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Chapter Six Language and Cognition

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1 Chapter Six Language and Cognition

2 Contents * Cognition * Psycholinguistics * Cognitive Linguistics

3 1. Cognition Mental processes, information processing
Mental process or faculty of knowing, including awareness, perception, reasoning, and judgment.

4 The formal approach: structural patterns, including the study of morphological, syntactic, and lexical structure. The psychological approach: language from the view of general systems ranging from perception, memory, attention, and reasoning. The conceptual approach: how language structures (processes & patterns) conceptual content.

5 2. Psycholinguistics Psychological aspects of language.
Psychological states and mental activity with the use of language. Language acquisition, language production & comprehension.

6 Related fields Structural linguistics Cognitive psychology
Anthropology Neurosciences

7 Six subjects of research
Language acquisition (L1 / L2) Language comprehension Language production Language disorders Language and Thought Neurocognition

8 2.1 Language Acquisition Holophrastic stage Language’s sound patterns
Phonetic distinctions in parents’ language. One-word stage: objects, actions, motions, routines.

9 Two-word stage: around 18m
Child utterance Mature speaker Purpose Want cookie I want a cookie Request More milk I want some more milk Joe see I (Joe) see you Informing My cup This is my cup Warning Mommy chair This chair belongs to M Big boy I am a big boy Bragging Red car That car is red Naming That car That is a car

10 Child utterance Mature speaker Purpose No sleep I don’t want to go to sleep Refusal Not tired I am not tired Where doll? Where is the doll? Question Truck table The truck is on the table Informing Daddy run Daddy is running Joe push I (Joe) pushed (the cat) Push cat I pushed the car Give candy Give me the candy Request

11 Three-word-utterance stage
Give doggie paper. Put truck window. Tractor go floor.

12 Fluent grammatical conversation stage
Embed one constituent inside another: Give doggie paper.  Give big doggie paper. Use more function words: missing function words and inflection in the beginning but good use (90%) by the age of 3, with a full range of sentence types. All parts of all language are acquired before the child turns four.

13 2.2 Language comprehension
Mental lexicon: information about the properties of words, retrievable when understanding language For example, we may use morphological rules to decompose a complex word like rewritable the first few times we encounter it and after several exposures we may store and access it as a unit or word. It means that frequency of exposure determines our ability to recall stored instances.

14 Connectionism: readers use the same system of links between spelling units and sound units to generate the pronunciations of written words like tove and to access the pronunciations of familiar words like stove, or words that are exceptions to these patterns, like love. Similarity and frequency play important roles in processing and comprehending language, with the novel items being processed based on their similarity to the known ones.

15 Word recognition Cohort theory: Marslen-Wilson & Welsh (1978)
The first few phonemes of a spoken word activate a set of word candidates that are consistent with the input.

16 Interactive model: Higher processing levels have a direct, “top-down” influence on lower levels. Lexical knowledge can affect the perception of phonemes. There is interactivity in the form of lexical effects on the perception of sub-lexical units. In certain cases, listeners’ knowledge of words can lead to the inhibition of certain phonemes; in other cases, listeners continue to “hear” phonemes that have been removed from the speech signal and replaced by noise.

17 Race model: Pre-lexical route: computes phonological information from the acoustic signal Lexical route: the phonological information associated with a word becomes available when the word itself is accessed When word-level information appears to affect a lower-level process, it is assumed that the lexical route won the race.

18 Factors involved in word recognition:
Frequency effect: the ease with which a word is accessed due to its more frequent usage in the L. Recency effects: the ease with which a word is accessed due to its repeated occurrence in the discourse or context. Cotext: We recognize a word more readily when the preceding words provide an appropriate context for it.

19 Lexical ambiguity All the meanings related to the word are accessed.
Only one meaning is accessed initially.

20 Are you engaged ? My friend drove me to the bank. They passed the port at midnight. Please give me a camel. 上课 做手术

21 The clerk (entering): Are you engaged?
Augustus: What business is that of yours? However, if you will take the trouble to read the society papers for this week, you will see that I am engaged to the Honourable Lucy Popham, youngest daughter of. . . The clerk: That isn’t what I mean. Can you see a female? Augustus: Of course, I can see a female as easily as a male. Do you suppose I am blind? (George Bernard Shaw: Augustus Does His Bit)

22 Comprehension of sentences
Serial models: the sentence comprehension system continually and sequentially follows constraints of a language’s grammar Describe how the processor quickly constructs one or more representations of a sentence based on a restricted range of information that is guaranteed to be relevant to its interpretation, primarily grammatical information. Any such representation is then quickly interpreted and evaluated, using the full range of information that might be relevant.

23 Parallel models: emphasize that the comprehension system is sensitive to a vast range of information, including grammatical, lexical, and contextual, as well as knowledge of the speaker/writer and of the world in general. Describe how the processor uses all relevant information to quickly evaluate the full range of possible interpretations of a sentence. It is generally acknowledged that listeners and readers integrate grammatical and situational knowledge in understanding a sentence.

24 Structural factors in comprehension
Comprehension of written and spoken language can be difficult because it is not always easy to identify the constituents (phrases) of a sentence and the ways in which they relate to one another. Psycholinguists have proposed principles interpreting sentence comprehension with respect to the grammatical constraints.

25 Minimal attachment: the “structurally simpler”--structural simplicity guides all initial analyses in sentence comprehension. The second wife will claim the inheritance belongs to her.

26 Garden path sentences The horse raced past the barn fell.
The man who hunts ducks out on weekends. The cotton clothing is usually made of grows in Mississippi. Fat people eat accumulates.

27 Lexical factors in comprehension
The human sentence processor is primarily guided by information about specific words that is stored in the lexicon. The salesman glanced at a/the customer with suspicion/ripped jeans.

28 Syntactic ambiguity Different possible ways in which words can be fit into phrases. Ambiguous category of some of the words in the sentence.

29 John painted the car in the garage.

30 May likes the vase on the cupboard which she bought yesterday.
The students will discuss their plan to hold a dancing party in the classroom. I know Simon better than you. Tell me if you have time.

31 My brother wasn’t reading all the time.
The chairman appointed Mr. Brown an assistant. The scholar wrote long thesis and books. Flying planes can be dangerous.

32 Comprehension of text Resonance model: information in long-term memory is automatically activated by the presence of material that apparently bears a rough semantic relation to it.

33 Discourse interpretation
Schemata and drawing inferences Schema: a pre-existing knowledge structure in memory typically involving the normal expected patterns of things.

34 [RESTAURANT] Schema: Entering, ordering, eating and exiting. Entering Scene: The customer enters a restaurant, looks for a table, decides where to sit, walks to the table…

35 John went into a restaurant. He asked the waitress for coq au vin
John went into a restaurant. He asked the waitress for coq au vin. He ate it, paid the bill and left. (perfectly understandable) John went into a restaurant. He saw a waitress. He got up and went home. (does not seem to make sense)

36 Apartment for rent. $500. I stopped to get some groceries but there weren't any baskets left so by the time I arrived at the check-out counter I must have looked like a juggler having a bad day.

37 A: Would you like a coffee?
B: Yes, please. B: No and no. A: Right.

38 一天,我在看中央三台的中国音乐电视。我正看得津津有味的时候,老妈回来了说:“这是谁啊?”当时正是龙宽九段在唱歌。我就说:“龙宽九段。”这时,老妈一本正经的问:“九段?下围棋的啊?她还能唱歌啊?”

39 Pragmatic ambiguity There is a fly in my soup. Today is Sunday.
“Do you enjoy sitting beside me?” she asked coldly. “Oh, no, ”I said. “Well, you are not wanted here. ” (W. E. B. DuBois, “On Being Crazy”)

40 2.3 Language production Access to words
Conceptualization: what to express Word selection: a competitive process Morpho-phonological encoding: target words

41 Generation of sentences
Conceptual preparation: deciding what to say – a global plan is needed Word retrieval and application of syntactic knowledge Processes of sentence generation Functional planning: assigning grammatical functions Positional encoding: getting into positions for each unit

42 Written language production
Similar to spoken language. Orthographic form instead of phonological form. However, phonology plays an important role in this process. Writers have more time available for conceptual preparation and planning.

43 3. Cognitive Linguistics
Cognition is the way we think. Cognitive linguistics is the scientific study of the relation between the way we communicate and the way we think. It is an approach to language that is based on our experience of the world and the way we perceive and conceptualize it.

44 Three main approaches The Experiential View The Prominence View
The Attentional View

45 Experiential view Car: a box-like shape, wheels, doors, windows
comfort, speed, mobility, independence, social status

46 Prominence view The selection and arrangement of the information that is expressed. The car crashed into the tree. The tree is hit by the car.

47 Attentional view What we actually express reflects which parts of an event attract our attention. The car crashed into the tree. How the car started to swerve; How it skidded across the road; How it rumbled onto the verge.

48 3.1 Construal Construal: the ability to conceive and portray the same situation in different ways

49 1). Attention / salience We activate the most relevant concepts more than concepts that are irrelevant to what we are thinking about. We drove the road. She ran across the road. The workers dug through the road.

50 2). Judgment / Comparison, Figure / Ground
We cannot attend to all facets of a scene at the same time. We cannot pay attention to everything. Instead, we focus on events of particular salience. Figure-ground organization The ground seems to be placed behind the figure extending in the background. The figure is thus more prominent, or even more interesting, than the ground.

51 Figure-ground reversal

52 Figure-ground also seems to apply to our perception of moving objects.
In order to distinguish between stationary and dynamic figure-ground relations, some cognitive linguists (e.g. Ronald Langacker) use the term trajector for a moving figure and landmark for the ground of a moving figure.

53 There’s a cat[figure] on the mat[ground]
There are still some peanuts[figure] in the bag[ground] Batman[figure] was standing on the roof[ground] The computer[figure] under the table[ground] is mine The spacecraft[figure] was hovering over Metropolis[ground]

54 Tarzan[trajector] jumped into the river[landmark]
Spiderman[trajector] climbed up the wall[landmark] The bird[trajector] winged its way out the window[landmark] We[trajector] went across the field[landmark] I[trajector]’m going to London[landmark]

55 3). Perspective generally depends on two things.
where we are situated in relation to the scene we're viewing. how the scene is arranged in relation to our situatedness. The man is in front of the tree. The tree is behind the man.

56 The tree is in front of the man.
The man is behind the tree.

57 3.2 Categorization The process of classifying our experiences into different categories based on commonalities and differences A major ingredient in the creation of human knowledge Allows us to relate present experiences to past ones Three levels: basic level super ordinate level subordinate level.

58 Basic level. Superordinate level. Animal Horse. Dog. Cat Chihuahua
Basic level Superordinate level Animal Horse Dog Cat Chihuahua German dachshund shepherd Subordinate level Vertical organization

59 3.3 Image Schema Johnson, Mark The body in the mind: The bodily basis of meaning, imagination, and reason. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

60 An image-schema is a “skeletal” mental representation of a recurrent pattern of embodied (especially spatial or kinesthetic) experience. They are highly schematic representations of perceptually grounded experience. They emerge from our embodied interactions with the world.

61 Center-periphery schema
Involves a physical or metaphorical core and edge, and degrees of distance from the core. Examples (English): The structure of an apple An individual’s perceptual sphere An individual’s social sphere, with family and friends at the core and others having degrees of peripherality

62 Containment schema Involves a physical or metaphorical boundary
enclosed area or volume, or excluded area or volume.

63 Bodily experience: human bodies as containers.
Structural elements: interior, boundary, exterior Basic logic: For all A, X, either IN (X,A) or not. For all A, B, X, if CONTAINER (A) and CONTAINER (B) and IN (A, B) and IN (X, A), then IN (X, B). The ship is coming into view. She’s deep in thought. We stood in silence.

64 Cycle schema Involves repetitious events and event series. Its structure includes the following: A starting point A progression through successive events without backtracking A return to the initial state The schema often has superimposed on it a structure that builds toward a climax and then goes through a release or decline.

65 Examples (English) Days Weeks Years Sleeping and waking Breathing
Circulation Emotional buildup and release

66 End-of-path schema An image schema in which a location is understood as the termination of a prescribed path Example (English): In the following sentence, it is understood that one must traverse the hill before reaching Sam’s home, which is at the end of the path: Sam lives over the hill.

67 Force schema Involves physical or metaphorical causal interaction. It includes the following elements: A source and target of the force A direction and intensity of the force A path of motion of the source and/or target A sequence of causation

68 Examples (English): Physical: Wind, Gravity
Structural elements: force, path, entity, etc. Interaction, directionality, causality Compulsion Blockage Counterforce Diversion Removal of restraint

69 Link schema Consists of two or more entities, connected physically or metaphorically, and the bond between them. Entity A Entity B

70 Examples (English): A child holding her mother’s hand
Someone plugging a lamp into the wall A causal “connection” Kinship “ties”

71 Part-whole schema Involves physical or metaphorical wholes along with their parts and a configuration of the parts. Examples (English): Physical: The body and its parts Metaphorical: The family; The caste structure of India

72 Path schema Involves physical or metaphorical movement from place to place, and consists of a starting point, a goal, and a series of intermediate points.

73 Physical: Paths; Trajectories
Examples (English): Physical: Paths; Trajectories Metaphorical: The purpose-as-physical-goal metaphor, as expressed in the following sentences: Tom has gone a long way toward changing his personality. You have reached the midpoint of your flight training. She's just starting out to make her fortune. Jane was sidetracked in her search for self-understanding.

74 Scale schema Involves an increase or decrease of physical or metaphorical amount, and consists of any of the following: A closed- or open-ended progression of amount A position in the progression of amount One or more norms of amount A calibration of amount

75 Examples: Physical amounts Properties in the number system
Economic entities such as supply and demand

76 Verticality schema Involves “up” and “down” relations. Examples:
Standing upright Climbing stairs Viewing a flagpole Watching water rise in a tub

77 3.4 Metaphor George Lakoff and Mark Johnson (1980). Metaphors We Live By. University of Chicago Press.

78 Conceptual Metaphor Theory
Metaphors are actually cognitive tools that help us structure our thoughts and experiences in the world around us. Metaphor is a conceptual mapping, not a linguistic one, from one domain to another, not from a word to another.

79 Target domain - what is actually being talked about.
Source domain - the domain used as a basis for understanding target Ontological correspondence Epistemic correspondence Target domain Source domain RATIONAL ARGUMENT WAR

80 The epistemic correspondence


82 Epistemic correspondence

83 Structural Metaphor Provides rich highly structured, clearly delineated source domain to structure target domain. The nature of the mapping: The mapping involves two types of correspondence between target and source domain, which are both grounded in our experiences in the world.

84 Example: ARGUMENT IS WAR: Your claims are indefensible.
He attacked every weak point in my argument. His criticisms were right on target. I demolished his argument. I’ve never won an argument with him. You disagree? OK, shoot! If you use that strategy, he’ll wipe you out. He shot down all of my arguments.

85 Orientational Metaphor
Gives a concept a spatial orientation Characterized by a co-occurrence in our experience Grounded in an experiential basis, which link together the two parts of the metaphor The link verb “is”, part of the metaphor, should be seen as the link of two different co-occurring experiences.

86 For example, MORE IS UP This metaphor is grounded in the co-occurrence of two different kinds of experiences: adding more of a substance, and perceiving the level of the substance rise.

Examples: HAPPY IS UP; SAD IS DOWN That boosted my spirits I’m feeling down I’m depressed CONSCIOUS IS UP; UNCONSCIOUS IS DOWN Wake up He fell asleep He’s under hypnosis

88 3.5 Metonymy It is a cognitive process in which one conceptual entity, the vehicle, provides mental access to another conceptual entity, the target, within the same domain. The reference point activates the target.

89 It is modeled as idealized cognitive models (ICMs) by Lakoff (1987),
conceptual mappings by Radden & Kovecses (1999), domain highlighting by Croft (2002), combinations of mappings and highlighting by Ruiz de Mendoza (2000), scenarios by Panther & Thornburg (1999) and more generally as reference-point activation by Langacker (1999) and Barcelona (2000).

90 On the basis of the ontological realms, we may distinguish three categories:
the world of “concept” the world of “form” the world of “things” and “events” They roughly correspond to the three entities that comprise the well-known semantic triangle.

91 Thus, we have three ICMs in ontological realms: Sign ICMs, Reference ICMs and Concept ICMs.
The interrelations between entities of the same or from different ontological realms lead to various ICMs and possibilities for metonymy.

92 Two general conceptual configurations:
whole ICM and its part(s) parts of an ICM. (1) Whole ICM and its part(s) (i) Thing-and-Part ICM, which may lead to two metonymic variants: WHOLE THING FOR A PART OR THE THING: America for “United States” PART OF A THNG FOR THE WHOLE THING: England for “Great Britain”

93 (ii) Scale ICM. Scales are a special class of things and the scalar units are parts of them. Typically, a scale as a whole is used for its upper end and the upper end of a scale is used to stand for the scale as a whole: WHOLE SCALE FOR UPPER END OF THE SCALE: Henry is speeding again for “Henry is going too fast.” UPPER END OF A SCALE FOR WHOLE SCALE: How old are you? for “what is your age?”

94 (iii) Constitution ICM
(iii) Constitution ICM. It involves matter, material or substances which are seen as constituting a thing. OBJECT FOR MATERIAL CONSTITUTING THE OBJECT: I smell skunk. MATERIAL CONSTITUTING AN OBJECT FOR THE OBJECT: wood for “forest” 

95 (iv) Event ICM. Events may be metaphorically viewed as things which may have parts.
WHOLE EVENT FOR SUBEVENT: Bill smoked marijuana. SUBEVENT FOR WHOLE EVENT: Mary speaks Spanish.

96 (v) Category-and-Member ICM
(v) Category-and-Member ICM. A category and its members stand in a kind of relation. CATEGORY FOR A MEMBER OF THE CATEGORY: the pill for “birth control pill” MEMBER OF A CATEGORY FOR THE CATEGORY: aspirin for “any pain-relieving tablet”

97 (vi) Cateory-and-Property ICM
(vi) Cateory-and-Property ICM. Properties may either be seen metaphorically as possessed objects (PROPERTIES ARE POSSESSIONS) or metonymically as parts of an object. CATEGORY FOR DEFINING PROPERTY: jerk for “stupidity” DEFNING PROPERTY FOR CATEGORY: blacks for “black people”

98 (vii) Reduction ICM. A final type of a PART FOR WHOLE metonymy is found in the reduction of the form of a sign. PART OF A FORM FOR THE WHOLE FORM: crude for “crude oil”

99 (2) Parts of an ICM (i) Action ICM. It involves a variety of participants which may be related to the predicate expressing the action or to each other. AGENT FOR ACTION: to author a new book; to butcher the cow ACTION FOR AGENT: writer, driver

100 INSTRUMENT FOR ACTION: to ski, to hammer
ACTION FOR INSTRUMENT: pencil sharpener; screwdriver OBJECT FOR ACTION: to blanket the bed; to dust the room ACTION FOR OBJECT: the best bites; the flight is waiting to depart

101 RESULT FOR ACTION: to landscape the garden
ACTION FOR RESULT: the production; the product MANNER FOR ACTION: to tiptoe into the room MEANS FOR ACTION: He sneezed the tissue off the table.

102 TIME FOR ACTION: to summer in Paris
DESTINATION FOR MOTION: to porch the newspaper INSTRUMENT FOR AGENT: the pen for “writer”

103 (ii) Perception ICM. Perception plays such an outstand role in our cognitive world that it merits an ICM of its own. Since perceptions may also be intentional, the Perception ICM may cross-classify with the Action ICM. THING PERCEIVED FOR PERCEPTION: There goes my knee for “There goes the pain in my knee” PERCEPTION FOR THING PERCEIVED: sight for “thing seen”

104 (iii) Causation ICM. Cause and effect are so closely interdependent that one of them tends to imply the other. Moreover, they probably account for the fact that people often confuse causes and effects. In principle, the causation ICM may give rise to reversible metonymies: CAUSE FOR EFFECT: healthy complexion for “the good state of health bringing about the effect of healthy complexion” EFFECT FRO CAUSE: slow road for “slow traffic resulting from the poor state of the road”

105 (iv) Production ICM. It involves actions in which one of the participants is a product created by the action. The production of objects seems to be a particularly salient type of causal action. PRODUCTION FOR PRODUCT: I’ve got a Ford for “car”

106 INSTRUMENT FOR PRODUCT: Did you hear the whistle? For “its sound”
PRODUCT FOR INSTRUMENT: to turn up the heat for “the radiator” PLACE FOR PROCUCT MADE THERE: china, mocha, camembert

107 (v) Control ICM. It includes a controller and a person or object controlled. It gives rise to reversible metonymic relationships: CONTROLLER FOR CONTROLLED: Nixon bombed Hanoi. CONTROLLED FOR CONTROLLER: The Mercedes has arrived.

108 (vi) Possession ICM. The possession ICM may lead to reversible metonymies:
POSSESSOR FOR POSSESSED: That’s me for “my bus”; I am parked there for “My car” POSSESSED FOR POSSESSOR: He married money for “person with money”

109 (vii) Containment ICM. The image-schematic situation of containment is so basic and well-entrenched that it deserves to be treated as an ICM of its own among locational relations. CONTAINER FOR CONTENTS: The bottle is sour for “milk” CONTENTS FOR CONTAINER: The milk tipped over for “the milk container tipped over”

110 (viii) Location ICMs. Places are often associated with people living there, well-known institutions located there, events which occur or occurred there and goods produced or shipped from there. Hence, we find the following metonymies: PLACE FOR INHABITANTS: The whole town showed up for “the people” INHABITANTS FOR PLACE: The French hosted the World Cup Soccer Games for “France”

111 PLACE FOR INSTITUTION: Cambridge won’t publish the book for “Cambridge University Press”
INSTITUTION FOR PLACE: I live close to the University. PLACE FOR EVENT: Waterloo for “battle fought at Waterloo” EVENT FOR PLACE: Battle, name of the village in East Sussex where the Battle of Hastings was fought.

112 (ix) Sign and Reference ICMs
(ix) Sign and Reference ICMs. They lead to metonymies cross-cutting ontological realms. In sign metonymy, a (word-)form stand for a conventionally associated concept; in reference metonymies, a sign, concept or (word-)form stands for the real thing. WORDS FOR THE CONCEPTS THEY EXPRESS: a self-contradictory utterance

113 (x) Modification ICM. It mainly applies to variant forms of a sign apart from reduction.
SUBSTITUTE FORM FOR ORIGINAL FORM: Do you still love me? — Yes, I do.

114 3.6 Blending Theory Also known as the integration theory, proposed by Gilles Fauconnier & Mark Turner (1994, 1995). A cognitive operation whereby elements of two or more “mental spaces” are integrated via projection into a new, blended space which has its unique structure.

115 Blending operates on two input mental spaces to produce a third space, the blend.
The blend inherits partial structure from the input spaces and has emergent structure of its own. There are some conditions needed when two input spaces I1 and I2 are blended:

116 Cross-Space Mapping: there is a partial mapping of counterparts between the input spaces I1 and I2.

117 Generic Space: It maps onto each of the inputs.
It reflects some common, usually more abstract, structure and organization shared by the inputs. It defines the core cross-space mapping between them.


119 Blend: the inputs I1 and I2 are partially projected onto a fourth space, the blend.

120 Emergent Structure: the blend has emergent structure not provided by the inputs. This happens in three interrelated ways:

121 Composition: Taken together, the projections from the inputs make new relations available that did not exist in the separate inputs. Completion: Knowledge of background frames, cognitive and cultural models, allows the composite structure projected into the blend from the inputs to be viewed as part of a larger self-contained structure in the blend. Elaboration: The structure in the blend can then be elaborated.



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