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Cognitive-Functional Linguistics – Some Basic Tenets II.

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Presentation on theme: "Cognitive-Functional Linguistics – Some Basic Tenets II."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Cognitive-Functional Linguistics – Some Basic Tenets II

3 June 19, 2006RT/CFL2 Why did we introduce the terms entrenchment, abstraction, comparison, composition, and association? The first answer: Regarding the issue of innate specification I make no a priori claims. I do however sub- scribe to the general strategy in cognitive and functional linguistics of deriving lan- guage structure insofar as possible from the more general psychological capacities (e.g. perception, memory, categorization), positing inborn language-specific structures only as a last resort. R. W. Langacker (2000: 2)

4 June 19, 2006RT/CFL3 Why did we introduce the terms entrenchment, abstraction, comparison, composition, and association? The second answer: The usage-based model … is applicable to all domains of language structure: semantics, phonology, lexicon, morphology, syntax. A linguistic system comprises large numbers of conventional units in each domain … A few basic psychological phenomena … [apply] repeatedly in all domains and at many levels of organization …. R. W. Langacker (2000: 2)

5 June 19, 2006RT/CFL4 Six Theses About Grammar In The English Passive, chapter 4 in Con- cept, Image, and Symbol (1991), R. W. Langacker compares six theses about gram- mar – accepted virtually without question by many theorists (e.g. generativists) – with the corresponding cognitive view. They are listed on the next slide. Afterwards, we shall look at each of them in detail.

6 June 19, 2006RT/CFL5 The Seven Theses Descriptive Minimalism Descriptive Maximalism Self-Contained Components Continuum Autonomous Syntax Symbolic Syntax Universal Semantics Language-Spec. Semantics Meaningless Morphemes Meaningful Morphemes Abstract Syntax Overt Grammar Syntax-Lexicon Dichotomy Non-Generality of Syntax

7 June 19, 2006RT/CFL6 Descriptive Economy The Descriptive Minimalism Thesis Economy is to be sought in linguistic description. Specifically, particular statements are to be ex- cluded if the grammar contains a general state- ment (rule) that fully subsumes them. The Descriptive Maximalism Thesis Economy must be consistent with psychological reality. The grammar of a language repre- sents conventional linguistic knowledge and includes all linguistic structures learned as established units. Content units coexist in the grammar with subsuming schemas.

8 June 19, 2006RT/CFL7 Rules and Lists – 1 Cognitive grammar seeks an accurate characterization of the structure and orga- nization of linguistic knowledge as an integral part of human cognition. … The question whether the grammar of a language should include both general statements and particular statements sub- sumed by them is a factual rather than a methodological issue.

9 June 19, 2006RT/CFL8 Rules and Lists – 2 If speakers in fact master and manipulate both lists (particular statements) and rules (general statements) from which these lists could be predicted, a truthful descrip- tion of their linguistic knowledge must contain both the lists and the rules.

10 June 19, 2006RT/CFL9 Components of Grammar The Self-Contained Components Thesis Linguistic structure can be resolved into nume-rous separate, essential-ly self- contained compo-nents. The Continuum Thesis Only semantic, phonologi- cal, and bipolar symbolic units are posited. Sharp dichotomies are usually found only by arbitrarily selecting examples from opposite endpoints of a continuum.

11 June 19, 2006RT/CFL10 Bipolar Symbolic Units = Constructions All levels of grammatical analysis involve constructions: learned pairings of form with semantic or discourse function – including morphemes or words, idioms, partially lexically filled and fully general phrasal patterns. P. 5 in Adele E. Goldberg (2006): Constructions at Work. The Nature of Generalization in Language.

12 June 19, 2006RT/CFL11 Examples of Constructions – Varying in Size and Complexity Morpheme Word Complex word Complex word (partially filled) Idiom (filled) Idiom (partially filled) Ditransitive pre-, -ing Avocado, and daredevil [N-s] (for regular plurals) going great guns jog memory Subj V Obj1 Obj2

13 June 19, 2006RT/CFL12 Autonomy of Syntax The Autonomous Syntax Thesis As a special case of the modularity of grammar, syntax is an autono-mous component dis-tinct from both seman-tics and lexicon. The Symbolic Syntax Thesis Syntax is not autonomous, but symbolic, forming a continuum with lexicon and morphology. Syntactic units are bipolar, with semantic and phonological poles.

14 June 19, 2006RT/CFL13 Universality of Semantics The Universal Semantics Thesis Supporting the autonomy of syntax thesis, it can be pre- sumed that semantic struc-ture is universal, while gram-matical structure varies greatly from language to language. The Language-Specific Semantics Thesis Semantic structure is language specific, involving layers of con- ventional imagery. Semantic structure is conventionalized conceptual structure, and gram- mar is the conventional sym- bolization of semantic structure.

15 June 19, 2006RT/CFL14 Universal Semantics Language has means for making reference to the objects, relations, properties and events that popu-late our everyday world. It is possible to suppose that these linguistic categories and structures are more or less straightforward mappings from a pre-existing conceptual space, programmed into our biological nature. Humans invent words that label their concepts. P. 266 in Li and Gleitman (2002): Turning the tables: language and spatial reasoning. Cognition, 83, 265–94. (Cited in Evans & Green 2006: 62)

16 June 19, 2006RT/CFL15 Conventionalized Conceptual Structure Cognitive linguists argue against the view that language is pre-specified in the sense that … semantic organization [is mapped out by] a set of primitives. Instead linguistic organization is held to reflect embodied cognition …, which serve to constrain what is possible to experi- ence, and thus what is possible to express in language. P in V. Evans and M. Green (2006): Cognitive Linguistics. An Introduction.

17 June 19, 2006RT/CFL16 From Embodiment To Conceptual Structure

18 June 19, 2006RT/CFL17 Meaningless Morphemes The Meaningless Morphemes Thesis In accordance with the auto- nomy of syntax thesis and the universality of semantics thesis, syntactic structure relies crucially on gramma-tical morphemes, which are often meaningless and serve purely formal purposes. The Meaningful Morphemes Thesis Grammatical morphemes are meaningful, and are present be- cause of their semantic contri- bution.

19 June 19, 2006RT/CFL18 Meaningful Grammatical Morphemes – 1 [T]he claim [in autonomous syntax] that gram- matical morphemes are for the most part mean- ingless, being inserted for purely formal or grammatical purposes, is almost a necessary one, since the autonomy of syntax would ap- pear very dubious if we admitted that gram- matical markers are meaningful, and that their syntactic use is determined by the meanings they convey.

20 June 19, 2006RT/CFL19 Meaningful Grammatical Morphemes 2 The distinction between lexical and gramma- tical morphemes represents an artifactual dichotomization based on sharp differences between examples selected from the end- points of what is really a continuum. In reality, however, both lexical and gramma- tical morphemes vary along a continuum in regard to such parameters as the complexity and abstractness of their semantic specifi- cations.

21 June 19, 2006RT/CFL20 Meaningful Grammatical Morphemes 3 While so-called lexical morphemes tend to cluster near the complex/concrete end of the continuum, we see a clear gradation in series like ostrich–bird–animal–thing. So-called grammatical morphemes tend to cluster near the simple/abstract end of the continuum, but here too we observe a gradation: above–may–have–of. The scales clearly overlap.

22 June 19, 2006RT/CFL21 Abstract Syntactic Structure The Abstract Syntactic Structure Thesis Syntactic structure is ab-stract. Surface structures often derive from deep struc-tures which are significantly different in character, and contain elements (grammati-cal morphemes) that have no place in underlying struc-ture. The Overt Grammatical Structure Thesis Grammatical structure is entire- ly overt. No underlying struc- tures or derivations are posited.

23 June 19, 2006RT/CFL22 The Content Requirement The only units permitted in the grammar of a language are: (i)semantic, phonologi- cal, and symbolic structures that occur overtly in linguistic expressions; (ii) structures that are schematic for those in (i). This requirement rules out all arbi- trary descriptive devices, i.e. those with no direct grounding in phonetic or semantic reality: (a) contentless features or dia- critics; (b) syntactic dummies with neither semantic nor phonological content, introduced solely to drive the formal machinery of autonomous syntax; (c) the derivation of overt structures from abstract, underlying structures of a substantially different charac- ter.

24 June 19, 2006RT/CFL23 The Generality of Syntax The Syntax-Lexicon Dichotomy Thesis Syntax consists primarily of general rules. It is to be distinguished sharply from lexicon, the repository for ir- regularity and idiosyncrasy. The Non-Generality of Syntax Thesis Lexicon and grammar form a continuum of symbolic struc- tures. This continuum contains no sharp dichotomies based on generality, regularity, or analy- zability.

25 Grammar versus Lexicon A Classical Generative Solution

26 June 19, 2006RT/CFL25 Grammar versus Lexicon – 1 Lexicon hopar / JUMP, PRES hopa / JUMP, PAST dansar / DANCE, PRES dansa / DANCE, PAST spe:lar / PLAY, PRES spe:la / PLAY, PAST se:r / SEE, PRES so:g / SEE, PAST

27 June 19, 2006RT/CFL26 Grammar versus Lexicon – 2 Lexicon hopar / JUMP, PRES hopa / JUMP, PAST dansar / DANCE, PRES dansa / DANCE, PAST spe:lar / PLAY, PRES spe:la / PLAY, PAST se:r / SEE, PRES so:g / SEE, PAST Grammar 1.[V, PRES ] [V, PRES ] +ar 2.[V, PAST ] [V, PAST ] +a

28 June 19, 2006RT/CFL27 Grammar versus Lexicon – 3 Lexicon hopar / JUMP, PRES hopa / JUMP, PAST dansar / DANCE, PRES dansa / DANCE, PAST spe:lar / PLAY, PRES spe:la / PLAY, PAST se:r / SEE, PRES so:g / SEE, PAST Grammar 1.[V, PRES ] [V, PRES ] +ar 2.[V, PAST ] [V, PAST ] +a

29 June 19, 2006RT/CFL28 Grammar versus Lexicon – 4 Lexicon hopar / JUMP, PRES hopa / JUMP, PAST dansar / DANCE, PRES dansa / DANCE, PAST spe:lar / PLAY, PRES spe:la / PLAY, PAST se:r / SEE, PRES so:g / SEE, PAST Grammar 1.[V, PRES ] [V, PRES ] +ar 2.[V, PAST ] [V, PAST ] +a

30 June 19, 2006RT/CFL29 Grammar versus Lexicon – 5 Lexicon hop / JUMP dans / DANCE spe:l / PLAY se:r / SEE, PRES so:g / SEE, PAST kvi:ler / REST, PRES kvi:lte / REST, PAST de:ler / DIVIDE, PRES de:lte / DIVIDE, PAST Grammar 1.[V, PRES ] [V, PRES ] +ar 2.[V, PAST ] [V, PAST ] +a 3.[V, PRES ] [V, PRES ] +er 4.[V, PAST ] [V, PAST ] +te

31 June 19, 2006RT/CFL30 Grammar versus Lexicon – 6 Lexicon hop / JUMP dans / DANCE spe:l / PLAY se:r / SEE, PRES so:g / SEE, PAST kvi:ler / REST, PRES kvi:lte / REST, PAST de:ler / DIVIDE, PRES de:lte / DIVIDE, PAST Grammar 1.[V, PRES ] [V, PRES ] +ar 2.[V, PAST ] [V, PAST ] +a 3.[V, PRES ] [V, PRES ] +er 4.[V, PAST ] [V, PAST ] +te

32 June 19, 2006RT/CFL31 Grammar versus Lexicon – 7 Lexicon hop / JUMP dans / DANCE spe:l / PLAY se:r / SEE, PRES so:g / SEE, PAST kvi:ler/ REST, PRES kvi:lte / REST, PAST de:ler / DIVIDE, PRES de:lte / DIVIDE, PAST Grammar 1.[V, PRES ] [V, PRES ] +ar 2.[V, PAST ] [V, PAST ] +a 3.[V, PRES ] [V, PRES ] +er 4.[V, PAST ] [V, PAST ] +te

33 June 19, 2006RT/CFL32 Grammar versus Lexicon – 8 Lexicon hop α / JUMP dans α / DANCE spe:l α / PLAY kvi:l β / REST de:l β / DIVIDE se:r / SEE, PRES so:g / SEE, PAST Grammar 1.[V α, PRES] [V α, PRES] +ar 2.[V α, PAST] [V α, PAST] +a 3.[V β, PRES] [V β, PRES] +er 4.[V β, PAST] [V β, PAST] +te

34 June 19, 2006RT/CFL33 Grammar versus Lexicon – 9 Lexicon hop α / JUMP dans α / DANCE spe:l α / PLAY kvi:l β / REST de:l β / DIVIDE se:r / SEE, PRES so:g / SEE, PAST le:r / LAUGH, PRES lu: / LAUGH, PAST Grammar 1.[V α, PRES] [V α, PRES] +ar 2.[V α, PAST] [V α, PAST] +a 3.[V β, PRES] [V β, PRES] +er 4.[V β, PAST] [V β, PAST] +te

35 The Emergent Grammar A Cognitive Solution

36 June 19, 2006RT/CFL35 The Emergent Grammar Predictable features need not be excluded from repre- sentation in individual items. The presence of a feature on a list does not exclude it from being predictable by rule. Rather the notion of rule takes a very different form. Linguistic regularities are not expressed as cogni- tive entities or operations that are independent of the forms to which they apply, but rather as schemas or organizational patterns that emerge from the way that forms are associated with one another in a vast network of phonological, semantic, and sequential relations. P. 21 in Joan Bybee (2001): Phonology and Language Use

37 June 19, 2006RT/CFL36 The Rule/List Fallacy 1 The exclusionary fallacy holding, on grounds of simplicity, that particular statements (lists) are to be excised from the grammar of a language if gen- eral statements (rules) can be estab- lished that subsumes them. P. 492 in R. W. Langacker (1987): Foundations of Cognitive Grammar

38 June 19, 2006RT/CFL37 The Rule/List Fallacy 2 If all the regularity is factored out of a linguistic structure, the residue is sel- dom if ever recognizable as a coherent entity plausibly attributed to cognitive autonomy. P. 393 in Langacker (1987): Foundations of Cognitive Grammar

39 June 19, 2006RT/CFL38 The Cheshire Dog That is to say, if our memories for dogs ex- cluded all the predictable features (two ears, a muzzle, fur, a tail, wet nose, etc.), what is left would not be a recognizable or coherent entity. Similarly, if all predictable features are removed from a word, it would not be recognizable as an English word, or as a linguistic object at all. P. 21 in Joan Bybee (2001): Phonology and Language Use

40 June 19, 2006RT/CFL39 The Emergent Grammar 1 hopar / JUMP, PRES hopa / JUMP, PAST

41 June 19, 2006RT/CFL40 The Emergent Grammar 2 hopar / JUMP, PRES hopa / JUMP, PAST hopa... / JUMP, TNS

42 June 19, 2006RT/CFL41 The Emergent Grammar 3 hopar / JUMP, PRES hopa / JUMP, PAST hopa... / JUMP, TNS dansar / DANCE, PRES

43 June 19, 2006RT/CFL42 The Emergent Grammar 4 hopar / JUMP, PRES hopa / JUMP, PAST hopa... / JUMP, TNS dansar / DANCE, PRES σ…ar / VERB, PRES

44 June 19, 2006RT/CFL43 The Emergent Grammar 5 hopar / JUMP, PRES hopa / JUMP, PAST hopa... / JUMP, TNS dansar / DANCE, PRES σ…ar / VERB, PRES dansa / DANCE, PAST

45 June 19, 2006RT/CFL44 The Emergent Grammar 6 hopar / JUMP, PRES hopa / JUMP, PAST hopa... / JUMP, TNS dansar / DANCE, PRES σ…ar / VERB, PRES dansa / DANCE, PAST dansa... / DANCE, TNS

46 June 19, 2006RT/CFL45 The Emergent Grammar 7 hopar / JUMP, PRES hopa / JUMP, PAST hopa... / JUMP, TNS dansar / DANCE, PRES σ…ar / VERB, PRES dansa / DANCE, PAST dansa... / DANCE, TNS σ…a / VERB, PAST

47 June 19, 2006RT/CFL46 The Emergent Grammar 8 hopar / JUMP, PRES hopa / JUMP, PAST hopa... / JUMP, TNS dansar / DANCE, PRES σ…ar / VERB, PRES dansa / DANCE, PAST dansa... / DANCE, TNS σ…a / VERB, PAST kvi:ler / REST, PRES

48 June 19, 2006RT/CFL47 The Emergent Grammar 9 hopar / JUMP, PRES hopa / JUMP, PAST hopa... / JUMP, TNS dansar / DANCE, PRES σ…ar / VERB, PRES dansa / DANCE, PAST dansa... / DANCE, TNS σ…a / VERB, PAST kvi:ler / REST, PRES σ…Vr / VERB, PRES

49 June 19, 2006RT/CFL48 The Emergent Grammar 10 hopar / JUMP, PRES hopa / JUMP, PAST hopa... / JUMP, TNS dansar / DANCE, PRES σ…ar / VERB, PRES dansa / DANCE, PAST dansa... / DANCE, TNS σ…a / VERB, PAST kvi:ler / REST, PRES σ…Vr / VERB, PRES kvi:lte / REST, PAST

50 June 19, 2006RT/CFL49 The Emergent Grammar 11 hopar / JUMP, PRES hopa / JUMP, PAST hopa... / JUMP, TNS dansar / DANCE, PRES σ…ar / VERB, PRES dansa / DANCE, PAST dansa... / DANCE, TNS σ…a / VERB, PAST kvi:ler / REST, PRES σ…Vr / VERB, PRES kvi:lte / REST, PAST kvi:l…e… / REST, TNS

51 June 19, 2006RT/CFL50 The Emergent Grammar 12 hopar / JUMP, PRES hopa / JUMP, PAST hopa... / JUMP, TNS dansar / DANCE, PRES σ…ar / VERB, PRES dansa / DANCE, PAST dansa... / DANCE, TNS σ…a / VERB, PAST kvi:ler / REST, PRES σ…Vr / VERB, PRES kvi:lte / REST, PAST kvi:l…e… / REST, TNS de:ler / DIVIDE, PRES

52 June 19, 2006RT/CFL51 The Emergent Grammar 13 hopar / JUMP, PRES hopa / JUMP, PAST hopa... / JUMP, TNS dansar / DANCE, PRES σ…ar / VERB, PRES dansa / DANCE, PAST dansa... / DANCE, TNS σ…a / VERB, PAST kvi:ler / REST, PRES σ…Vr / VERB, PRES kvi:lte / REST, PAST kvi:l…e… / REST, TNS de:ler / DIVIDE, PRES σ…er / VERB, PRES

53 June 19, 2006RT/CFL52 The Emergent Grammar 14 hopar / JUMP, PRES hopa / JUMP, PAST hopa... / JUMP, TNS dansar / DANCE, PRES σ…ar / VERB, PRES dansa / DANCE, PAST dansa... / DANCE, TNS σ…a / VERB, PAST kvi:ler / REST, PRES σ…Vr / VERB, PRES kvi:lte / REST, PAST kvi:l…e… / REST, TNS de:ler / DIVIDE, PRES σ…er / VERB, PRES

54 June 19, 2006RT/CFL53 The Emergent Grammar 15 hopar / JUMP, PRES hopa / JUMP, PAST hopa... / JUMP, TNS dansar / DANCE, PRES σ…ar / VERB, PRES dansa / DANCE, PAST dansa... / DANCE, TNS σ…a / VERB, PAST kvi:ler / REST, PRES σ…Vr / VERB, PRES kvi:lte / REST, PAST kvi:l…e… / REST, TNS de:ler / DIVIDE, PRES σ…er / VERB, PRES se:r / SEE, PRES

55 June 19, 2006RT/CFL54 The Emergent Grammar 16 hopar / JUMP, PRES hopa / JUMP, PAST hopa... / JUMP, TNS dansar / DANCE, PRES σ…ar / VERB, PRES dansa / DANCE, PAST dansa... / DANCE, TNS σ…a / VERB, PAST kvi:ler / REST, PRES σ…Vr / VERB, PRES kvi:lte / REST, PAST kvi:l…e… / REST, TNS de:ler / DIVIDE, PRES σ…er / VERB, PRES se:r / SEE, PRES … and then?


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