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Wetenschapsfilosofie Engels W7 Cheat Sheet by

Wetenschapsfilosofie Engels W7
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Cognitive Lingui­stics

Overar­ching term for a large field (like functi­ona­lism) ➝ Cognitive linguists believe that the storage and retrieval of linguistic data is not signif­icantly different from the storage and retrieval of other knowledge.

1. Cognitive linguists deny that the mind has any module for langua­ge-­acq­uis­ition that is unique and autono­mous.
↳ Contra­sting with generative grammar
➝ Human linguistic ability is innate but it is separate from the rest of cognition.
2. Cognitive linguists understand grammar in terms of concep­tua­liz­ation
➝ linguistic phenomena (phonemes, morphemes, etc.) are conceptual in nature
3. Cognitive linguists claim that knowledge of language arises out of language use

● No clear demarc­ation between lexicon and grammar
● Grammar can be described with symbolic assemblies in a similar way to those describing lexicon

Ronald Langacker (1942- )

Cognitive grammar is a cognitive approach to language developed by Ronald Langacker, which considers the basic units of language to be symbols or conven­tional pairings of a semantic structure with a phonol­ogical label.

Grammar consists of constr­aints on how these units can be combined to generate larger phrases which are also a pairing of semantics and phonology. The semantic aspects are modeled as image schemas rather than propos­itions, and because of the tight binding with the label, each can invoke the other.

Cognitive Grammar

“Lan­guage is shaped and constr­ained by the functions it serves” (Langa­cker)
semi­olo­gical functi­on: allowing concep­tua­liz­ations to be symbolized by means of sound and gestures
↳ CG emphasises the semiol­ogical function of language
inte­ractive functi­on: involves commun­ica­tion, manipu­lation, expres­siv­eness, and social communion
↳ “fully acknow­ledges the grounding of language in social intera­ction”

"­Grammar is symbolic in nature­"

Symb­ol: the pairing between a semantic structure and a phonol­ogical structure, such that one is able to evoke the other
Cogn­itive Grammar: concerned with how symbols combine to form complex expres­sions
⚑ language is a gradation between lexicon and grammar, which in other frameworks tend to be viewed as separate

Principles of CG (P.I.N.)

Prin­ciple of integr­ation → importance of consid­ering inform­ation from multiple sources
Prin­ciple of natura­lness → consid­eration of semiol­ogical and intera­ctive functions b2b biolog­ical, cognitive, and socioc­ultural grounding
Prin­ciple of patience → do not jump ahead of the theory


Semantic struct­ure: concep­tua­liz­ations exploited for linguistic purposes → signified
Phon­olo­gical struct­ure: sounds, gestures, orthog­raphic repres­ent­ations → signifier
Symbolic struct­ure: not distinct from semantic and phonol­ogical structure rather incorp­orates them → sign

Symbolic assemblies

Symbolic assemb­lies: structures of greater symbolic complexity
→ Morphemes have zero symbolic complexity


Cognitive linguist's lexi­con: the set of fixed expres­sions in a language (not words)
→ fixed expres­sions are conven­tio­nally establ­ished
→ no strict boundary between lexicon and nonlexical expres­sions
→ lexicon is to some extent shared among speakers of a language but to some extent also individual

Basic lexical phenomena

Asso­cia­tion: associ­ation between a semantic and phonol­ogical structure in a symbolic relati­onship
Auto­mat­iza­tion: “through repetition or rehearsal, a complex structure is thoroughly mastered, to the point that using it is virtually automatic and requires little conscious monito­ring”

Unit status: when an expression is so often used it becomes entren­ched, e.g., the alphabet or the Pledge of Allegiance
Sche­mat­iza­tion: the process of extracting the common­ality inherent in multiple experi­ences to arrive at a conception repres­enting a higher level of abstra­ction
ring ‘circular piece of jewelry worn on finger’ → ‘circular adornment worn on the body’ → ‘circular object’ → ‘circular entity’

Cate­gor­iza­tion: the interp­ret­ation of experience with respect to previously existing structures
Cate­gory: a set of elements judged equivalent for some purpose

Grammar as Symbolic Assemblies

- The difference between lexicon and grammar is level of schema­ticity,
i.e., abstra­ctness
● Gramma­tical markers
● Gramma­tical classes
● Gramma­tical rules

Content Requir­ement

the only elements ascribable to a linguistic system are:
(i) semantic, phonol­ogical, and symbolic structures that actually occur as parts of expres­sions;
(ii) schema­tiz­ations of permitted struct­ures;
(iii) catego­rizing relati­onships between permitted struct­ures.

example w/ phonol­ogical struct­ures
(i) specific elements are suffic­iently frequent to become entrenched as units
(ii) segments and syllables can be schema­tized (natural classes, schematic templates of syllable structure, etc.)
(iii) catego­rizing relati­onships between schemas and their instan­tia­tions

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