Publication details [#10935]

Valenzuela, Javier. 2009. A psycholinguist's view on cognitive linguistics: An interview with Ray W. Gibbs. Annual Review of Cognitive Linguistics 7 : 301–317. 17 pp.
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(From the first answer) J. V.: You have been involved with cognitive linguistics since almost the very beginning. When and how did you find out about cognitive linguistics? R.W.G.: I was fortunate to have an advisor, David Rumelhart, who was deeply concerned with how context influenced cognition, and more particularly, the ways that thought and language interact. Many people in pychology and linguistics are now focused on these very issues, but at that time, the study of language and its relation to thought, and again, how context shapes linguistic interpretation, was in its infancy. As a Ph.D. student, I sat in on some lectures on "space grammar" (now "cognitive grammar"), given by Ron Langacker in the Department of Linguistics at UCSD, and found this work to be challenging, yet consistent with my own nascent ideas on thought and language. I also met and heard Len Talmy, who was a cognitive science post-doc at UCSD, and was very excited to learn about his work on relations between space and grammar. Even though I surely didn't understand all that I heard and read at that time, this exposure planted the early seeds of my interests in what became cognitive linguistics. More directly relevant to my own studies on indirect and figurative language, was hearing George Lakoff talk about "conceptual metaphors" at the first meeting of the Cognitive Science Society in 1979, and that inspired me to think about my topic of study in new ways. My empirical work in graduate school, and in the early 1980s showed that people could, for example, easily understand verbal metaphors when they were seen in social context. (Javier Valenzuela)