Presentation on theme: "35 years of Cognitive Linguistics Session 1: Introduction"— Presentation transcript:
135 years of Cognitive Linguistics Session 1: Introduction Martin Hilpert
2What is this course about? It’s an introduction to Cognitive Linguistics.Cognitive Linguistics = the study of language in terms of cognitive processes such ascategorization, schematization, analogy, ...You will find out aboutthe assumptions and goals of Cognitive Linguistics,its main research themes,how the field has developed since its inception.
4What are the requirements? Please come to the lectures.There are readings for each lecture, you can access them online.For each reading, there will be an online quiz that has to be completed before the lecture.At the end of the class, there will be a take-home exam.
5plan for today What is Cognitive Linguistics? three central projects in Cognitive Linguisticsthe study of conceptual metaphorConstruction GrammarUsage-based linguistics... and how they developed over the yearsconclusions and outlook
6What is Cognitive Linguistics? ‘functional’linguistics?psycholinguistics?What is Cognitive Linguistics?about metaphors?anti-Chomskyan?
7anti-Chomskyan?shared assumptions:knowledge of language is the primary object of studya key aim of linguistics is to explain why some sentences are grammatical while others are notIn the mirror John saw himself.* In the mirror himself saw John.
8rejection of generative assumptions: anti-Chomskyan?rejection of generative assumptions:children are not endowed with a ‘universal grammar’the ‘grammar and dictionary’ view of linguistic knowledge is rejectedknowledge of language emerges from language use
9Cognitive Linguistics anti-Chomskyan?Cognitive Linguisticsattempts to describe what speakers know when they know a languagewords, constructions, ...attempts to relate that knowledge to general cognitive processescategorization, schema formation, analogy, ...attempts to explain how that knowledge comes into being through language use
10Cognitive linguistics: psycholinguistics?Psycholinguistics:How does the human mind handle language?language processing, production, acquisitionnot tied to a single theory of languageon-line data: reaction times, eye movements, brain imaging, etc.Cognitive linguistics:What does language tell us about the mind?language structures, language representationconceived as a theory of languageoff-line data: linguistic examples, grammaticality judgments, corpus data
11Cognitive linguistics: psycholinguistics?Psycholinguistics:divide and conquerword recognitionparsingsentence comprehensionanaphora resolution...Cognitive linguistics:a theory of everythinghow language is represented in the mind, how it is learned and used, how it changes, the universe, and all the rest
12Functional linguistics Basic assumption: Language is the way it is because it is used for communication.Form follows function.≠ formal approaches: The structures of language are determined by formal principles that are independent of functional pressures.This is the report that I filed before reading.* I filed the report before reading.
13But, it is much more than that! about metaphors?Yes, cognitive linguistics is known for work on metaphor, and meaning in general.But, it is much more than that!
14Three central projects conceptual metaphorConstruction Grammarusage-basedlinguistics
17definition of metaphor “The essence of metaphor is understanding one kind of thing in terms of another.”(Lakoff and Johnson 1980)
18arguments She attacked every weak point in my argument. Your claims are indefensible.You’re going to get a lot of flak for those suggestions.They had to surrender to the force of our arguments.Being in an argument is viewed (and talked about) in terms of fighting a war.the ‘ARGUMENT IS WAR’ metaphor
19domain of WAR domain of ARGUMENTS mappingsParticipantsin an argumentRaising objectionsMaintainingone’s opinionGiving up youropinionFighting partiesAttackingDefendingSurrenderingsource domaintarget domain
20diseases DISEASES ARE ENEMIES Since 1998 the virus has invaded southern and central Europe, killing over 1.8 million animals so far.We are losing the fight against tuberculosis.He has been battling his disease with homeopathic medication.The spread of the deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is dealing a heavy blow to commercial activities in Taiwan.DISEASES ARE ENEMIES
21domain of WAR domain of DISEASE Enemy / InvaderAttacking / invadingFightingAmmunitionVictoryGerms, virusesInfectionTrying to healMedicationRecovery
22scientific disciplines She has published widely in the field of cognitive psychology.My dissertation straddles the line between linguistics and philosophy.This article goes beyond the traditional boundaries of particle physics.This finding has opened up entirely new areas of research.SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINES ARE AREAS
23domain of SPACE domain of SCIENCE AreaBeing in aborderline regionMoving acrossboundariesDiscovery ofnew territoryDisciplineWorking ontwo disciplinesChanging disciplinesScientificdiscovery
24source domains and target domains Common source domainsspace (a central idea)force (a strong candidate)manipulation (turn this to your advantage)vision (a clear explanation)taste (a bitter disappointment)>> direct, bodily experiencetarget domainsimportancecompetitionsocial relationslogicemotions>> abstract ideas
25conceptual metaphoris based on our capacity to think of (and then talk about) one kind of thing in terms of anotherinvolves a mapping of concepts from one semantic domain onto another domainhelps us understand (or: “get a grip on”) complex phenomena, unfamiliar topics, or any other less well structured semantic domain
26the ‘literal meaning first’ hypothesis That is not true, she is a human...He MUST mean something else…He probably means that Sally is in some way LIKE a block of ice,repellant, unpleasant to interact with, unresponsive, etc.Sally is a block of ice.John Searle
27Does sympathy feel warm? She gave me the cold shoulder.We received a warm welcome.I gradually warmed up to them.She gave me an icy stare.
28Sympathy feels warm, exclusion feels cold. (Zhong and Leonardelli 2008) Two groups of subjects were asked to perform a number of tasks, among themGroup A had to imagine a scene of social inclusionGroup B had to imagine a scene of social exclusionAfter all the tasks, the experimenter asked each subject to estimate the room temperature “at the request of lab maintenance staff”.Significant difference between the two groups, exclusion group giving lower estimates.Target domain activates the source domain.
29Exclusion feels cold, part II (Zhong and Leonardelli 2008) Participants were literally subjected to social inclusion/exclusion.computer game in which “three players were connecting on-line”, tossing a ballExclusion group received the ball twice initially, but not once during the rest of the game.test after the task:Desirability ratings for cold and hot drinks and food itemsExclusion group found hot food and drinks significantly more desirable than the inclusion group.
30Why is this important?Metaphorical target domains can activate their respective source domains.Metaphors are not just language, they are deeply engrained patterns of association in thought.Specifically: Exclusion feels cold, creates a need for physical warmth.Knowledge of social interaction is hence embodied, i.e. connected to bodily experience.
31Warmth makes you feel sympathy (Williams and Bargh 2008) Holding a warm cup of coffee makes you feel more sympathy for others:“before the experiment”, subjects were casually asked to hold the experimenter’s drink during an elevator ridetwo groups: hot coffee, cold sodaboth groups were then asked to complete a personality assessment questionnairethe same person was rated as more friendly, intelligent, etc. by the coffee groupSource domain activates the target domain.
32Warmth makes you feel sympathy, part II (Williams and Bargh 2008) Holding a hot therapeutic pad makes you more generous towards others:subjects were asked to evaluate an icy/hot therapeutic pad “for market research”two groups: hot, icy (experimenter blind)Both groups were offered two types of reward:ice cream for themselvesice cream “gift certificate for a friend”The ‘hot’ group chose gift certificates significantly more often.
33conceptual metaphor: conclusions The study of conceptual metaphor started on the basis of off-line linguistic evidence:The deadline is getting closer and closer.Let us put this disagreement behind us.>> Abstract ideas (target domains) are understood in terms of direct bodily experience (source domains).>> Abstract human thought is embodied.By now, a substantial body of psychological evidence lends support to this view.
36What do speakers know when they know a language?
37What speakers have to know: must know wordsdog, submarine, probably, you, should, etc.what they mean, how they soundmust know that there are different kinds of wordsred is an adjective, tasty is an adjective as well, lobster is a noun, etc.must know how to put words togetherred can be combined with ballmany cannot be combined with milkJohn saw Mary is ok, John Mary saw is not, but It’s John Mary saw is okmust be able to put the right endings on wordsJohn walk-s, two dog-smust be able to understand newly coined wordsfestive-ness, under-whelmmust know that sometimes more is meant than is saidGeneral Motors were able to increase production in the second quarter.I don’t know if that is a good idea.must know idiomatic expressionsI'm all ears, let’s take a break, we really hit it off, …
39The totality of our knowledge of language is captured by a network of constructions: a ‘construct-i-con.’ Goldberg 2003: 219[…] the network of constructions captures our grammatical knowledge of language in toto, i.e. it’s constructions all the way down.Goldberg 2006: 18
40Constructions words: cat, philosophy, sparkling, run, ... collocations: I don’t know, you bet, see you, ...semi-fixed phrases: keep V-ing, could you please VPsyntactic patterns: SUBJ BE V-ed, SUBJ V OBJ1 OBJ2abstract phrase structures: PREP DET NOUNSpeakers’ knowledge of language = an associative network that connects all of these constructions
41Idiomatic expressions are everywhere In winter you can look out of the window and tell it's 2°C outside. How? Because the crocuses are coming into bloom. Crocuses are plants that nature has provided with a biological thermometer. It's very accurate, reacting to temperature differences of as little as 0.5°C. As the weather gets warmer the flowers open. But when the temperature drops, they close again.
42Idiomatic expressions are everywhere In winter you can look out of the window and tell it's 2°C outside. How? Because the crocuses are coming into bloom. Crocuses are plants that nature has provided with a biological thermometer. It's very accurate, reacting to temperature differences of as little as 0.5°C. As the weather gets warmer the flowers open. But when the temperature drops, they close again.
43Idiomatic expressions are everywhere In winter you can look out of the window and tell it's 2°C outside. How? Because the crocuses are coming into bloom. Crocuses are plants that nature has provided with a biological thermometer. It's very accurate, reacting to temperature differences of as little as 0.5°C. As the weather gets warmer the flowers open. But when the temperature drops, they close again.
44Idiomatic expressions are everywhere In winter you can look out of the window and tell it's 2°C outside. How? Because the crocuses are coming into bloom. Crocuses are plants that nature has provided with a biological thermometer. It's very accurate, reacting to temperature differences of as little as 0.5°C. As the weather gets warmer the flowers open. But when the temperature drops, they close again.
45Idiomatic expressions are everywhere In winter you can look out of the window and tell it's 2°C outside. How? Because the crocuses are coming into bloom. Crocuses are plants that nature has provided with a biological thermometer. It's very accurate, reacting to temperature differences of as little as 0.5°C. As the weather gets warmer the flowers open. But when the temperature drops, they close again.
46motivating Construction Grammar “It appears to us that the machinery needed for describing the so-called minor or peripheral constructions of the sort which has occupied us here will have to be powerful enough to be generalized to more familiar structures, in particular those represented by individual phrase structure rules.”Fillmore et al. (1988)
47motivating Construction Grammar if it is the case thatidiomatic expressions are all over the place,idiomatic expressions are more than fixed strings,and idiomatic expressions are highly productive,… then ‘the appendix to the grammar’ can in fact be extended to comprise all patterns that exist in a given language.The machinery that is necessary to account for the ‘periphery’ of grammar is powerful enough to account for its ‘core’ as well.Instead of dictionary plus grammar: a construct-i-con
50valency defined The set of participants is called the verb’s valency. devour has a valency of two (transitive)hand has a valency of three (ditransitive)exist has a valency of one (intransitive)The participants are called the arguments of the verb.
51traditional idea of valency It’s in the lexicon!Each verb is listed in the mental lexicon.In the entry it is specifies with what syntactic contexts the verb can occur.SWEEPintransitivetransitivetransitive plus resultant state adjectivetransitive plus path
52problems with lexically specified valency speakers use verbs ‘creatively’, in syntactic contexts in which they have not heard a verb before:John played the piano to pieces.He pulled himself free, one leg at a time.No matter how carefully you lick a spoon clean, some goo will cling to it.Are there entries such as the following?‘play: acting on an object in a violent manner that triggers a change of state in that object’
53alternative explanation The syntactic context dictates a certain interpretation of the verb.coercionIf a lexical item is semantically incompatible with its morphosyntactic context, the meaning of the lexical item conforms to the meaning of the structure in which it is embedded.John plays the piano.John plays the piano to pieces.
54coercion at work intransitive verbs: run, sneeze, worry resultative uses:John ran his feet sore.Fred sneezed his cat soaking wet.Bob’s mother worried herself sick.
55coercion at workDavid has whiffled my borogoves completely vorpal again!You do not know what the words mean.You do know thatDavid did something to the borogoves that is called ‘whiffling’.As a result, the borogoves became ‘vorpal’.
56How do you understand novel denominal verbs? to coffeeDon’t forget to coffee the scientists every two hours.Where should we coffee?I coffeed myself into a frenzy.The constructional view:If the lexical meaning of a word is unclear, the construction in which it is embedded should provide a meaning via the principle of coercion.The ‘common-sense’ hypothesis:There are lexical items in the context that evoke a specific interpretation of the novel denominal verb.I coffeed myself into a frenzy >> coffee, frenzy, I did something to myself, ...
57inference task (Kaschak & Glenberg 2000) Subjects see two stimuli sentencesStimulus sentence AStimulus sentence BSubjects see a test sentenceTest sentenceSubjects match the test sentence with one of the stimuli sentence.Which of the stimuli sentence allows you to infer that the test sentence happened?
58Lyn crutched Tom the apple so he wouldn’t starve. Lyn crutched the apple so Tom wouldn’t starve.stimulus sentences
62inference task results (Kaschak & Glenberg 2000) Tom got the apple, ‘throw’Lyn acted on the apple, ‘throw’Tom got the apple, ‘crutch’Lyn acted on the apple, ‘crutch’
63Construction Grammar: conclusions Dictionary and Grammar model:a large lexicon with words, a set of grammatical rulesCxG:a large, hierarchically structured inventory of constructions, a construct-i-conconstructions: symbolic units, everything from words to highly abstract syntactic patterns
64evidence for these assumptions idioms galore: ordinary language contains many idiomatic expressions with non-compositional meanings (by and large, all of a sudden)coercion effects: constructions override lexical meanings (John played the piano to pieces.)idiosyncratic constraints: morphological and syntactic patterns are subject to semantic and pragmatic constraints (*coming into leaves)experimental evidence: speakers activate constructions in sentence comprehension
67Usage-based linguistics Speakers build up knowledge of language through experience with language.This process does not rely on any language-specific mechanisms, all that is needed are domain-general cognitive skills:categorizationanalogyschema formationchunkinggestalt perceptionmemory...
69Langacker’s project: a cognitive grammar All linguistic structures are meaningful (= CxG).subject, noun, preposition, relative clause, progressive aspect, infinitive, past tense, finiteness, modal auxiliary, ...The meanings of these structures can be fully described in cognitive terms.to walkthe preposition intothe present progressivea walk
70the empirical turn in usage-based linguistics Today, usage-based linguistics is mostly associated with empirical studies that document how frequency of use shapes knowledge of grammar.Bybee 2010
71highly predictable words are reduced I’d like a gin and tonic, please.I’d like a gin and a cucumber sandwich, please.This effect is observed not only at the level of word strings, but also at the level of constructions.Words are reduced when they occur in a construction for which they are highly typical.
72reading task (Gahl and Garnsey 2004) The director suggested the scene should be filmed at night.The director suggested the scene between Kim and Mike.The confident engineer maintained the machinery of the whole upper deck.The confident engineer maintained the machinery would be hard to destroy.
73reading task (Gahl and Garnsey 2004) The director suggested the scene should be filmed at night.The director suggested the scene between Kim and Mike.The confident engineer maintained the machinery of the whole upper deck.The confident engineer maintained the machinery would be hard to destroy.THAT-less complement clause construction
74reading task (Gahl and Garnsey 2004) The director suggested the scene should be filmed at night.The director suggested the scene between Kim and Mike.The confident engineer maintained the machinery of the whole upper deck.The confident engineer maintained the machinery would be hard to destroy.transitive construction
75reading task (Gahl and Garnsey 2004) Constructional bias of the verb significantly correlates with reduced pronunciation.argue, believe, claim, conclude, confess, or decide are pronounced shorter when they occur with a complement clauseaccept, advocate, confirm, or emphasize are reduced when occurring with a direct objectThe reduction effect cannot be explained through the routinization of word strings, the actual words can vary, it is the structure that matters.
76What is Cognitive Linguistics? ‘functional’linguistics?psycholinguistics?What is Cognitive Linguistics?about metaphors?anti-Chomskyan?
77Three central projects conceptual metaphorConstruction Grammarusage-basedlinguistics
78TrendsIn all three projects, there is a clear trend towards empirical methods:corpus linguisticspsycholinguistic experimentationCognitive Linguistics aims to connect with other areas of research within linguistics and elsewhere:variationist sociolinguisticsgrammaticalization researchtypologypsychology (exemplar theory, embodied cognition)computer science (fluid construction grammar)