Pattern and Process

A Whiteheadian perspective on linguistics

| University of Copenhagen
ISBN 9789027223586 (Eur) | EUR 115.00
ISBN 9781588110589 (USA) | USD 173.00
ISBN 9789027299352 | EUR 115.00 | USD 173.00
The purpose of this book is to illustrate the relevance to linguistics today of Whitehead’s philosophy of organism. Although largely ignored by linguists, Whitehead has in fact much to say as regards the cognitive processes underpinning language pattern. His theory of symbolism conceives of language as the ‘systematization of expression’, and relates meaning to feeling (in the broadest sense). The Whiteheadian perspective allows a synthesis of the psychological and the social approaches to language that does not fall into one or another fashionable form of reductionism. The volume represents a first application of Whitehead’s thinking to a broad range of linguistic phenomena, ranging from speech act theory to the production and comprehension of texts, from language acquisition to historical change and the evolution of language. It is argued that Whitehead’s holistic philosophy is uniquely suited to the view of language as an emergent phenomenon — regardless of whether one’s approach to cognition is via the ‘nativist’ or the ‘functionalist’ route.
[Human Cognitive Processing, 6]  2001.  viii, 311 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“[...] a welcome contribution to the general metatheoretical discussion in linguistics, Fortescue forces us to rethink some of our most fundamental concepts. And by ‘returning to’ Whitehead he unmasks the shallowness of those who, in the name of ‘spectacular breakthroughs’, keep feverishly reinventing the wheel.”
“[...] a thought-provoking journey into philosophical and sometimes metaphysical realms that proves to be of unexpected relevance to the possible future trajectories of many trends dominant in linguistics today, from optimality theory to emergent grammar. [...] Any book that helps to bridge the often unnecessarily deep divide between formalism and functionalism is well worth the read. This is one such book.”
Cited by

Cited by 7 other publications

No author info given
2017.  In The Abstraction Engine [Advances in Consciousness Research, 94], Crossref logo
Flanagan, Tim
2021.  In Baroque Naturalism in Benjamin and Deleuze,  pp. 241 ff. Crossref logo
Fortescue, Michael
2003.  In Process Theories,  pp. 177 ff. Crossref logo
Fortescue, Michael
2007. How to catch a mental model by the tale. Acta Linguistica Hafniensia 39:1  pp. 125 ff. Crossref logo
Harder, Peter
2007. Shaping the interactive flowlanguage as input, process and product. Acta Linguistica Hafniensia 39:1  pp. 7 ff. Crossref logo
Seibt, Johanna
2020.  In Handbuch Ontologie,  pp. 277 ff. Crossref logo
Vodonick, John
2018. The Key to Organizational Sustainability: Nurturing a Culture of Change. Systems Research and Behavioral Science 35:4  pp. 458 ff. Crossref logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 20 april 2022. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.

Subjects & Metadata


BIC Subject: HP – Philosophy
BISAC Subject: PHI000000 – PHILOSOPHY / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2001035013 | Marc record