Stephen J. Cowley | University of Hertfordshire, UK
The volume presents language as fully integrated with human existence. On this view, language is not essentially ‘symbolic’, not represented inside minds or brains, and most certainly not determined by micro-social rules and norms. Rather, language is part of our ecology. It emerges when bodies co-ordinate vocal and visible gesture to integrate events with different histories. Enacting feeling, expression and wordings, language permeates the collective, individual and affective life of living beings. It is a profoundly distributed, multi-centric activity that binds people together as they go about their lives. Distributed Language pursues this perspective both theoretically and in relation to empirical work. Empirically, it reports studies on the anticipatory dynamics of reading, its socio-cognitive consequences, Shakespearean theatre, what images evoke (in brain and word), and solving insight problems. Theoretically, the volume challenges linguistic autonomy from overlapping theoretical positions. First, it is argued that language exploits a species specific form of semiotic cognition. Second, it is suggested that the central function of language lies in realizing values that derive from our ecosystemic existence. Third, this is ascribed to how cultural and biological symbols co-regulate the dynamics that shape human activity. Fourth, it is argued that language, far from being organism-centred, gives us an extended ecology in which our co-ordination is saturated by values and norms that are derived from our sociocultural environment. The contributions to this volume expand on those originally published in Pragmatics & Cognition 17:3 (2009).
[Benjamins Current Topics, 34] 2011. ix, 220 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins Publishing Company
Table of Contents
About the authors | pp. vii–ix
Distributed languageStephen J. Cowley | pp. 1–14
The role of anticipation in readingTimo Järvilehto, Veli-Matti Nurkkala and Kyösti Koskela | pp. 15–31
The experiential basis of speech and writing as different cognitive domainsAlexander V. Kravchenko | pp. 33–55
Insightful thinking: Cognitive dynamics and material artifactsEvridiki Fioratou and Stephen J. Cowley | pp. 57–80
Actualizing semiotic affordances in a material worldKristian Tylén, Johanne Stege Bjørndahl and Ethan Weed | pp. 81–100
Languaging in Shakespeare's theatreEvelyn Tribble | pp. 101–115
Semiotic cognition and the logic of cultureBarend van Heusden | pp. 117–133
Ecological pragmatics: Values, dialogical arrays, complexity, and caringBert H. Hodges | pp. 135–159
Symbols as constraints: The structuring role of dynamics and self-organization in natural languageJoanna Raczaszek-Leonardi | pp. 161–184
Beyond mind: An extended ecology of languagingSune Vork Steffensen | pp. 185–210
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[no author supplied]
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Subjects & Metadata
BIC Subject: CFG – Semantics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number: 2011029013 | Marc record