Cognitive and Communicative Approaches to Linguistic Analysis

Ellen Contini-Morava | University of Virginia
Robert S. Kirsner | University of California, Los Angeles
Betsy Rodríguez-Bachiller | Kean University
ISBN 9789027215604 (Eur) | EUR 125.00
ISBN 9781588115669 (USA) | USD 188.00
ISBN 9789027294869 | EUR 125.00 | USD 188.00
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This volume is the product of a Columbia School Linguistics Conference held at Rutgers University in October 1999, where the plenary speaker was Ronald W. Langacker, a founder of Cognitive Linguistics. The goal of the book is to promote two kinds of dialogue. First, dialogue between Cognitive Grammar and the particular sign-based approach to language known as the Columbia School. While they share certain basic assumptions, the “maximalist” CG and the “minimalist” CS differ both theoretically and methodologically. Given that philosophers from Mill to Kuhn to Feyerabend have stressed the importance to any discipline of dialogue between opposing views, the dialogue begun here cannot fail to bear fruit. The second kind of dialogue is that among several sign-based approaches themselves and also between them and two competitors: grammaticalization theory and generic functionalism. Topics range from phonology to discourse. Analytical problems are taken from a wide range of languages including English, German, Guarani, Hebrew, Hualapai, Japanese, Korean, Macedonian, Mandarin, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Urdu, and Yaqui.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“[...] this work represents a valuable and up-to-date contribution to linguistic analysis, especially grammatical, and constitutes a thought-provoking basis for further studies on the field.”
“The question whether grammar is meaningful arguably defines one of the most fundamental divisive issues in linguistics since the nineteen sixties. The contributors to this volume are on the same side of the line; they belong to two major traditions (Columbia School 'sign-based' linguistics, and Cognitive Grammar) that have been advocating the meaningful-position for a number of decades now, each in its own way. Still, sharing such a basic commitment does not exhaust the possibilities for disagreement and debate, as this volume clearly shows — one may agree on the importance of meaning for grammar, but in itself this does not decide how meaning is to be conceived of. To mention only a few issues: Are there universal components of meaning, or are all symbolic relations entirely language dependent? Are morphemes the only bearers of meaning, or can abstract, schematic constructions also have meaning? Do signs in principle have single meanings, or is polysemy the 'natural' state for linguistic meaning? On the other hand, the present collection also shows that the commitment to meaning does constitute a sufficient framework for fruitful criticism and exchange. Questions like the ones just mentioned are important for any student of grammatical meaning. The search for answers can only benefit from open minded discussions between adherents of different views sharing the same ultimate interest, and from exchanging careful analyses of actual linguistic phenomena, undertaken from these views. This volume provides ample opportunity for any linguist seriously interested in grammatical meaning, to sharpen, and perhaps even adapt, their views by confronting them with the studies presented here.”
“Contini-Morava, Kirsner, and Rodríguez-Bachiller have gathered together a rich collection of thought-provoking papers, inviting readers to consider two complementary perspectives on the relationship between linguistic structure and 'meaning', Cognitive Linguistics and Columbia School Linguistics. The papers, some taking one 'side' or the other, some more neutral, present a range of carefully argued language-specific analyses, which highlight the various semantic, semiotic, and communicative issues raised by these two approaches. Although the three editors have been strongly influenced by Columbia School thought (with Contini-Morava and Kirsner both having received their doctorates from Columbia), readers need not be partial to either approach to appreciate and enjoy the theoretical and analytic concerns raised in this book.”
“Linguists interested in sign-approaches to language will welcome and enjoy this book because of its open and revealing debate on fundamental theoretical and methodological grammatical principles from different points of view. Ron Langacker's penetrating discussion of the various similarities and divergences of Cognitive Grammar and the Columbia School is highly insightful. Of all the other fine chapters, I most admire Joseph Davis' chapter taking issue with the theoretical construct of the communicative strategy in explaining messages.”
Cognitive and Communicative Approaches to Linguistic Analysis is a valuable resource for all linguists interested in the role of meaning in language and the integration of disparate theoretical perspectives. This volume explores the possible points of contact between Cognitive Linguistics and the Columbia School. Joined by a commitment to the form-meaning (aka "signal-meaning" within the Columbia School) relationship, Cognitive Linguistics and the Columbia School are opposed according to the articulation of that relationship. Whereas the Columbia School rigorously distills an abstract unitary meaning for a given signal, Cognitive Linguistics pursues the complex structures of polysemy in an unrestrained fashion, and each provides a distinct angle on the truths of language that no single framework can fully account for on its own. The authors give evidence that linguists can communicate substantively and effectively across the theoretical rifts that too often divide us.”
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Cited by 8 other publications

Durst-Andersen, Per & Stine Evald Bentsen
2021. The word revisited: Introducing the CogSens Model to integrate semiotic, linguistic, and psychological perspectives. Semiotica 2021:238  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Hashim, Siti Afifah & Subramaniam Govindasamy
2015. Past Form of Modals in Non-Past Contexts: A Semiotic Analysis. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 208  pp. 122 ff. DOI logo
Kern, Richard & Claire Kramsch
2014. Communicative Grammar and Communicative Competence. In The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics,  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Stern, Nancy
2019. Introduction. In Columbia School Linguistics in the 21st Century [Studies in Functional and Structural Linguistics, 77],  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Tobin, Yishai
2009. Comparing and Contrasting Natural Phonology, Optimality Theory and the Theory of Phonology as Human Behavior. Poznań Studies in Contemporary Linguistics 45:1 DOI logo
Tobin, Yishai
2009. Phonology as Human Behavior: Applying Theory to the Clinic. Asia Pacific Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing 12:2  pp. 81 ff. DOI logo

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Communication Studies

Communication Studies

Main BIC Subject

GTC: Communication studies

Main BISAC Subject

LAN004000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Communication Studies
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ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2004057066 | Marc record