How Words Mean: Lexical Concepts, Cognitive Models, and Meaning Construction

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How Words Mean introduces a new approach to the role of words and other linguistic units in the construction of meaning. It does so by addressing the interaction between non-linguistic concepts and the meanings encoded in language. It develops an account of how words are understood when we produce and hear language in situated contexts of use. It proposes two theoretical constructs, the lexical concept and the cognitive model. These are central to the accounts of lexical representation and meaning construction developed, giving rise to the Theory of Lexical Concepts and Cognitive Models (or LCCM Theory).

Vyvyan Evans integrates and advances recent developments in cognitive science, particularly in cognitive linguistics and cognitive psychology. He builds a framework for the understanding and analysis of meaning that is at once descriptively adequate and psychologically plausible. In so doing he also addresses current issues in lexical semantics and semantic compositionality, polysemy, figurative language, and the semantics of time and space, and writes in a way that will be accessible to students of linguistics and cognitive science at advanced undergraduate level and above.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An inspiring contemporary account of semantic and cognitive issues that is worth reading."—Linguist List
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199234660
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/23/2009
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Vyvyan Evans is Professor of Linguistics at Bangor University. He was previously Professor of Cognitive Linguistics at the University of Brighton and has also taught at the University of Sussex, Georgetown University, and the University of Florida. His published work includes A Glossary of Cognitive Linguistics (2007); with Benjamin Bergen and Jörg Zinken The Cognitive Linguistics Reader (2007); with Melanie Green, Cognitive Linguistics: An Introduction (2006); The Structure of Time: Language, Meaning and Temporal Cognition (2004); with Andrea Tyler, The Semantics of English Prepositions (2003); and articles in numerous venues including Journal of Linguistics, Cognitive Linguistics, and Language.

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Table of Contents

Part I Introduction
1. Words and Meaning
2. Towards a New Account of Word Meaning
3. Cognitive Linguistics
4. Word Meaning in LCCM Theory
Part II Lexical Representation
5. Symbolic Units
6. Semantic Structure
7. Lexical Concepts
8. Polysemy
9. Conceptual Structure
10. Cognitive Models
Part III Compositional Semantics
11. Lexical Concept Selection
12. Lexical Concept Integration
13. Interpretation
Part IV Figurative Language and Thought
14. Metaphor and Metonymy
15. The Semantics of Time
Part V Conclusions
16. LCCM Theory in Context

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