Semantics

Download Mental Spaces: Aspects of Meaning Construction in Natural by Gilles Fauconnier PDF

By Gilles Fauconnier

ISBN-10: 0521449499

ISBN-13: 9780521449496

First released in 1985 (MIT Press), Fauconnier's influential ebook, psychological areas, was once instrumental in shaping the recent box of cognitive linguistics. the concept that of psychological spaces--that we strengthen constructs in the course of discourse which are distinctive from linguistic constructs yet are tested via linguistic expressions--provides a strong new method of difficulties in philosophy and cognitive technology relating idea and language. It encompasses a new preface that gives context for the idea, and a brand new foreword by means of George Lakoff and Eve Sweetser (both of U.C. Berkeley).

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Extra info for Mental Spaces: Aspects of Meaning Construction in Natural Language

Sample text

The space format reveals a different organization: Relatively simple grammatical structures give instructions for space construction in context. But this construction process is often underdetermined by the grammatical instructions; thus, simple construction principles and simple linguistic structures may yield multiple space configurations. 3 To be sure, there is complexity somewhere, but the point here is that a good part of the load can (and should) be shifted from the intemporal language structures to the field of virtual and multiple mental constructions.

Exhaustive studies, like Gross (1975),3 irrefutably documented that language us- Preface: Backstage Cognition xxx ers had knowledge of patterns in great numbers that differed from one lexical item to the next in such a way that no category assignment and sensible generative rule system could account for the observed productions and judgments. This result does not preclude that the patterns in question may be constrained to fit formal structures characterized by a generative algorithm, but it does entail that such algorithms will considerably overgenerate.

In the special but typical case when the higher space corresponds to the "speaker's reality," accessibility may correlate with the speaker's commitment to the truth of some belief or subordinate presupposition, which explains why explanation of mood so often runs along the line of epistemic stance, although strictly speaking, such Preface: Backstage Cognition xlii properties are only derivative. This is shown elegantly in MejiasBikandi's work. 4 Pragmatic Ambiguity One significant consequence of the mental space approach has been to recast many scopal and logical phenomena: Ambiguities and multiple readings, which were previously thought to stem from underlying structural characteristics of sentences, follow more generally from the underspecified nature of the linguistic forms.

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