Edited by Liliana Albertazzi
[Converging Evidence in Language and Communication Research 2] 2000
► pp. 123–143
For Len Talmy
The paper proposes a philosophical foundation for cognitive linguistics on the basis of an experimental phenomenology. It conducts analysis of the distinguishing primitives and natural categories of cognitive, natural space: distance, position, orientation, change, etc. The author argues the Aristotelian thesis that the contents and structures of the phenomenal world are transposed into language as nuclei bearing semantic and syntactic features. The essay’s second main contention is that perception (spatial perception as well) is intrinsically temporal. Its third assertion is that conceptual representation is a continuum of forms comprising a series of positions in a space continuum experienced at rest or in motion according to the various modes of presentation in actual experience. Translated in terms of cognitive linguistics, these assumptions are equivalent to the base principle of construal in imagery, to which the conceptual schemes can be related. From this point of view, the paper has several features in common also with Langacker’s (the dynamic character of conceptualization, the subjective point of view in construal and linguistic expressions, conceptual representations as a continuum of forms) and with Croft and Wood’s contribute. Like Violi’s essay, it investigates the primitive factors in perception and language which behave according to the particular force fields and patterns in which they appear. And like Wildgen’s, it contends that the force field is not univocal as to coordination between content and lexicon. Finally, its analysis of Talmy’s scheme of force dynamics is complementary to that conducted by Kövecses in his contribution.
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