.
They ought to explain what a motive as such is, as contrary to an answer to the
question of what the motive for an action was.
If we however take a closer look at, for example, the category Act, which
issupposed to equal the What-question, we must say that this cant be something
that is primary to what is to be explained. The act or what-has-happened-question
is an extremely complex question.
The question already presupposes that we know how to describe and
understand the world and can therefore be used as a tool when reporting
something. But it cant answer the question of what it is that makes up what
understanding is. The what-question can therefore be used by journalists since they
are not researchers, but it want work in an explanation of how we understand
motives since it presupposes most of what we would like to explain. The pentad
can thus be used as a tool to structure the parts involved in a description of the
motive that someone had for acting in a certain way. We can from this analysis
know what the motive was, but we wont know what it is that makes it possible for
us to understand the motive. So if Wertsch has the ambition to answer that question
he wont succeed.
Andrea A. diSessa and Bruce L. Sherin discusses in a joint article the
question of what a concept is (diSessa&Sherin, 1998). In this article they does not
seem to distinguish between the vocabulary (the set of words) a language have and
the concepts this vocabulary represents. diSessa&Sherin wonders if every word
correspond to a concept or not. This is a question that do however seem to be a bit
odd, since it is a question that has long ago already been answered in philosophy of
language. A language consists of several words that make up the vocabulary, but it
is the content to these words that are the concepts. Sometimes one word has several
different meanings, where each meaning is a concept. We then have ambiguity. If
we are uncertain which concept are meant in a certain sentence we make an
investigation to clear this out. How this could be done is a practical problem, but it
is not a theoretical one. Sometimes, on the other hand, we have several different
words for one concept. If this is a problem we can also here make an investigation
to clear out which, or if, two different words have the same meaning or not. This is
not either a theoretical problem, but if one does not distinguish the vocabulary
from the content it will be.

But that does too means that if one does not make this distinction one is
using a concept of language as if it consists of words and not of the content of
words. In philosophy of language it is always the content to words that make up
the language. What this content consists of is a philosophical problem, but the
distinction between word and content is not. That likewise means that in
understanding of language it is the concepts that is understood, so understanding
and thinking is therefore done with concepts and not with words.
According to diSessa&Sherin is a concept a kind of knowledge system
(diSessa&Sherin, 1998, p. 1170).There are according to diSessa&Sherin two
components that are used to give us information about something. We must select
and combine observations in a process that is called integration. And we must also
be able to determine that we observe the same information in a new situation. This
is called invariance by diSessa&Sherin. These two criteria are criteria of
identification. If we are going to observe something we must be able to
discriminate it from its environment and we must besides be able to identify it on
another occasion. We could say that in one way it is nothing wrong with these two
requirements. The problem is that it is not clear on what level diSessa&Sherin put
these demands.The thing is that if we are going to sort out certain properties from
other properties in deciding what properties that belong to a specific concept, we
must already be able to observe these properties in advance. That means that we
must already have the concept we are trying to learn. This is a well-known problem
that has been discussed from such different points of view as by the behaviourist
W. v. O. Quine (1960) as by L. Wittgenstein (1958).
Besides the question of language as a calculus and language as a vocabulary
there is also the question of what, if any, ontological implications different views
of language has. The traditional idea of realism is that the world exists
independently of a mind, and idealism says that the opposite, that the world is
dependent of a mind. A modern version of idealism is the so-called linguistic
idealism. It means that the world exists in the way language describes it and that
there is no other way than via language to access it. The world is then dependent of
the way it is described. This view is sometimes represented in socio-cultural
theories and we shall therefore investigate that idea a bit.
One of the main ideas in socio-cultural research is that learning is done in an
interaction with other people in society. The agent is then not just a passive
receiver of a message or of information which when required will give new
knowledge. He or she will participate in an active way in a process that involves,
among other things, language. The language will then be a tool that in some kind
of active way mediates knowledge. Included in this view is also often the idea that
language is a filter between the world and the mind (Slj, 2000 & 2002, stman,
2003). As a filter language is not a single unity that is acquired by every speaker of
the language, so that every speaker of it would have the same understanding of the
world. Language is instead diverted in different discourses where each discourse
contains of distinct areas of knowledge. The mind thus uses language as a tool to
understand the world. The world is whats more understood according to the

If language is a filter between the world and mind it also means that thinking
must be distinct from language. The idea seems to be that mind does not have
access to the world without something mediating it. This mediating thing is
language and therefore mind has to think about the world as language describes it.
We are thus in a way prisoner in language. Although the mind seems to be
something that can think without language, it still needs language to come in touch
with the world. The subject can therefore not think of the world in another way
than language describes it. And that means language. This moreover means that we
here have a form of linguistic idealism. The world exists as language describes it
and there is no independent access to it.
The view of language as a discourse that humans learn by participating in a
social activity, do also contain an idea of language as something that is determined
by use (stman, 2003). stman and other do often refer to Wittgenstein in this
claiming that language is set by its use.The use talked about in socio-cultural
theories is a use of a rule-governed discourse, and not the actual use of language.
The difference from mentalist ideas of language is then basically that language is
acquired through a social activity, and is not innate or something that develops
during the childs growth. The difference is then a question of acquisition and not a
question about what language consists of.
The idea of language as a discourse does however not only include the idea
of language as a system. It do is also based upon a confusion of language as a
vocabulary and language as consisting of its conceptual content. According to
socio-cultural theories language in the form of discourses is supposed to be a filter
between the mind and the world, since different discourses are supposed to consist
of different concepts. It does however looks like that these discourses are not based
upon concepts, but just upon a vocabulary.
If language is a mediating filter between the mind and the world, the mind must be
able to think without this language. The mind must be something that can, so to
speak, chose between different languages. That means that the mind must be able
to think independently of a language. What does this thinking then consists of?
If two different thoughts about the same thing can be distinguished, the
thoughts need something that differs them from each other. If the mind has a
thought of something as a, and another thought of something as b, the conceptual
difference between the two thoughts is that we have used different concepts (not
words) to describe that which we are thinking about. If we do that we are using
concepts. We are thus using concepts to distinguish between two different ways of
thinking of something. That also means that we are thinking in concepts and that
there are no mental ideas that precede the concepts. So thinking of something
means to think with language and that language consists of concepts, not of words.
Using language (as consisting of concepts, and not of words) in thinking of
something can thus not be something different from thinking itself. And if the
content in a thought would consists of something just mental it ought to be an idea
about how something is, but having an idea of how something is, is to use a
concept to think about it.

The idea of language as a mediating filter does however presuppose that
thinking is done without concepts. It presumes that thinking is done as something
purely mental without any concepts involved. Language would then be something
different from thinking. It would be a language as a vocabulary. Language and
concepts would then be the same. We could then not distinguish between the
words and their content.
If language is a filter that is used to determine the way we think of the world, we
must thus be able to think without concepts. But if language is supposed to shape
our thoughts as a filter there is not anything that can be shaped. The idea then that
language functions as a filter is then based upon the idea of language as a
The interaction between peoples that in socio-cultural theories is supposed to
be the foundation for knowledge, will in those ideas just be an exchange of words,
not concepts. When Wittgenstein however discusses language use, language is
internal related to the world since the concepts learned is done by an activity
together with things in the world. By learning to cope with mugs the child will
learn the concept mug. Words are then accidental to that which is learned but the
concept is not. This also means that thinking consists of using the concepts we
learned in learning to handle the world. There is then no thinking that precedes
language, with language understood as concepts. When language then is a tool it
means that the subject uses concepts to understand the world. Concepts are thus
not something that lies between the mind and the world.Concepts are the way the
world is understood in and that is done in thinking. There is no extra medium in
form of a vocabulary that lies between the mind and the world that shapes the
In critical theory, a binary opposition (also binary system) is a pair of related
terms or concepts that are opposite in meaning. Binary opposition is the system by
which, in language and thought, two theoretical opposites are strictly defined and
set off against one another. It is the contrast between two mutually exclusive
terms, such as on and off, up and down, left and right. Binary opposition is an
important concept of structuralism, which sees such distinctions as fundamental to
all language and thought. In structuralism, a binary opposition is seen as a
fundamental organizer of human philosophy, culture, and language.
Binary opposition originated in Saussureanstructuralist theory. According to
Ferdinand de Saussure, the binary opposition is the means by which the units of
language have value or meaning; each unit is defined in reciprocal determination
with another term, as in binary code. It is not a contradictory realation but, a
structural, complementary one. Saussure demonstrated that a sign's meaning is
derived from its context (syntagmatic dimension) and the group (paradigm) to
which it belongs. An example of this is that one cannot conceive of 'good' if we do
not understand 'evil'. In post-structuralism, it is seen as one of several influential
characteristics or tendencies of Western and Western-derived thought, and that
typically, one of the two opposites assumes a role of dominance over the other.
The categorization of binary oppositions is "often value-laden and ethnocentric",
with an illusory order and superficial meaning.

A classic example of a binary opposition isthe presence-absence dichotomy.
In much of Western thought, including structuralism, distinguishing between
presence and absence, viewed as polar opposites, is a fundamental element of
thought in many cultures. In addition, accordingto post-structuralist criticisms,
presence occupies a position of dominance in Western thought over absence,
because absence is traditionally seen as what you get when you take away
presence. (Had absence been dominant, presence might have most naturally been
seen as what you get when you take away an absence.) It has been maintained that
the human brain has a preference for binary oppositions, if this is so it will help
explain the numerous pairs of related antonyms that are found such as hot and cold,
right and wrong and good and bad.
Essentially the concept of the binary opposition isprompted by the Western
tendency to organize everything into a hierarchal structure; terms and concepts are
related to positives and negatives with no apparent leeway for deviation for
example man and woman, black and white. Therefore many binary oppositions are
organized in a hierarchy. According to Jacques Derrida, meaning in the West is
defined in terms of binary oppositions, a violent hierarchy where one of the two
terms governs the other. Within the white/ black binary opposition in the United
States, the African American is defined as a devalued other.
The concept of binary oppositions isalso evident in biblical thought and
ideology. Anexplanatory combination of biblical verses in the scrolls turn a term of
divine compassion into a measure of binary oppositioninnocence versus guilt.
A more concrete example of a binary opposition is the male-female
dichotomy. Somewestern thinkers, including structuralists, believe that the world is
organized according to male and female constructs, roles, words, and ideas. A
post-structuralist view isthat male can be seen, according to traditional Western
thought, as dominant over female because male is the presence of a phallus, while
the vagina is an absence or loss. (Alternatively, Western thought could have
viewed female as a presence, and male, subordinately, as the absence, or loss, of an
invagination or theoretical "hole" of some kind.) The correspondence between each
of the dominant Western concepts such as presence and male, as well as others
such as rational (vs. emotional), mind (vs. body), thoughts and speech (vs.
writings) are claimed to show a tendency of Western thought called logocentrism
or phallogocentrism. John Searle has suggested that the concept of binary
oppositionsas taught and practiced by postmodernists and poststructuralistis
specious and lacking in rigor.
Problem questions: What are the main backgrounds of linguistic concept
study development? How are the concepts represented in linguistic concept study?
What are binary oppositions?

Lecture 2: Cognitive anthropology
To distinguish the main backgrounds of cognitive anthropology development
To define the object of cognitive anthropology

To study the concept of anthropocentrism

"Cognitive anthropology investigates cultural knowledge, knowledge which
is embedded in words, stories, and in artifacts, and which is learned from and
shared with other humans" (D'Andrade 1995:xiv). "The field of cognitive
anthropology is distinguished not so much by its focus on cognitive phenomena as
by its methodology and approach" (Colby 1996:209). Cognitive anthropology
generally focuses on the intellectual and rational aspects of culture, particularly
through studies of language use. The centrality of language to cognitive
anthropology is related to the origins of the sub-field. Cognitive anthropology is
distinguished most by its methodology, which originated in attempts to fit formal
linguistic methods into linguistic and social anthropology. This methodology also
assumes that semantic categories marked by linguistic forms are related to
meaningful cultural categories. Cognitive anthropology's methods for revealing
meaningful cultural categories in language have also been expanded to more
general ethnographic methods (e.g. Duane and Metzger (1963)), and some recent
work has focused on emotions and culture. Cognitive anthropology has ties to
linguistic and psychological anthropology, linguistics, cognitive linguistics,
psycholinguistics, cognitive psychology, and other cognitive sciences.
Cognitive anthropology is a recent sub-field, but interests in mind, culture,
and society are well-established across the social sciences. Interests in the
relationship between mind and experience can be traced to thinkers at least as far
back as Kant and Locke. Sperber claims that the premises of both anthropology
and psychology are aligned with Locke's empiricism and against Kant's
rationalism. That is, both anthropology and psychology believe that mental
capacities are indefinitely malleable and receptive, and that the content and
structure of knowledge is created by experience and the environment. Kantian
rationalism, however, holds that human cognitive capacities already have
categories and principles that structure human knowledge and limit variability.
Boasian anthropology also incorporated interests in ideational, mental, and
cognitive concerns, and promoted the study of ideas, beliefs, values, and
cosmologies. Anthropologists involved in Culture & Personality studies including
Benedict, Mead, and Linton can be claimed as ancestors of cognitive anthropology,
along with earlier linguistic anthropologists like Kroeber, Whorf, and Sapir. The
Prague School of linguistics and particularly the work of Saussure, Jakobson,
Trubetzkoy, and later Chomsky and Bloomfield all exerted direct influence on the
earliest cognitive anthropologists.
Cognitive anthropology became a recognizable field of study within
anthropology in the mid-1950's with the "ethnoscience" studies at Yale. At this
time, anthropologists were generally concerned about the scientific validity of
ethnography. Ethnographic studies were often equated with laboratory experiments
of the natural sciences and other social sciences, and thus crucial to anthropology's
claims to scientific authority. But, as the Redfield-Lewis controversy of the early
1950's illustrated, different anthropologists studying the same people could gather
very different data, unlike the situation in a true "laboratory." Oscar Lewis'

fieldwork was conducted twenty years after Redfield's, and though some of the
differences in their findings could be attributed to culture change, the degree of
difference caused the anthropological community to generally question the
accuracy and reliability of ethnographic research methods.
Early practitioners of cognitive anthropology attempted to increase the
validity of ethnography by using "interview techniques and analytical processes to
bring out native categories of thought instead of imposing the analyst's own
cultural system on the data". These techniques were largely inspired by linguistic
phonemic analysis, and the first key papers of ethnoscience/cognitive anthropology
were componential analyses of kin-term domains. In their 1956 articles published
in Language, Ward Goodenough and Floyd Lounsbury each attempted to break the
semantic structures of a language into basic units of meaning ("sememes") to
parallel formal linguistic analyses based on the smallest meaningful units of sound
("phonemes"). Both were trying to understand what combination of qualities held
by individuals defined each kin-term in a language, thus connecting social
organization with semantics. The goal was to find criteria for "cousin-ness", for
example, that would be analogous to the acoustic criteria that distinguishes the
English words "sick" from "thick".
In his article, Lounsbury (1956) distinguishes three ways of studying
language: syntactics, semantics, and pragmatics. Syntactics, the study of linguistic
forms without regard to their meaning or the social functions of speech and
language, was already being studied by linguists. Semantics (meanings) and
pragmatics (social functions) of language, were only haphazardly studied.
Linguistic anthropology should study semantics, Lounsbury argued, but
anthropology in general should strive to move from a careful study of semantics
into a broader understanding of pragmatics. But careful semantic studies should
form the base of every pragmatic study. Goodenough, however, insists that "there
is clearly no simple relationship between linguistic forms and other forms of
behavior" (1956: 216). Analyses of status obligations, rights, privileges, powers,
and the "role of linguistic utterances in social interaction as gestures" (1956: 216),
although important to study, were not amenable to Goodenough' s (or Lounsbury's)
seminal analysis.
Cognitive anthropology addresses the ways in which people conceive of and
think about events and objects in the world. It provides a link between human
thought processes and the physical and ideational aspects of culture (DAndrade
1995: 1). This subfield of anthropology is rooted in Boasian cultural relativism,
influenced by anthropological linguistics, and closely aligned with psychological
investigations of cognitive processes. It arose as a separate area of study in the
1950s, as ethnographers sought to discover the natives point of view, adopting
an emic approach to anthropology (Erickson and Murphy 2003: 115). The new
field was alternatively referred to as Ethnosemantics, Ethnoscience,
Ethnolinguistics, and New Ethnography.
In the first decades of practice, cognitive anthropologists focused on folk
taxonomies, including concepts of color, plants, and diseases. During the 1960s
and 1970s a theoretical adjustment and methodological shift occurred within

cognitive anthropology. Linguistic analyses continued to provide methods for
understanding and accessing the cognitive categories of indigenous people.
However, the focus was no longer restricted to items and relationships within
indigenous categories but stressed analyzing categories in terms of mental
processes. Scholars of this generation assumed that there were mental processes
based on the structure of the mind and, hence, common to all humans. This
approach extended its scope to study not only components of abstract systems of
thought but also to examine how mental processes relate to symbols and ideas
(McGee & Warms 1996).
The earliest practitioners of anthropology were also interested in the
relationship between the human mind and society. By viewing his data through the
prism of evolution, Morgan continued the Enlightenment tradition of explaining
the phenomenon he observed as a result of increasing rationality (Garbarino
1983:28-29). E.B. Tylor, who shared many of the views of Morgan, was also
interested in aspects of the mind in less developed societies. His definition of
culture as the, "complex whole which includes knowledge, beliefs, arts, morals,
and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society,"
reflects this interest (Garbarino 1983:31).
One concept that is central to cultural anthropology, and particularly to
cognitive anthropology, is the psychic unity of mankind. This concept was
developed by the German Adolf Bastian in the closing years of the nineteenth
century. After observing similarities in customs throughout the world, Bastian
concluded that all humans must have the same basic psychic or mental processes,
and that this unity produced similar responses to similar stimuli (Garbarino
1983:32). While most anthropologists tend to take this concept as a given, some
contemporary cognitive anthropologists question this assumption (Shore 1996:15-
Cognitive studies in modern anthropology can be traced back to Franz Boas
(Colby 1996:210). Boas, who first turned to anthropology during his research on
the Eskimo and their perception of the color of ice and water, realized that different
peoples had different conceptions of the world around them. He was so affected
that he began to focus his lifes work on understanding the relation between the
human mind and the environment (Shore 1996:19). This work, which was fueled
by his revolt against the racist thinking of the day, would direct Boas towards
trying to understand the psychology of tribal peoples. This aspect of his work is
best expressed in his essay "Psychological Problems in Anthropology" (1910), and
culminates in his volume The Mind of Primitive Man (1911). Boas encouraged
investigations of tribal categories of sense and perception, such as color, topics that
would be critical in the later development of cognitive anthropology (Shore
Anthropocentrism is the position that human beings are the central or most
significant animal species, or the assessment of reality through an exclusively
human perspective. The term can be used interchangeably with humanocentrism,
while the first concept can also be referred to as human supremacy.
Anthropocentrism is a major concept in the field of environmental ethics and

environmental philosophy, where it is often considered to be the root cause of
problems created by human interaction with the environment, however; it is
profoundly embedded in our culture and conscious acts.
Anthropocentrism is the grounding for some naturalistic concepts of human
rights. Defenders of anthropocentrism argue that it is the necessary fundamental
premise to defend universal human rights, since what matters morally is simply
being human. For example, noted philosopher Mortimer J. Adler wrote, "Those
who oppose injurious discrimination on the moral ground that all human beings,
being equal in their humanity, should be treated equally in all those respects that
concern their common humanity, would have no solid basis in fact to support their
normative principle." Adler is stating here, that denying what is now called human
exceptionalism could lead to tyranny, writing that if we ever came to believe that
humans do not possess a unique moral status, the intellectual foundation of our
liberties collapses: "Why, then, should not groups of superior men be able to
justify their enslavement, exploitation, or even genocide of inferior human groups
on factual and moral grounds akin to those we now rely on to justify our treatment
of the animals we harness as beasts of burden, that we butcher for food and
clothing, or that we destroy as disease-bearing pests or as dangerous predators?"
Author and anthropocentrism defender Wesley J. Smith from the Discovery
Institute has written that human exceptionalism is what gives rise to human duties
to each other, the natural world, and to treat animals humanely. Writing in A Rat is
a Pig is a Dog is a Boy, a critique of animal rights ideology, "Because we are
unquestionably a unique species--the only species capable of even contemplating
ethical issues and assuming responsibilities--we uniquely are capable of
apprehending the difference between right and wrong, good and evil, proper and
improper conduct toward animals. Or to put it more succinctly if being human isn't
what requires us to treat animals humanely, what in the world does?"
Critics counter that anthropocentrism has contributed to speciesism and
bioconservatism at the expense of the natural environment, animal rights, and
individual rights.
Problem questions: What are the main backgrounds of cognitive anthropology
development? What ideas are more important in DAndrads approach to the
theory of schemata? What is the gist of anthropocentrism?

Lecture 3: The basic characteristics of a linguo-cultural concept
Studytheinitialcharacteristics of a linguo-cultural concept
Define the components of a linguo-cultural concept

Events of language use mediate human sociality. Such semiotic occasions develop,
sustain, or transform at least partsome have argued the greater partof peoples
conceptualizations of their universe.
Whenever languages and other, perilinguistic semiotic systems are used in their
ubiquitous human habitats, cultures as well as people can be said to be
In discursively mediated interaction, whether as native users or as analyst-
investigators, we perceive ourselves to be sending and receiving messages to and
from so-called real or fictional individuals; we communicate about states of affairs
concerning all manner ofexperienceable and imaginable things. But we are at the
same time experiencing culture by communicating through this exemplar, medium,
and site: language-in-use.
We can hear culture only by listening to language in a certain way. This
channel is made available by contemporary semiotic pragmatism in its theorizing
the conceptual nexus linking language to culture.
To be sure, all human activity centrally engages conceptualization in one or
another respect. And, further, language is a semiotic complex most visible to our
individual reflexive gaze precisely for its instrumental role in explicit, task-
oriented conceptualization. Yet the argument here is that there is a realm of what
we might justly term cultural concepts to be discerned from among concepts in
general and specifically among other conceptual codings manifested in language.
These cultural concepts define and reveal what is culturally specificabout human
discursive interaction, seen both as itself human activity and as mediating semiotic
relay of all other human activity.
It is a truism that cultures are essentially social facts, not individual ones; they are
properties of populations of people who have come to be, by degrees, tightly or
loosely bounded in respect of their groupness, their modes of cohering as a group.
Cultures are historically contingent though, as experienced, relatively
perduringvalues and meanings implicit in the ways people dothings and interact
one with another. Such doings, as events, have value and meaning only insofar as
they are patternedthe textually oriented word is genredso that even as they
are participating in them, people in effect negotiate the way that events are
plausibly and (un)problematically instances of one or more such patterns. So,
culture being manifest only in such sociohistoricalfacts, anything cultural would
seem to depend on the contingencies of eventhood that, in complex ways, cumulate
as genred norms of praxis or practice. Yet, in the event culture is always
presumed upon in the course of that very praxis, even as it is always potentially
transformed by peoples very doings and sayings.
Cultures like languages, are fundamentally ideational or mental or conceptual
insofar as in communicating people seem (atleast at first) to be giving evidence of
knowledge, feeling,and belief, even creating, sharpening, and
transformingknowledge, feeling, and belief in themselves and others. What, then,
is the sociological condition of existence of suchas we should term them
cultural concepts of which cultures are constituted in the face of the very
individual-centric assumptions that our own culture persists in having about

knowledge, feeling, and belief? How can we see that language as used manifests
such cultural concepts, ones specific to a sociohistorical group, not-withstanding
the freedom we think we manifest in saying what we want, as a function of what
we, as individuals, really believe we want to communicateabout? Is there, in
short, a sociocultural unconscious in the mindwherever that is located in respect
of the biological organismthat is both immanent in and emergent from our use of
language? Can we ever profoundly study the social significance of language
without understanding this sociocultural unconscious that it seems to reveal? And
if it is correct that language is the principal exemplar, medium, and site of the
cultural, then can we ever understand the cultural without understanding this
particular conceptual dimension of language? The reorientation of linguistic
anthropology over the past few decades has made real progress in these matters in
good part by comprehending three lessons heretofore scattered in many literatures
about language and culture, following them out and integrating them into its
analytic approach to revealing the conceptualhence, cultural in language.
The first of these lessons is that discursive interaction brings sociocultural concepts
into here-and-now contexts of usethat is, as I hope to explain, that interaction
indexically invokes sociocultural conceptualizations via emergent patternings
of semiotic forms that we know how to study in the image of the poetics of ritual.
Precipitated as entextualizations (by-degrees coherent and stable textual arrays) in
relation to contextualizationshow texts point to a framing or surround for the text),
such text-in-context is the basis for all interpretative or hermeneutic analysis.
Both the comprehensibility and the efficacy of any discursive interaction depend
on its modes and degrees of ritualization in this special sense of emergent en-
and contextualization.
The second lesson focuses on the underpinnings and effects of the denotational
capacity of the specific words and expressions we use that gel as text-in-context.
This is the complex way in which, on occasions of their use, words and
expressions come specifically and differentially to stand for, or denote, things
and states of affairs in the experienced and imagined universe. Yet integral to the
very act of denoting with particular words and expressions, it turns out, is the
implicit invocation of certain sociocultural practices which, in the context of
discourse, contribute to how participants in a discursive interaction can and do
come to stand, one to another, as mutually significant social beings. The most
interactionallypotent components of denotation seem to function in at least two
ways: first, to be sure, as contextually differential characterizers of some
denotatum but second as indexes of users presumed-upon (or even would-be)
relational positions in a projective social distribution of conceptual knowledge. So
individuals in effect communicatively perform a here-and-now interactional
stance in relation to such knowledge by the phraseology and construction in which
they communicate the substanceof what is being talked about. We read
suchinteractional stances as ritual figurations of social identity come to life,
interactionallyactivated in the here-and-now of discourse for the
intersubjectivework of creating, maintaining, or transforming social relations.

Given these first two points, the third lesson is that there are wider-scale
institutional orders of interactionality, historically contingent yet structured.
Within such large-scale, macrosocial orders, in-effect ritual centers of semiosis
come to exert a structuring, value-conferring influence on any particular event of
discursive interaction with respect to the meanings and significance of the verbal
and other semiotic forms used in it. Any individual event of discursive interaction
occurs as a nodal point of a network of such in a field of potentially conflicting
interdiscursivities across macrosocial spaces that may be simultaneously structured
by other (e.g., political and/or economic) principles and dimensionalities as well.
Viewed in such a space, every discourse event manifests, by degrees, authoritative,
warranted, or heretofore uncountenanced or even contested
entextualizationslicensed from centers of value creation. Here, human subjectivity
and agency come to their potential plenitude. The flow of value thus comes to be
mappable as a felt effect or adjunct of interlocutors strategic positionalities
presupposed or entailedin such complex macrosocial space and of peoples
stasis in and/ or movement through its ever-changing configurations.

Linguo-cultural concept as a subject of study of linguo-culture appears
(lingvokulturologija) to the researchers as a cultural, mental and linguistic
According to the Y. Stepanovs definition, linguo-cultural concept is a mental unit,
aimed at a comprehensive study of language, consciousness and culture. The
linguoculturalconcept differs from other units in its mental nature. Mentality is
perceived as aguided collection of images and perceptions. H. Bloom defines
mentality as theperception of the world in the categories and forms of the native
language that connectsthe intellectual, and spiritual qualities of national character
in its typical manifestations(Bloom 2000). Many scholars agree that the mentality
is easier to describe than to define. Mentality of deeper thinking, standards of
behaviour represents the internal willingness of a person to act in a certain way.
Linguo-cultural concept differs from other mental units by the presence of the
value component. Value is always in the centre of the concept. A linguo-concept
consists of distinguish evaluative, figurative and conceptual components. Notional
component of the concept is stored in the verbal form. A figurative component is
non-verbal and can be described or interpreted at most.

Problemquestions: Can we distinguish certain differences between a linguo-
cultural concept and a linguistic concept? What are they? Why is it important to
define this kind of concept out of the concept in general?

Topic 5 Theintegralinteractionofcross-culturalcommunicationand linguistic
concept study as a new perspective in investigation of cognitive ethnic
Lecture 1: Linguisticconceptstudyandcross-culturalcommunication:
backgrounds and aims.
o To identify the connection between linguistic concept study and cross-
cultural communication
o Todifferentiate the notion of linguistic concept and its peculiar
The increasing internationalization of activities in almost all spheres of life in the
late twentieth century has brought new challenges in the way communication is
done. Among these, linguistic and cultural boundaries enjoy a higher profile
because effective communication is essential to success in such global domains.
Linguistic and cultural knowledge is basic nowadays when doing even business
internationally. With the world emerging from interacting economies and
increasing mobility and interaction across borders, linguistic and cultural diversity
has increased and as a result there has been a demand for effective cross-cultural
communication. Thus, international and intercultural communication, which in the
process of cross-cultural hybridization produces new and different types of identity
and makes it necessary for people belonging to different cultures to develop the
required conceptual competence, is one of the most relevant fields of research in
the context of English language teaching and translation.
From an intercultural perspective, the theory which was introduced by Lakoff
and Johnson in 1980, and which has been developed further, marks an excellent
interdisciplinary ground for investigating the interrelationship between culturally
bound and universal constructs in intercultural communication. The relevance of
the cognitive theory of metaphor for intercultural aspects begins with its principal
claim of ubiquity. This means that there is no situation where metaphorical
concepts are not used to express values, thought patterns, norms, etc. In other
words, metaphor is not a matter of language; it is rather human thought processes
which are largely metaphorical. Put differently, the conceptual system in terms of
which we think and act is fundamentally metaphorical (Lakoff& Johnson, 1980). If
it is right to suggest that our conceptual system is largely metaphorical, the way we
think and what we do is a matter of metaphor. As the consequence of the role
cognitive metaphors play in communication, there seems to be a need to
investigate metaphor as related to cross-cultural communication.
The research on metaphor can be traced back to the time of ancient Greece.
Aristotle believed that the function of metaphor was primarily decorative and
ornamental. In the traditional view, metaphor is a matter of special language,
which is called a figure of speech. As a result, for hundreds of years, most
metaphor studies focused on a rhetorical perspective, i.e. figurative metaphor.
However, in the 20th century the view of metaphor changed from purely a
figurative device to a matter of thought itself or conceptual metaphor. Lakoff
(1986) points out that metaphor is not just a way of naming, but also a way of

thinking and it is a figure of thought. As language is part of culture, the cross-
cultural study of metaphor is one of the most interesting fields to linguistic
As a significant part in foreign language teaching and learning, metaphor has
attracted the interest of a number of applied linguists. They have explored
pedagogical aspects of metaphor awareness and figurative expressions for
language learners. Low (1988) argues that metaphoric competence should be
developed in language learners. Metaphoric competence is believed to consist of
metaphor awareness, and strategies for comprehending and creating metaphors
(Deignan, Gabrys, &Solska, 1997). Danesi (1994) puts forward the view that the
L2 learners speech sounds non-native because of literalness or absence of
metaphor use. Sacristan (2004) emphasizing the central role metaphor plays in
English for specific purposes, cites a number of scholars who have analyzed the
function of metaphor in economics.
Although scholars have done a large amount of research in both fields of
metaphor and culture, most of these studies drew their conclusions only based on
English data. Whether the results are the same for other languages remains
unknown. Therefore, it is necessary to carry out more research focusing on cross-
cultural aspects of metaphor. With respect to metaphor, the focus will, of course,
be on conceptual metaphor because it provides a good approach to discuss
different metaphorical expressions based on human concepts and experience.
If the intercultural hypothesis that both universal and non-universal constructs are
used while communicating is accepted, then this study should be able to show that
for effective cross-cultural communication we need to seek a way of
communicating over language and culture borders. Thus, the question which is of
primary interest in this paper is to see to what extent metaphors are universal. In
other words, there is an attempt to find out whether variation in conceptual
metaphors is significant. If language is considered to be a matter of social
convention and conventions which arise as a matter of historical accident and path-
dependence determine language, and if we accept that these conventions, in turn,
shape thought and assuming that metaphor does not primarily occur in language
but in thought (Lakoff& Johnson, 1980); we face a serious challenge as to how we
can construct a theory to account for both universality and variation in our use of
metaphor. Further, we need to seek how to make mutual intelligibility among
people possible as the process of globalization moves ahead.
Conceptual metaphors are believed to comprise the whole conceptual
system of speakers of any given language, so to investigate the universality of
metaphor one should collect some data on conceptual metaphors as related to a
specific domain in one language and see if they exist in the same meaning in other
languages. For instance, in business communication some metaphorical themes
which are commonly used are mechanism and machines, plants, animals,
gardening, health, fitness, fighting and warfare, ships and sailing, and sports
(Boers, 2000). In this study, animal metaphors, among others, were chosen for
comparison in two different languages: English and Persian. The rationale for
choosing animal metaphors for comparison is that although there has been

extensive research on metaphor across cultures, in general, on animal metaphors,
in particular, there is still paucity of research. In the following section, first the
theoretical framework within which the study was done is explicated, i.e. the
conceptual theory of metaphor, as forwarded by Lakoff and Johnson (1980) and,
then, the study, its findings, and implications will be discussed.
Metaphor has been approached from different perspectives. In the classical
approach, originally associated with Aristotle and further developed by Ricoeur
and Black in the last century, the concern is with the poetic and rhetorical function
of metaphors. In the cognitive approach metaphor is seen primarily as a matter of
mind or as a set of fixed mappings between two conceptual domains. This is the
view advanced in the 80's by Lakoff and Johnson. A new strand of metaphor
research has also begun in the last 90's in which emphasis is again placed on the
language of metaphors. Using ideas from cognitive theory of metaphor, this
approachthe emergentist approach (Cameron &Deignan, 2006)connects the
conceptual with the linguistic in theory and in empirical work. For the purposes of
this study the cognitive approach, explained below, has been used.
Conceptual theory of metaphor was first introduced in detail by Lakoff and
Johnson (1980) in Metaphors We Live By. This theory has questioned and
challenged the traditional linguistic views in which metaphor is viewed as a matter
of words rather than thought or action. In literary contexts, metaphor is regarded as
used for effect or for ornament and contrasts with literal language. For most
people, metaphor is above the everyday ordinary language. They believe that the
function of metaphor is only a device of the poetic imagination and rhetorical
flourish (Lakoff& Johnson, 1980). According to this view advanced by Lakoff
and Johnson (1980), there are two levels of metaphor: the conceptual and the
linguistic. At the conceptual level, a metaphor is a relationship between two
concepts, one of which functions as the source and the other as the target. The
relationship is in the form of target domain is/as source domain like argument is
war. The particular relation between source and target domains is based on the
basic conceptual correspondences between two domains. The other level, the
linguistic, is motivated by conceptual metaphor, and represents the realization in
words. It appears in the form of everyday written and spoken language. Thus, for
example, a variety of metaphorical expressions are developed from the conceptual
metaphor argument is war, such as Your claims are indefensible, He attacked
every weak point in my argument, and I demolished his argument (Lakoff&
Johnson, 1980).
What role does culture play in metaphor? As Lakoff and Johnson (1980)
claim, most metaphors are grounded in systematic correlations within our daily
experience. Human experience consists of a large range of conventional models.
These models are essential elements, which construct a conceptual system in the
human mind. According to the conceptual theory, metaphors are able to reflect the
ideas in a human conceptual system, so various cultural models are shown in a
great number of metaphors. In the conceptual metaphor argument is war, war is the
source domain and knowledge is the target domain. What is the mapping or
correspondence between these two different domains? According to most peoples

basic experience, the general concepts of war and argument might include: war is
physical fighting with a purpose to win, and argument refers to verbal fighting
about different ideas. In that case, the knowledge of fighting might be the
connection of mapping between two domains. In fact, a certain cultural model
determines this kind of knowledge. In other words, in a culture where an argument
is never viewed as a war, the conceptual metaphor argument is war may never
From the above discussion we may come to the conclusion that as the
cultural border spaces expand and become the place where cross-cultural
communication occurs, there will be a greater need for interactants to develop an
intercultural competence to cope with the problems of cross-cultural
communication. As put by Lakoff (1986), "the language that enables us to
communicate with one another also encloses us in an invisible web of sounds and
meanings, so that each nation is imprisoned by its language, a language further
fragmented by historical eras, by social classes, by generations"
Cross-cultural variation
The area of cross-cultural variation in metaphor has raised great interest among
metaphor researchers. A number of studies are based on the comparison of
different metaphorical concepts and expressions in cultures, as well as in different
languages. Boers (2003) observes that there are three types of cross-cultural
variation in metaphor usage:
(1) Differences with regard to the particular source-target mappings that have
become conventional in the given cultures
(2) Differences with regard to value judgments associated with the source or target
(3) Differences with regard to the degree of pervasiveness of metaphor as such, as
compared with other (rhetorical) figures
Of these three types, the first type of variation is the most obvious and common
one in metaphors. The research findings suggest that in different cultures,
metaphor may have different source domains that map onto the same target
domain. Many complex conceptual metaphors reflect the various cultural models
in that way e.g., life is a journey. Many metaphorical expressions derived from this
conceptual metaphor involve different types of vehicles, such as trains, ships, cars
and so on (ibid). The second group of variation refers to connotations and
institutions in a certain culture. These aspects are particularly important for
foreign language learners because they lack the knowledge of particular cultural
Cross-cultural communication (also frequently referred to as intercultural
communication, which is also used in a different sense, though) is a field of study
that looks at how people from differing cultural backgrounds communicate, in
similar and different ways among themselves, and how they endeavour to
communicate across cultures.
Cross-cultural communication endeavours to bring together such relatively
unrelated areas as cultural anthropology and established areas of communication.
Its core is to establish and understand how people from different cultures

communicate with each other. Its charge is to also produce some guidelines with
which people from different cultures can better communicate with each other.
Cross-cultural communication, as in many scholarly fields, is a combination
of many other fields. These fields include anthropology, cultural studies,
psychology and communication. The field has also moved both toward the
treatment of interethnic relations, and toward the study of communication
strategies used by co-cultural populations, i.e., communication strategies used to
deal with majority or mainstream populations.
The study of languages other than ones own cannot only serve to help us
understand what we as human beings have in common, but also assist us in
understanding the diversity which underlies not only our languages, but also our
ways of constructing and organizing knowledge, and the many different realities in
which we all live and interact. Such understanding has profound implications with
respect to developing a critical awareness of social relationships. Understanding
social relationships and the way other cultures work is the groundwork of
successful globalization business efforts.
Language socialization can be broadly defined as an investigation of how
language both presupposes and creates new, social relations in cultural context. It
is imperative that the speaker understands the grammar of a language, as well as
how elements of language are socially situated in order to reach communicative
competence. Human experience is culturally relevant, so elements of language are
also culturally relevant. One must carefully consider semiotics and the evaluation
of sign systems to compare cross-cultural norms of communication. There are
several potential problems that come with language socialization, however.
Sometimes people can over-generalize or label cultures with stereotypical and
subjective characterizations. Another primary concern with documenting
alternative cultural norms revolves around the fact that no social actor uses
language in ways that perfectly match normative characterizations. A
methodology for investigating how an individual uses language and other semiotic
activity to create and use new models of conduct and how this varies from the
cultural norm should be incorporated into the study of language socialization.
Problem questions: What does the connection between linguistic concept study
and cross-cultural communication consist in? Does the absence of knowledge
about specifics of linguistic concept seem to be a barrier for communication?

Lecture 2.Linguistic culture studies and linguo-conceptology. Concept as a
unit of a collective consciousness that has linguistic expression and the
marked ethnic and cultural specificity
Aims :
To distinguish the main backgrounds of development of linguistic
culture studies
To define the notion of concept from the linguistic culture studies
point of view
To study the main peculiarities of ethno-cultural specificity of concept

In the 1960s and 1970s, most linguists and linguistic anthropologists studied
grammar as an innately configured, abstract realm heaving an almost mathematical
precision. In the realm of semantics all categories were taxonomic, which category
membership based on the possession of certain necessary and sufficient features.
This logicians image of grammar and meaning divorced from everyday life
encountered a dramatic challenge in 1980, when George Lakoff and Mark Johnson
published Metaphors We Live By. Lakoff followed it with Women, Fie and
Dangerous Things in 1987, and in the same year Ronald Langacker published
Foundations of Cognitive Grammar I. With these landmark publications, the
hermetic seal of idealist grammar was broken and the scientific study of semantics
began to look outward to general cognitive processes, encounters with the physical
world, communication and culture. The paradigm change was underway. The new
semantics was a semantics of life.
The virtue of the new approach was that it found the source of semantic
categories in embodied experience and encyclopedic or world knowledge. This
means that linguistic meaning was seen as emergent from physical experiences and
as acquired from other people in the course of infant nurturance, growing up
among peers and parents, and living in society as an adult. Culture and history
could now factor into the semantics of lexemes and grammatical constructions,
where in prior theorizing they could only influence language performance. For
example, Lakoff has argued that metaphorical idioms involve cultural knowledge
in the form of conventional images and that links in redial semantic categories are
structured by experiential domains, which may be culture- specific. Langacker,
too, has recently reaffirmed that language is an essential instrument and
component of culture, whose reflection in linguistic structure is pervasive and quite
Palmer has used such observation as a starting point for cultural linguistics,
an approach which foregrounds cultural schemata and cultural models in
explanations of grammar and semantic patterns. In this respect, it contrasts with the
typical practice of cognitive linguists, who in spite of their recognition of the
importance of culture, typically foreground universal scientific phenomena such as
figure-ground relations, spatial schemas, force dynamics, prototype categories, and
Lakoffs famous Idealized Cognitive Models, leaving cultural dimensions of
language somewhere in the background, or at least unlabeled as such. Cultural
linguistics offers a shift I emphasis. Though it draws on the theiry of cognitive

linguistics for many essential analytical concepts, it explicitly extends cognitive
linguistics into cultural domains and it treats cultural categories as potential
semantic categories.
Palmer claims that many grammatical phenomena are best understood as
governed by cultural schemata rather than universal innate or emergent cognitive
schemata. The courses of such cultural schemata include mythology, such as
Australian Dyirbal myth of the sun and moon, which Lakoff used to explain
membership in Dyirbal noun classes. They also include social structure, repetitive
domestic and subsistence activities, salient rituals, and a host of other cultural
phenomena. For instance, they include such activities as the pulverizing of maize
or mealie with a mortar and pestle, an activity practiced throughout Africa, mainly
by women and girls. The daily routine of lifting and dropping the pestle and
hearing the thumps, time after time, must surely entrench the scenario and embody
the schemas of lifting, of the falling pestle, and the crushing, punctuating,
revererating thumps, felt in the hands and feet as well as heard. The emergent
categories must also register the femaleness of pounding grain. The experience of
pulverizing is culturally structured in at least two ways: first, by the assignment of
tasks by gender and age; second by the technology of the mortar and pestle, which
are cultural artifacts. If such basic embodied cultural experiences structure
semantic categories, then we should expect to see their expression in grammar. The
example reveals how essential it is that linguists do ethnography or at least read it
systematically as a source of semantic categories. Linguists can not rely solely
upon their own non-native intuitions about the semantics of complex domains
(Mylne 1995)
Linguistic culture study - to date, is the youngest branch of the ethno-linguistic. Its
task is to examine and describe the relationship of language and culture, language
and ethnicity, language, and national mentality, it is created, according to the
forecast of Emile Benveniste, "based on the triad - the language, culture, the
human person" and is linguistic culture as a lens through which the researcher can
see the material and spiritual identity of the ethnos.
Typically, the name given by its scientific field object, and categorical apparatus as
linguistic conceptology should be directed to the study of the structure and the
specific properties of concepts as mental entities of a special kind, to determine
their shape depending on the region of existence concept topology, the
description of their homomorphic characteristics conceptologyc aspect.
Certainly, the concept is a "multi-dimensional idealized shaping", but
consensus on the number of semantic parameters that can be conducted to study it,
the conceptology not. This includes both conceptual and imaginative, value,
behavioral, etymological and cultural 'dimension' of which almost anyone can have
a priority status in the study.
Appears to be optimal for the completeness of the semantic description of
the concept will be a cultural selection which includes three components:
conceptual, reflective of the feature and its definitional structure, shaped, fixing
cognitive metaphors that support the concept of a linguistic consciousness and
component of value for which it takes the name of the concept in lexical and

grammatical system of a particular language, which will include as its
etymological and associative properties.
The concept of "linguistic identity" is formed in the projection area of
linguistics appropriate interdisciplinary term, in the sense that we break the
philosophical, sociological and psychological perspectives on public important set
of physical and spiritual qualities of man that make up its qualitative method.
Integration and multi-dimensional nature of the term implies the ambiguity and
diversity of his understanding of linguistics, defined by parameters such as the
level of abstraction (the personality is an individual, group and base), and is the
area (personality, physical, social and spiritual). First of all, under the 'language
personality' we understand "man as a native speaker," taken from his ability to
voice activity, that is, a set of mental and physical properties of the individual,
allowing him to make and receive voice work - in fact, the identity of speech. By
'language personality' is understood as the aggregate of features co-verbal behavior
of the person using the language as a means of communication - communicative
personality. Finally, under the 'language personally ' can be understood as
embodied primarily in the lexical system of basic national cultural prototype
vehicle specific language, a kind of 'semantic sketch', drawn up on the basis of
worldviews, values, priorities and behaviors reflected in the dictionary -
personality 'dictionary', ethnosemantic
Sociological approach to multi-level structure of the individual existents and
almost all its representations in linguistics: it is allocated to the verbal-semantic,
pragmatic and cognitive levels. "Total language person" owns types of speech acts,
the stratification model and cognitive-expressive means of the language, as well as
familiar with the status of relations in the culture of the society.
According to its epistemological status of linguistic meaning - intermediate
formation occupying the middle space between the representation of knowledge as
a form of figurative and abstract concept as a form of thinking. However, the main
feature that separates the linguistic understanding of the concept is its way of
adopting a particular language implementation. Recognition of the concept plan,
the content of the linguistic sign that it includes, in addition to the whole object
relatedness, communicatively relevant information. First of all, it's reference to the
place occupied by this sign in the lexical system of the language: its paradigmatic,
syntagmatic and derivation of communication - that F.Sossyur calls "significant"
and that, in the end, reflects the "linguistic value of extralinguistic object", which is
expressed in accordance with the law of attraction synonymous in semantic density
of a thematic group. In the semantic structure of the whole concept there is also
pragmatic information of the sign, associated with its expressive and illocutionary
functions, which is consistent with the "intensity" of spiritual values, to which it
sends. Another highly probable component of semantics of language concept is
cognitive memory words: the semantic characteristics of the sign, associated with
its age-old purpose and spiritual value system of speakers. However
conceptologically most important here is the so-called cultural-ethnic component
that defines the semantics of the specific units of natural language and reflecting
'linguistic world' of its speakers.

'Naive view of the world' as a fact of everyday consciousness gradually
played in the lexical units of language, but the language itself does not reflect the
world, it only reflects the way of representation (conceptualization) of the world
the national language personality, and therefore the term 'language world'
sufficiently conditionally is the image of the world, reconstituted according to the
semantics of the language alone, but rather caricatures and schematic, as its texture
weave mainly of the features underlying the categorization and category of objects,
phenomena and their properties, and the adequacy of linguistic image of the world
adjusted empirical knowledge about indeed, common to people in a language.
Linguistic conceptualization as a set of techniques semantic representation of the
content of lexical items are obviously different in different cultures, but only one
specific way of semantic representation as to highlight the concept of linguistic-
cultural category, apparently, is not enough: the linguistic and cultural
characteristics are largely random and do not reflect the national and cultural (the
actual ethnic) identity semantics, and not all of the differences in the internal form
of individual lexical items have to be interpreted as meaning conceptologycal.
If the set of concepts as semantic units, reflecting the cultural specificity of
perception of the world of native speakers, forms the conceptual realm, is
comparable to the concept of mentality as a way of seeing the world, the concepts
marked with ethnic characteristics, belong to the domain that correlate with the
mentality of a variety of cognitive, emotive and behavioral nation . Boundary
between the mentality and attitudes - in the broad concepts and concepts in the
narrow sense - is sufficiently unclear and formal means to describe the modern
mentality of a Linguocultural community does not currently exist. The only
criterion of this is the degree of mass character and invariance of cognitive and
psychological stereotypes reflected in lexical semantics.
The selection of the concept as mental formation, marked Linguocultural
specificity - it is a natural step in the development of humanitarian anthropocentric
paradigm, in particular, the linguistic knowledge. In essence, in the concept of an
impersonal and objectivist notion authenticated ethnosemantic, regarding the
individual as enshrined in the semantic system of natural language base of national
and cultural prototype native speakers. Recreating the "image of man in this
language", carried out through ethnocultural authorization concepts, to an extent
comparable with the authorization statements and propositions concerning the
subject of speech and thought in the framework of the theory of modal statements
and non-classical (evaluation) of modal logics.
Meaning of the name - is a subject (denotation), bearing this name, the
meaning - the concept of denotation, is the information by which it is possible to
name the assignment to the subject. In the interpretation of the concept of
linguistic-culture is identified with the standard representation (prototype, gestalt-
structure), and here, as you can see, logical-semantic meaning and purpose almost
reversed: the concept of denotation - the information necessary and sufficient to
separate class of objects - is replaced by the actual denotation - standard way to
represent a class of undifferentiated fullness signs.

Sense - it is "an overall relatedness and communication of all relevant
situations phenomena." He always situational, due to the context, and is primarily a
question belongs to the value, which, in turn, out of context, non-situational, is in
the language, derives from the sense, socially institutionalized and formulated, in
contrast to the meanings that are created each and every one, only the drafters
dictionaries. Value abstracted from meanings and links with national idiolect
codified language. The texts lingvoculturological research concept receives the
different names: it is "an existential meaning," and "extremely clear" and own
"cultural concepts", but, taking into account the fact that the concept of language
belongs to the national consciousness, we can assume that dichotomy of value-
meaning it is related to the value, and can only find its name - to define a language
unit / unit, whose plan for the content it represents.
Lingvocultural concept is the formation of a high degree of semantic abstraction.
Correlation with the units of the universal concept of subject code is hardly
consistent with membership of lingvocultural concepts to the field of national
consciousness, as it idiolect and formed in the mind of an individual voice
Can we consider the linguistic conciseness to be a form of abstract thinking? Can
we consider a concept to be a form of collective consciousness? What influence
does the ethnic identity of a human make on his consciousness and world vision?

Lecture 3: National sphere of concepts
To study the concept of national sphere of concepts
To study the notion of concept as a unit of national sphere of concepts
To study the model of national sphere of concepts
The formalist approach, conceptualizing ethnicity as a type of social process
in which notions of cultural difference are communicated, enables us to view
ethnicity comparatively, and to account for ethnic phenomena without recourse to
crude conceptions of "cultures" and "peoples". It has moreover proven more
flexible, and capable of higher theoretical sophistication when dealing with
complex contexts, than a related approach in which ethnicity is reduced to a kind
of stratification system, or in which ethnic process is virtually by definition
reduced to group competition over scarce resources (Despres 1975; Cohen 1974b).
Such reduction prevents full understanding of the discriminating characteristics of
social systems where the communication of cultural differences is essential to the
reproduction of the system.
For all its merits, the formalist approach associated with Barth (1969) has
two important limitations preventing a satisfactory comparative understanding of
First - and this is nowadays a common criticism (O'Brien 1986; Wolf 1982;
Worsley 1984; Fardon 1987) - it is in principle ahistorical. Its very useful, highly
abstract comparative concepts such as ethnic boundary (Barth 1969),
dichotomization/complementarization (Eidheim 1971), symbolic form and function
(Cohen 1974a), and so on, indispensable in accounting for ethnicity on the
interpersonal level, divert analytic attention from the wider social and historical
context and thus implicitly disregard processes taking place beyond the grasp of
the individual agent. For one should never neglect, or even "bracket", the fact that
ethnicity is always a property of a particular social formation in addition to being
an aspect of interaction. Variations on this level of social reality, moreover, cannot
be accounted for comprehensively through studies of interaction, no matter how
detailed they may be. For instance, ethnicity involving a modern national state is
qualitatively different from ethnicity activated in a neighbourhood because a state
and an individual are different kinds of agents. In addition, the context of
interaction is constituted prior to the interaction itself and must therefore form part
of the explanation of interpersonal processes. This implies that we ought to
investigate the historical and social circumstances in which a particular ethnic
configuration has developed, and a subsequent localization in time, place and
social scale of the ethnic phenomenon in question must follow. A concept of power
distinguishing between individual and structural power is essential here. Moreover,
these findings are bound to influence our analysis, and should not be bracketed,
even - or perhaps particularly - if the ultimate goal is a reduction of social process
to a formal comparative model of ethnicity. On the other hand, historically
bounded studies of ethnicity and related phenomena (e.g. Anderson 1983; Smith
1986) usually fail to account for the reproduction of identity on the level of
interaction, and have limited comparative scope.

Secondly, and partly by implication, it can be misleading to consider
ethnicity simply as an "empty vessel" or a system of arbitrary signs, or a form of
deep grammar. Certainly, the "critical focus of investigation" ought to be "the
ethnic boundary that defines the group, not the cultural stuff it encloses" (Barth
1969:15, italics in the original) - that is, ethnicity is a property of relationship, not
"the sound of one hand clapping", to paraphrase Bateson. It is further doubtless
correct that ethnic distinctions can persist despite insignificant differential
"distribution of objective [cultural] traits" (Eidheim 1969:39), and that the
symbolic articulation of cultural difference can frequently be seen to change in
form and content, historically and situationally. Nevertheless, the cultural
specificities or differences invoked in every justification of ethnic differentiation or
dichotomization may (or may not) have a profound bearing on the experiential
nature of ethnic relations themselves. This implies that the medium is not
necessarily the message, and that the differences themselves, which represent a
level of signification conventionally glossed over by the formalists, should be
investigated, and not only the form of their articulation. In other words, if there are
contextual imperatives for the production of ethnic signs - and it would be foolish
to suggest otherwise, then the contexts in question must be understood along with
the acts of inter-ethnic communication.
The cultural differences referred to in ethnic interaction, then, cannot always
be reduced to its form without a loss of analytic comprehension. Since culture is
such a difficult term to handle analytically, and since one of the main insights from
formalist studies of ethnicity is that culture cannot be treated as a fixed and
bounded system of signs, it is tempting to reduce or disregard this level of social
reality in description and analysis. The most common (tacit) reduction of culture
has consisted in showing how ethnic signifiers may change due to changes in
context, thereby indicating that the signifiers themselves are really arbitrary, and
that the fundamental aspect of ethnicity is the very act of communicating and
maintaining cultural difference. This is the position advocated by Leach (1954),
who emphatically states:
"Culture provides the form, the 'dress' of the social situation. As far as I am
concerned, the cultural situation is a given factor, it is a product and an accident of
history. I do not know why Kachin women go hatless with bobbed hair before they
are married, but assume a turban afterwards, any more than I know why English
women put on a ring on a particular finger to denote the same change in social
status; all I am interested in is that in this Kachin context the assumption of a
turban by a woman does have this symbolic significance. It is a statement about the
status of the woman." (Leach 1954:16)
This type of argument has been very illuminating, but it is unsatisfactory in
the end because the cultural context of an act of communicating distinctiveness
may, as correctly assumed (and experienced) by non-anthropologists, make a
systematic difference in inter-ethnic encounters. At a certain point in the analysis
of ethnicity, where recognized cultural differences shape or prevent meaningful
interaction, or where power asymmetry distorts discourse, it becomes impossible to
neglect substantial features of social, cultural, historical contexts. Although the

formal relationship between say, the Canadian state and Mohawk Amerindians
may be similar to that between say, the Botswana state and Basarwa (San) people,
the social and cultural significance of the respective relationships differ because of
important differences in the cultural contexts referred to in the ongoing invocation
of differences. This implies that formal modelling of ethnicity may miss the point
not only because it leaves out aspects of ethnicity which are important to the
agents, but also because it disregards the potentially varying importance of cultural
differences in the articulation of ethnicity.
Handelman's (1977) typology of ethnic incorporation, ranking ethnic groups
or categories from the socially very loose to the socially very strongly
incorporated, has similarly limited explanatory power. It is misleading insofar as it
treats ethnic categories or groups as analytical entities. This will not do: it is
necessary to account for the production and reproduction of ethnicity in a less
abstract, less static way in order to understand its concrete manifestations. Any
detailed analysis of ethnicity must therefore take into account the varying cultural
significance of ethnicity, not only cross-culturally, but also intra-culturally and
perhaps most importantly, intra-personally. Different inter-ethnic contexts within a
society, which may or may not involve the same sets of persons, have variable
significance in relevant ways. Ethnicity, as a source of cultural meaning and as a
principle for social differentiation, is highly distributive within any society or set of
social contexts involving the same personnel. Its varying importance, or varying
semantic density, can only be appreciated through a comparison of contexts, which
takes account of differences in the meaning which are implied by the acts of
communicating cultural distinctiveness which we call ethnicity.
A treatment of the relationship between the systemic level of interaction and the
systemic level of social formation, necessary in the final analysis when the validity
of ethnicity as a comparative concept is to be assessed (cf. Fardon 1987), falls
outside of the scope of this article. The ethnographic examples and contexts to be
discussed below illustrate the second theoretical point; namely, that the cultural
differences which are confirmed in the communication of ethnic differences, vary
between contexts which may otherwise be comparable, and that this variation
should be understood in accounts of ethnic processes.
Why is ethnicity so important?
Like activities in politics and in the productive sector, family life and certain
leisure activities in the two societies are routinely understood and codified in an
ethnic idiom. However, the contexts of ethnicity encountered here may differ
markedly from those reproduced in fields which are to a greater degree regulated
by sets of formal rules. In routine politics, a shared language-game contains rules
for competition over shared, scarce values; in the context of wagework, a similar
competition is important although, as I have shown, not always sufficiently
important to prevent the articulation of incommensurable language-games. It is
nevertheless usually in informal contexts of interaction that ethnic differences can
be regarded as expressions of incommensurable language-games.
Cultural differences between blacks and Indians are in both societies
strongly articulated in matters relating to sexuality. The sexual ideologies of black

men in Trinidad and Mauritius encourage promiscuity; to brag publicly of one's
numerous achievements in this regard is an affirmation of black identity. In the
ideology of Indian-ness, on the contrary, great value is placed on sexual purity in
women, and the sacred character of matrimony is emphasized. In an Indian
language-game, the supposed sexual prowess of black men is coupled with the
widespread notion that women are unable to resist sexual advances. In this way,
black men seem to represent a threat against the domestic supremacy of Indian
men - and stories about faithless Indian women eloping with black men are so
widespread in both societies as to be proverbial. When, in Mauritius, I asked black
men about their views on extramarital sex, they might reply, giggling, that "it's not
like in Europe" - meaning that it was a daily occurence. Indo-Mauritians, on the
other hand, would usually be reluctant to talk about sex at all. Aids figures from
Trinidad, incidentally, tend to confirm the folk assumption that blacks there on an
average have a larger number of sexual partners than Indians: there is a striking
overrepresentation of blacks in the official figures.
This kind of cultural difference is very important, even if practices do not
necessarily conform to folk representations. The distinction suggests that varying
representations of self and relevant others indicate, and reproduce, a relevant
cultural difference as regards the most intimate of human relationships. Variations
in the conceptualization of sexuality are in both societies indexically linked with
ethnic labels. It is therefore widely assumed that inter-ethnic interaction in this area
can lead to conflicts in the most personal of social fields. Despite generally cordial
relations between people of different ethnic identity, intermarriage is rare in both
The important point here is that what anthropologists regard as political
ethnicity ("competition over scarce resources") cannot be fully understood unless
an understanding of private ethnicity (immediate struggles) is first established. It is
in the intimate contexts of family, close friendship and the like that the basic
cultural contexts making up individual identity are reproduced. Only if one fully
understands the reproduction of discrete, socially discriminating language-games at
this level can one hope to understand why ethnicity can be fashioned into such a
powerful political force within the unitary language-game of institutional politics.
It is in such contexts that the language-games on which all communication of
cultural difference feeds, are reproduced. Such contexts are also crucial in the
transcendence of ethnic disctinctions; it is significant, thus, that popular national
sentiment transcending ethnic boundaries in either society is perhaps never
stronger than in contexts of international sports.
The formal systemic frameworks, in this case those of politics and labour,
are thus fed with cultural distinctions on which they have a mitigating effect
insofar as they represent shared desirable values, but which they neither
autonomously create nor reproduce. Both Trinidad and Mauritius have recently (in
1986-7 and 1982-3 respectively) experienced concerted attempts to transcend the
ethnic dimension in politics through the formation of broad nationalist coalitions.
Following their rapid breakup (in Mauritius, the government lasted nine months, in
Trinidad seven), the politicians and the electorate immediately fell back on an

ethnic perception of politics, and its subsequent organization was related to such a
perception - although not all the new alignments followed strictly ethnic lines. For
instance, in Trinidad, the foreign minister BasdeoPanday was removed by the
black-dominated government and replaced by another Hindu, SahadeoBasdeo, who
was nevertheless considered a less "rootsy" Hindu than the former. Ethnicity in this
case proved empirically more fundamental than other principles of classification
(in this case, nationalism). Ethnicity is in many contexts the single most important
criterion for collective social distinctions in daily life; ethnic distinctions are rooted
in perceptions of differences between lifestyles, and the others are held to represent
lifestyles and values which are regarded as undesirable. As mentioned, cultural
differences are sometimes activated in non-ethnic situations, such as rural/urban,
middle-class/ working-class and male/female contexts. However, in these societies,
one is never simply "male" or "middle-class": one is Indian male or Coloured
middle-class. The ethnic dimension nearly always enters into the definition of a
situation; it is an underlying premiss for all social classification. To the extent that
agents routinely ascribe their own experiences of cultural incompatibility to ethnic
differences, ethnicity also remains dominant as a principle for cultural
differentiation. This, among other things, entails the maintenance of
incommensurable language-games conceptually identified with ethnic differences
Problem questions:
What forms of perception of reality are formed in every culture? Can cross-cultural
communication help to create the second linguistic personality? If yes, what can it
lead to? Do concepts change within time? Diffrenet social spheres?In ethnic and
age groups?