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Cognitive linguistics
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Cognitive linguistics

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Cognitive linguistics is a school of linguistics and cognitive science, which aims to provide accounts of language that mesh well with current understandings of the human mind. The guiding principle behind this area of linguistics is that language use must be explained with reference to the underlying mental processes.

Cognitive Linguistics is divided into two main areas of study: Cognitive Semantics and Cognitive Approaches to Grammar.

Important cognitive linguists include George Lakoff, Eve Sweetser, Leonard Talmy, Ronald Langacker, Mark Johnson, Mark Turner, Gilles Fauconnier, Charles Fillmore, Adele Goldberg (linguist), and Chris Johnson.

There are a number of hypotheses within cognitive linguistics that differ radically from those made in Generative linguistics. Some people in psychology and psycholinguistics who are testing these hypotheses are Michael Tomasello, Raymond Gibbs, Michael Ramscar, Michael Spivey, Teenie Matlock and Benjamin Bergen.

Researchers working on the interface between cognitive neuroscience and cognitive lingustics include Tim Rohrer, Seana Coulson and Lera Boroditsky. David McNeill has also provided important empirical evidence for cognitive linguistics from his research on gesture. Related studies of gesture and metaphor have been conducted by Sweetser and Nunez, while studies of sign language within cognitive linguistics have been conducted by Scott Liddell and Sarah Taub.

There are also people in computer science who have worked on computational modelling of the frameworks of cognitive linguistics. These include Jerome Feldman, Terry Regier and Srinivas Narayanan.

Aspects of cognition that are of interest to cognitive linguists include:

Some important areas of cognitive linguistics are: These areas are all intended to mesh together into a coherent whole. This has not yet happened, since people working within a particular framework do not necessarily keep track of advances and revisions made in other frameworks. However, there are people working towards a unified framework for the field. A further complication arises because the terminology of cognitive linguistics is not entirely stable, both because it is a relatively new field and because it interfaces with a number of other disciplines.

A helpful reference in sorting out conceptual metaphor and conceptual blending is the 1999 paper by Grady, Oakley, and Coulson listed in "further reading".

Further reading