Presentation on theme: "Kim Ebensgaard Jensen CGS, Aalborg University Force-dynamic cultural models in a scalar adjectival construction The 5 th UK Cognitive Linguistics Conference."— Presentation transcript:
Kim Ebensgaard Jensen CGS, Aalborg University Force-dynamic cultural models in a scalar adjectival construction The 5 th UK Cognitive Linguistics Conference Lancaster University 29-31 July, 2014
Kim Ebensgaard Jensen CGS, Aalborg University Introduction Semantic coherence: The tatty furniture betrayed elegant lines, and the windows, too grimy to see through, stretched up ten feet. (COCA 2011 FIC Bk:NeverGentleman) They're too slow to catch a seal in open water. (COCA 2011 MAG NationalGeographic) If the making of a revolution is drama, punctuated with tragedies too numerous to count, making peace is long-form prose requiring iterations of conversation between people. (COCA 2011 MAG TechReview) More culturally based semantic coherence: I'm too young to get married. (COCA 2011 FIC Callaloo) I'm in a certain group that's almost too old to hire. (COCA 2011 NEWS Denver) Mr. Turman insisted he was too busy to meet at any other time. (COCA 2011 NEWS NYTimes)
Kim Ebensgaard Jensen CGS, Aalborg University Introduction In discourse, do speakers use the [too ADJ to V]- construction in such a way that it is reflective of, or draws on, force-dynamic cultural models? Are corpus data and methods useful as a means of inferring cultural models from verbal behavior?
Kim Ebensgaard Jensen CGS, Aalborg University Outline Theory Constructions Cultural models Data and method The [too ADJ to V]-construction Three examples of covarying collexemes in the construction Covarying collexemes in [too young to V] Covarying collexemes in [too polite to V] Covarying collexemes in [too busy to V] Including co-text and the current discourse space
Kim Ebensgaard Jensen CGS, Aalborg University Constructions
Kim Ebensgaard Jensen CGS, Aalborg University Usage-based construction grammar (e.g. Croft 2003, 2005; Tomasello 2003; Goldberg 2006) Construction: "an entrenched routine..., that is generally used in the speech community... and involves a pairing of form and meaning" (Croft 2005: 274)
Kim Ebensgaard Jensen CGS, Aalborg University Cultural models
Kim Ebensgaard Jensen CGS, Aalborg University Some 'typical' definitions Cultural models are "presupposed, taken for granted models of the world that are widely shared … by members of a society and that play an enormous role in their understanding of the world and their behavior in it” (Quinn & Holland 1987:4). Cultural models "provide scenarios or action plans for how to behave in some given situation or how to interpret the behavior of others in one or another situation" (Kronenfeld 2008: 69). Cultural models are behavior-mediating and -regulating "taken-for- granted patterns of ideas and practices" which are derived from previous experiences. Cultural models thus cover "cultural assumptions and meanings that are available in particular contexts" (Fryberg & Markus 2007: 215). "A cultural model is a cognitive schema that is intersubjectively shared by a social group" (D'Andrade 1987: 112).
Kim Ebensgaard Jensen CGS, Aalborg University Cultural specificity and cognitive universality "Cognitive models are of course not universal but depend on the culture in which a person grows up and lives. The culture provides the background for all the situations that we have to experience in order to be able to form a cognitive model. A Russian or German may not have formed a cognitive model of cricket simply because it is not part of the culture of his own country to play that game. So, cognitive models for particular domains ultimately depend on so-called cultural models. In reverse, cultural models can be seen as cognitive models that are shared by people belonging to a social group or subgroup." (Ungerer & Schmid 2006: 51 - boldface in original) "On the continuum between the universal and the idiosynchratic lie the culturally derived schemata. Like the idiosynchratic ones, they are experientially developed. But they have in common with universal schemata a wider distribution. It is these cultural schemata, these socially-given perceptual modes, which operate to produce a recognizable "weltanschauung," or worldview. A theory which views comprehension as based on assimilation to mental schemata proceeds on the assumption that the cognitive processes involved are universal... It is certain kinds of component of schemata which are culturally specific." (Rice 1980: 154).
Kim Ebensgaard Jensen CGS, Aalborg University Cultural specificity and cognitive universality "Essentially, cognitive models and cultural models are just two sides of the same coin. While the term 'cognitive model' stresses the psychological nature of these cognitive entities and allows for inter-individual differences, the term 'cultural model' emphasizes the uniting aspect of its being shared by many people. Although 'cognitive models' are related to cognitive linguistics and psycholinguistics while 'cultural models' belong to socio- linguistics and anthropological linguistics, researchers in all of these fields should be, and usually are, aware of both dimen- sions of their object of study." (Ungerer & Schmid 2006: 52)
Kim Ebensgaard Jensen CGS, Aalborg University Force-dynamic cultural models are cultural models, of varying degree of complexity, which involve force-dynamic schemata and relations (for more on force-dynamics in language and cognition, see Johnson [1987: 42-48] and Talmy [2000: 409-549]).
Kim Ebensgaard Jensen CGS, Aalborg University Force-dynamic cultural models are cultural models, of varying degree of complexity, which involve force-dynamic schemata and relations (for more on force-dynamics in language and cognition, see Johnson [1987: 42-48] and Talmy [2000: 409-549]). Examples: superstitions (which are often based on relations of causality), such as...
Kim Ebensgaard Jensen CGS, Aalborg University Force-dynamic cultural models are cultural models, of varying degree of complexity, which involve force-dynamic schemata and relations (for more on force-dynamics in language and cognition, see Johnson [1987: 42-48] and Talmy [2000: 409-549]). Examples: superstitions (which are often based on relations of causality), such as... the belief that A BLACK CAT CAUSES BAD LUCK.
Kim Ebensgaard Jensen CGS, Aalborg University Data and method
Kim Ebensgaard Jensen CGS, Aalborg University Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) (Davies 2014) Time period: 1990-2012 Genres: spoken, fiction, magazines, newspapers, academic journals Size: 464,020,256 words Retrieval of [too ADJ to V] Primary verbs not included Non-instances weeded out 19525 instances Data
Kim Ebensgaard Jensen CGS, Aalborg University Covarying collexeme analysis (Stefanowitsch & Gries 2004b, 2005) Variant of collostructional analysis (Stefanowitsch & Gries 2003, 2005; Gries & Stefanowitsch 2004a, 2004b) Basic principles Principle of semantic compatibility: “words can (or are likely to) occur with a given construction if (or to the degree that) their meanings are compatible” (Stefanowitsch & Gries 2005: 4) Principle of semantic coherence states that, “since a word in any slot of a construction must be compatible with the semantics provided by the construction for that slot, there should be an overall coherence among all slots” (Stefanowitsch & Gries 2005: 11). Gries (2007) was used to calculate collostruction strengths 10187 ADJ-V pairs established Method
Kim Ebensgaard Jensen CGS, Aalborg University The [too ADJ to V]-construction* *Based on Jensen (2013, 2014)
Kim Ebensgaard Jensen CGS, Aalborg University Scalar adjectival construction: Adjectival construction: construction in which an adjectival element plays a semantically/functionally pivotal part. Scalar adjectival construction: adjectival construction which draws on the scalarity of gradable, or gradably construed, adjectives. General structure: [too ADJ]: Booster premodifier (Paradis 2000: 149) too specifies high degree of ADJ NESS ADJ-position: scalar ADJ NESS [to V]: proposition/scenario/event/state Implied force-dynamic relation between [too ADJ] and [to V], such that the scenario is force-dynamically dependent on degree of ADJ NESS (cf. Bergen & Binsted's  notion of an implied pragmatic relationship). Variants (possibly subconstructions or more independent constructions): Two force-dynamically based variants: Prevention (implied force-dynamic relation based on BLOCKAGE [Johnson 1987: 46]) Enablement (implied force-dynamic relation based on ENABLEMENT [Johnson 1987: 47]) Three text/discourse-deictically based variants
Kim Ebensgaard Jensen CGS, Aalborg University TALK (34.9331750227291) ATTEND (23.1190672003599) CHAT(14.2852074721406) ANSWER (9.10524774602001) MEET(8.30860501654914) VISIT (6.72980875859453) HANG (0.386885659655392) DISCUSS (0.279968757280103) SPEAK (0.0715854375353524) SEE (0.0317144087183965) PLAY (0.000372906165337764)
Kim Ebensgaard Jensen CGS, Aalborg University Co-text and the current discourse space
Kim Ebensgaard Jensen CGS, Aalborg University Co-text: "items in the text which accompany the item under discussion" (Catford 1965: 31fn2). Current discourse space: "the mental space comprising those elements and relations con- strued as being shared by the speaker and hearer as a basis for communication at a given moment in the flow of discourse" (Langacker 2001: 144)
Kim Ebensgaard Jensen CGS, Aalborg University They called them crazy when they started out. Said, 'Seventeen's too young to know what love's about.' (COCA 2011 SPOK NBC_TODAY) This couldn't be happening. Amanda was much too young to die. Why, she was only 16! (COCA 2001 FIC Listen)
Kim Ebensgaard Jensen CGS, Aalborg University Can [too ADJ to V] be linked up with cultural models? It would seem so, as we saw potential evidence of the following cutural information surfacing in the usage of the construction: Relations of BLOCKAGE in a complex model of AGE A number of primarily verbal and interactional actions considered impolite in a model of POLITENESS. Social interaction appearing to be considered a primary sacrifice of BEING BUSY. Are corpus data and methods usable in the inference of cultural models? Yes... and this was already shown in Stefanowitch & Gries (2004b: 323-324). Only partial inference though. Corpus data would be useful addition to a triangulatory approach, combining methods used in cognitive anthropology and other cognitive sciences. Why make use of corpus data? Corpus documents verbal behavior in more or less natural surroundings, and cultural models are generally reflected in behavior - verbal and otherwise. Concluding remarks
Kim Ebensgaard Jensen CGS, Aalborg University Bergen, B. K., & Binsted, K. (2004). The cognitive linguistics of scalar humor. In M. Achard, & S. Kemmer (Eds.), Language, culture, and mind (pp. 79-91). Chicago: Chicago University Press. Catford, J. C. (1965). A Linguistic Theory of Translation. London: Oxford University Press. Croft, W. A. (2003). Lexical rules vs. constructions: A false dichotomy. In H. Cuyckens, T. Berg, R. Dirven & K. Panther (Eds.), Motivation in language: Studies in honour of Günter Radden (pp. 49-68). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Croft, W. A. (2005). Logical and typological arguments for radical construction grammar. In J. Östman (Ed.), Construction grammars: Cognitive grounding and theoretical extensions (pp. 273-314). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. D’Andrade, R. G. (1987). A folk model of mind. In Dorothy Holland & Naomi Quinn (Eds.), Cultural models in language and thought (pp. 112- 148). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Davies, M. (2014). Corpus.byu.edu. http://corpus.byu.edu/ Fryberg, S. A. & H. R. Markus (2007). Cultural models of education in American Indian, Asian American and European American contexts. Social Psychology of Education 10(2): 213-246. Goldberg, A. (2006). Constructions at work: The nature of generalization in language. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Gries, S. Th. (2007). Coll.analysis 3.2: A program for R for Windows 2.x Gries, S. Th. & A. Stefanowitsch (2004). Covarying collexemes in the into-causative.In Michel Achard & Suzanne Kemmer (Eds.), Language, Culture and Mind (pp.225-236). Stanford, CA: CSLI. Jensen, K. E. (2013). This construction is too hot to handle: A corpus study of an adjectival construction. Paper presented at 14th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Cognitive Linguistics Association. Kyoto: September 21, 2013. Jensen, K. E. (2014). Too female to be ruthless and too pregnant to argue: Semantic conflict and resolution in the [too ADJ to V]-construction. Suvremena Lingvistika 40(77): 1-26. Johnson, M. (1987). The body in the mind: The bodily basis of meaning, imagination, and reason. Oxford: University of Chicago Press. Kronenfeld, D. (2008). Cultural models. Intercultural Pragmatics 5(1): 67-74. Langacker, R. W. (2001). Discourse in Cognitive Grammar. Cognitive Linguistics 12(2): 143–188. Paradis, C. (2000). It's well weird: Degree modifiers of adjectives revisited: The nineties. In J. M. Kirk (Ed.), Corpora galore: Analyses and techniques in describing English (pp. 147-160). Amsterdam: Rodopi. Quinn, N. & D. Holland (1987). Culture and cognition. In Dorothy Holland & Naomi Quinn (Eds.), Cultural Models in Language Thought (pp. 3- 40). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Rice, E.G. (1980). On cultural schemata. American Ethnologist 7(1): 152-171. Stefanowitsch, A. & S. Th. Gries (2003). Collostructions: Investigating the interaction between words and constructions. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 8(2): 2-43. Stefanowitsch, A. & S. Th. Gries (2005). Covarying collexemes. Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory, 1(1), 1-43. Talmy, L. (2000). Toward a cognitive semantics. vol. 1: Concept structuring systems. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Tomasello, M. (2003). Constructing a language: A usage-based theory of language acquisition. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press. Ungerer, F. & H.-J. Schmid (2006). An Introduction to Cognitive Linguistics, 2nd ed. London: Pearson-Longman. References