Vol. 23:2 (2016) ► pp.179–213
Objectivity, subjectivity and intersubjectivity
Integrating two Cognitive-Functional theories
Subjectivity and intersubjectivity have long been recognized as central to the understanding of the relations between language, mind and society. They arise in an interactive world for the mind of the individual and shape his/her (inter)personal reality. In present-day linguistics, there are two major approaches to subjectivity. One is associated with Langacker and focuses on cognitive construal. The other framework, which was developed by Traugott, zooms in on diachronic changes on the conceptual level. Naturally, diachronic developments are intimately related to synchronic variation and the conceptual content of an utterance hinges on its presentation and perspectivization. This paper, therefore, argues that, rather than being discrepant and treating distinct phenomena, as is widely suggested (e.g. Brisard 2006; Nuyts 2001, 2012), the two frameworks can be reconciled. By so doing, the ensuing discussion yields an integrated view on objectivity and (inter)subjectivity, a view that will be organized around four main arguments.