Cognitive Grammar: A Basic Introduction / Edition 1

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This book fills a longstanding need for a basic introduction to Cognitive Grammar that is current, authoritative, comprehensive, and approachable. It presents a synthesis that draws together and refines the descriptive and theoretical notions developed in this framework over the course of three decades. In a unified manner, it accommodates both the conceptual and the social-interactive basis of linguistic structure, as well as the need for both functional explanation and explicit structural description.

Starting with the fundamentals, essential aspects of the theory are systematically laid out with concrete illustrations and careful discussion of their rationale. Among the topics surveyed are conceptual semantics, grammatical classes, grammatical constructions, the lexicon-grammar continuum characterized as assemblies of symbolic structures (form-meaning pairings), and the usage-based account of productivity, restrictions, and well-formedness. The theory's central claim-that grammar is inherently meaningful-is thereby shown to be viable. The framework is further elucidated through application to nominal structure, clause structure, and complex sentences. These are examined in broad perspective, with exemplification from English and numerous other languages. In line with the theory's general principles, they are discussed not only in terms of their structural characterization but also their conceptual value and functional motivation. Other matters explored include discourse, the temporal dimension of language structure, and what grammar reveals about cognitive processes and the construction of our mental world.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195331967
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 2/4/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 584
  • Sales rank: 1,241,412
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Ronald W. Langacker retired after 37 years as Professor of Linguistics at the University of California, San Diego. He was originally trained in generative linguistics, and worked for a decade on the Uto-Aztecan family of Native American languages. Since 1976 he has been developing the theory of Cognitive Grammar (a radical alternative to generative theory) as part of the broader tradition of cognitive linguistics.

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Table of Contents

Orientation     3
Grammar and Life     3
The Nature of the Beast     5
Grammar as Symbolization     14
Conceptual Semantics     27
Meaning and Semantic Representations     27
Conceptual Content     43
Construal     55
Specificity     55
Focusing     57
Prominence     66
Perspective     73
Evidence for Semantic Claims     85
Grammatical Classes     93
Are Conceptual Characterizations Conceivable?     93
Nouns and Verbs     103
Classes of Relational Expressions     112
Major Subclasses     128
Count and Mass Nouns     128
Perfective and Imperfective Verbs     147
Constructions: General Characterization     161
Symbolic Assemblies     161
Constructional Schemas     167
Unipolar vs. Bipolar Organization     174
Constructions: Descriptive Factors     183
Correspondences     183
Profile Determinance     192
Elaboration     198
Constituency     205
Rules andRestrictions     215
Networks and Schemas     215
Assessing Conventionality     227
Networks of Constructions     237
Regularity     244
Grounding     259
Subjective and Objective Construal     260
Type vs. Instance     264
Nominal Grounding     272
Clausal Grounding     296
Nominal Structure     310
Structure and Function     310
Noun Modifiers     318
Classification and Quantification     334
Inflection and Agreement     346
Clause Structure     354
Global Organization     354
Subject and Object     363
Clause Types     382
Complex Verbs     400
Complex Sentences     406
Ordination: Co- and Sub-     406
Clausal Connections     419
Finite Complements     437
Discourse     457
The Basis of Language Structure     457
Conceptual Substrate     463
Discourse Genres     477
Structure Building     486
Engaging the World     500
Dynamicity      500
Fictivity     524
Simulation and Subjectification     535
Mind, Meaning, and Grammar     539
References     541
Index     551
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