LINGUIST List 13.1144

Wed Apr 24 2002

Review: Applied Linguistics; Puetz et al.(2001)

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  1. Svetlana Kurtes, Puetz et al.(2001) Applied Cognitive Linguistics II: Language Pedagogy

Message 1: Puetz et al.(2001) Applied Cognitive Linguistics II: Language Pedagogy

Date: 23 Apr 2002 14:07:56 -0000
From: Svetlana Kurtes <sk253yahoo.com>
Subject: Puetz et al.(2001) Applied Cognitive Linguistics II: Language Pedagogy

Puetz Martin, Susanne Niemeier, and Rene Dirven, eds. (2001)
Applied Cognitive Linguistics II: Language Pedagogy. Mouton de Gruyter,
xxvi+263pp, hardback ISBN 3-11-017222-4.

			
Book Announcement on Linguist:
http://linguistlist.org/issues/12/12-2830.html
	
	
Svetlana Kurtes, Language Centre, University of Cambridge, UK
	
SYNOPSIS
	
The volume consists of a selection of papers originally presented at
the 28th International LAUD Symposium ('Ten Years After: Cognitive
Linguistics: Second language Acquisition, Language Pedagogy and
Linguistic Theory') held in Landau, Germany, from March 27-30 2000. It
complements the first volume entitled "Applied Cognitive Linguistics I
: Theory and Language Acquisition".
	
The present volume consists of eight articles grouped in four
sections: (1) Bottom-up approaches: phrasal verbs and phraseological
expressions; (2) Top-down approaches: metaphor and idiom study; (3)
Systematical order instead of chaos in morphology and lexis; and (4)
Cultural models in education. It deals with the theoretical and
practical issues of language pedagogy, language acquisition and
foreign language learning observed from the viewpoint of cognitive
linguistics (henceforth CL).
	
In the Introduction, the editors Martin Puetz, Susanne Niemeier and
Rene Dirven (henceforth Puetz et al) briefly point out the relevance
of the theoretical views of CL for various fields of applied
linguistics, primarily in the areas of language acquisition, learning
and pedagogy. They see the phenomena of second language acquisition
and foreign language learning as complementary processes and maintain
that CL, observing language as being based on cognition, can
contribute significantly to theory and practice of language pedagogy
by pointing out the motivation underlying every aspect of
language. The editors' main aim has been to make current research
findings available to a larger audience, spanning from language
teachers and instructors, to grammarians, applied linguists,
educators, etc. Puetz et al conclude that "getting the learners
to (re-)discover the motivated structures and principles that govern a
foreign language may also lead to a greater degree of learner
autonomy" (p. xv), suggesting that teachers should also take a more
holistic approach to language analysis and learning into account.
	
The chosen articles primarily observe various aspects of idiomaticity
in language, ranging from phrasal verbs, idiomatic expressions and
conventional phrases, to metaphorical extensions in lexis, morphology,
syntax and text structure and highlight the ways in which CL insights
have made the area of idiomaticity more transparent in both
linguistics and language pedagogy.
	
Rene Dirven's contribution ("English phrasal verbs: theory and
didactic application") discusses the theoretical status of the
alternation between the two structural possibilities of particle
placement with transitive phrasal verbs in English: the post-verb
position (e.g. He picked up the pencil) and the post-direct object
position (e.g. He picked the pencil up), observing the issue from the
CL viewpoint. He maintains that, following Gries 1997, this is
essentially "the consciousness principle manifesting itself in the
degree of attention needed to set up mental contact with the NP's
referent in the direct object" (p.4), concluding that "the alternation
between the two structural possibilities applies unproblematically to
the prototypical, literal meaning of the particle verb" (p.16),
whereas their distribution is far more complex, involving extended,
figurative meanings of these verbs. In the second part of his paper,
Dirven discusses possible pedagogical applications of the theoretical
claims made. In particular, he focuses on some principles of pedagogic
grammar applied in Brygida Rudzka-Ostyn's unfinished exercise book
"English phrasal verbs: a cognitive approach".
	
Andrzej Kurtyka's article "Teaching English phrasal verbs: a cognitive
approach" complements Dirven's discussion of the idiomatic layers of
phrasal verbs and expands it further by presenting results of some of
its practical applications. More specifically, Kurtyka maintains that
"visualization, i.e. the ability to form mental representation of
verbal and non-verbal input, seems to be indispensable in learning"
(p.33) and discusses it further in the context of Rudzka-Ostyn's
didactic treatment of the semantics of English phrasal verbs, the
basic principles of which have been used as supplementary teaching
material by eight secondary school teachers of English in Poland. The
results of this practical application have been presented and briefly
discussed.
	
In his article "A usage-based approach to modeling and teaching the
phrasal lexicon", Kurt Queller discusses yet another intriguing issue
of language phraseology, focusing on the question why native speakers
differ significantly from non-native speakers in their choice of a
particular conventional phrasal pattern. Langacker's (1988)
usage-based model is used to analyse some selected parts of the
network for the English prepositional and adverbial particle "over".
The pedagogical implications of the results have been briefly
discussed.
	
Section 2 opens with Zoltan Kovecses' article "A cognitive linguistic
view of learning idioms in an FLT context". The author discusses the
relevance of the CL view to the foreign language teaching, focusing
primarily on the linguistic phenomenon of idiomatic expressions. He
addresses the issues of what the most common idioms are, how they
should be arranged in an "ideal" idiom dictionary, what kinds of
meanings they express and how they should be represented, how idioms
should be taught in the classroom and, finally, what role the
universality and cross-linguistic variation in metaphor plays in
idiom-learning. The examples are taken from English and compared with
Hungarian.
	
Antonio Barcelona presents the initial results of the English-Spanish
contrastive project examining lexical and grammatical features of
basic metaphors in his article "On the systematic contrastive analysis
of conceptual metaphors: case studies and proposed methodology". The
contrastive project, based at the University of Murcia in Spain, has
two main goals: to analyse contrastively the conceptualisation and
lexico-grammatical symbolization of four emotional domains (sadness,
happiness, anger and romantic love) in English and Spanish and to
analyse the conceptualisation and grammatical symbolization of space
and movement in English and Spanish, concentrating on a selected set
of lexical items and grammatical constructions. After presenting the
methodology and theoretical assumptions adopted, Barcelona draws a
number of conclusions concerning the criteria that should be applied
to the systematic contrastive analysis of metaphors across two
languages and the relevance of this kind of analysis for language
learning and teaching, lexicography, translation, etc.
	
Section 3 opens with the article entitled "A conceptual analysis of
English -er nominals" by Klaus-Uwe Panther and Linda L Thornburg. In
the first part of their article, Panther and Thornburg observe some
theoretical and methodological issues for the analysis of -er
nominals. The focus of their discussion then shifts onto the CL
analysis of various types of -er nominals: (1) the -er nominals with
human referent, designating human Agents with reference in the base to
their primary occupation (e.g. teacher, dancer, book-seller, etc); (2)
the -er nominals with personified agent referent (e.g. grasshopper,
creeper, sky-scraper, etc); (3) the -er nominals with non-human object
referent (e.g. can-opener, tranquilizer, divider, etc); and (4) the
-er nominals with event referent (e.g. thriller, blockbuster,
eyeopener, etc). The authors conclude that the -er nominals "form a
complex conceptual category with a central sense to which a large
number of other senses is more or less directly linked"
(p.193). Although the meanings of the -er formation are not always
quite predictable, the analysis shows that they are certainly
motivated.
	
Friedrich Ungerer's article "Basicness and conceptual hierarchies in
foreign language learning: a corpus-base study" takes into
consideration Eleanor Rosch's (Rosch et al 1976) interpretation of
levels of conceptualisation and puts it into the context of the
corpus-based analysis of pedagogical materials. The analysed corpus
comprises German textbooks of English and some newspaper articles
taken from "The Sun", "The daily Mirror" and "The Guardian". One of
the conclusions the author draws is that vocabulary selection in the
preparation of pedagogical materials could make use of the
basic/non-basic distinction enabling the learner to take a more active
role in acquiring the concepts of the target language and culture.
	
The volume finishes with Hans-Georg Wolf and Augustin Simo Bobda's
article "The African cultural model of community in English language
instruction in Cameroon: the need for more systematicity" (Section
4). The authors address the intriguing issue of the choice of a
teaching model that can adequately meet the learner's specific
needs. When it comes to the field of English as a Second Language, the
question of a suitable variety of English, able to reconcile its
universal intelligibility with the cultural specificity of a
community, becomes hotly disputed. Wolf and Bobda discuss these
issues taking the Anglophone part of Cameroon as an example, where
cultural presuppositions differ substantially from the Western
European ones. The methodological and theoretical framework the
authors adopted has been derived from the concept of "cultural model"
developed within cognitive anthropology (cf. Holland and Quinn, eds.,
1987). They conclude that "[c]onceptual diversity which is realized
lexically enriches the English language and learners of it profit most
if indigenous cultural elements occur alongside native-English
elements" (p.253).
	
EVALUATION
	
The present volume will no doubt be warmly welcome among a wide
spectrum of linguistic and educational scholars and professionals,
ranging from cognitive linguists, contrastivists, semanticists,
theoreticians of translation, to teaching methodologists, educators,
foreign language teachers, as well as professional translators,
lexicographers, etc. It brings up a series of intriguing linguistic
issues observed and discussed in a theoretically sound and coherent
framework, convincingly proving that interdisciplinarity is the right
path for 21st century linguistic theory and practice. The editors and
individual authors are to be congratulated on presenting a volume with
a well-balanced proportion of some purely theoretical considerations
and their original practical applications. The topics covered,
although tackling a variety of linguistic phenomena, all thematically
cluster around the problem of idiomaticity, proposing new and
innovative avenues for further research in the field. In spite of the
fact that most examples are taken from English, a number of other
languages are also taken into consideration, being observed from the
contrastive analytical perspective. This approach is best pronounced
in Antonio Barcelona's article, superbly exhibiting how principles of
traditional contrastive analysis when using CL assumptions as their
platform of reference can yield valuable and original results and shed
new light onto phenomena that would otherwise remain unnoticed.
	
We are quite convinced that the target audience will sincerely
appreciate the appearance of the present volume, which we recommend
unreservedly and wholeheartedly.
	
	
REFERENCES
	
Gries, Stefan T 1997. Particle movement: a cognitive and functional
approach, MA thesis, Hamburg University.
	
Holland, Dorothy and Naomi Quinn eds 1987. Cultural models in language
and thought. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
	
Langacker, Ronald 1988. A usage-based model. In Brygida Rudzka-Ostyn
(ed), Topics in cognitive linguistics, John Benjamins, Amsterdam,
127-61.
	
Rosch, Eleanor et al 1976. Basic objects in natural categories. In
Cognitive psychology 8, 382-439.
	
Rudzka-Ostyn, Brygida (forthcoming; ed by Paul Ostyn). English
phrasal verbs: a cognitive approach, unpublished MS.
	
ABOUT THE REVIEWER
	
Svetlana Kurtes holds a BA in English Philology and an MA in
Sociolinguistics from Belgrade University and an MPhil in Applied
Linguistics from Cambridge University. She worked as a Lecturer in
English at Belgrade University and is currently affiliated to
Cambridge University Language Centre. Her research interests involve
contrastive linguistics, sociolinguistics, pragmatics/stylistics,
translation theory and language pedagogy.
	 
	
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