LINGUIST List 16.525

Tue Feb 22 2005

Books: Cog Sci/Socioling: Trueswell,Tanenhaus (Eds)/Malle

Editor for this issue: Megan Zdrojkowski <>

Links to the websites of all LINGUIST's supporting publishers are available at the end of this issue.


        1.    David Weininger, Approaches to Studying World-Situated Language Use: Trueswell, Tanenhaus (Eds)
        2.    David Weininger, How the Mind Explains Behavior: Malle

Message 1: Approaches to Studying World-Situated Language Use: Trueswell, Tanenhaus (Eds)

Date: 16-Feb-2005
From: David Weininger <>
Subject: Approaches to Studying World-Situated Language Use: Trueswell, Tanenhaus (Eds)

Title: Approaches to Studying World-Situated Language Use
Subtitle: Bridging the Language-as-Product and Language-as-Action Traditions
Series Title: Learning, Development, and Conceptual Change
Published: 2004
Publisher: MIT Press

Book URL:

Editor: John C. Trueswell, University of Pennsylvania
Editor: Michael K Tanenhaus, University of Rochester, New York
Hardback: ISBN: 0262201496 Pages: 368 Price: U.S. $ 85
Paperback: ISBN: 0262701049 Pages: 368 Price: U.S. $ 35

Recent approaches to language processing have focused either on individual
cognitive processes in producing and understanding language or on social
cognitive factors in interactive conversation. Although the cognitive and
social approaches to language processing would seem to have little
theoretical or methodological common ground, the goal of this book is to
encourage the merging of these two traditions. The contributors to this
volume hope to demonstrate that attention to both cognitive and social
approaches is important for understanding how language is processed in
natural settings.

The book opens with four review/position papers; these are followed by
shorter reports of experimental findings--"a snapshot of current work that
begins to bridge the product and action traditions." These treat linguistic
processing issues in conversational settings, the interactions of language
and nonlinguistic information from visual scenes, product approaches to
issues traditionally discussed in the action tradition, and Gricean phenomena.

Amit Almor, Gerry T. M. Altmann, Jennifer E. Arnold, Matthew P. Aylett,
Karl G. D. Bailey, Ellen G. Bard, Dale Barr, Holly P. Branigan, Susan E.
Brennan, Sarah Brown-Schmidt, Ellen Campana, Stephen Crain, Sylvia Gennari,
Maria Fagnano, Fernanda Ferreira, Stanka A. Fitneva, Joy Hanna, Sarah
Haywood, Yuki Kamide, Boaz Keysar, Janet F. McLean, Luisa Meroni, Martin J.
Pickering, Amy J. Schafer, Julie C. Sedivy, Shari R. Speer, Michael J.
Spivey, Matthew Stone, Michael K. Tanenhaus, John C. Trueswell.

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science

Written In: English (ENG )

See this book announcement on our website:

Message 2: How the Mind Explains Behavior: Malle

Date: 16-Feb-2005
From: David Weininger <>
Subject: How the Mind Explains Behavior: Malle

Title: How the Mind Explains Behavior
Subtitle: Folk Explanations, Meaning, and Social Interaction
Series Title: Bradford Books
Published: 2004
Publisher: MIT Press

Book URL:

Author: Bertram F. Malle, University of Oregon
Hardback: ISBN: 0262134454 Pages: 328 Price: U.S. $ 38

In this provocative monograph, Bertram Malle describes behavior
explanations as having a dual nature--as being both cognitive and social
acts--and proposes a comprehensive theoretical model that integrates the
two aspects. When people try to understand puzzling human behavior, they
construct behavior explanations, which are a fundamental tool of social
cognition. But, Malle argues, behavior explanations exist not only in the
mind; they are also overt verbal actions used for social purposes. When
people explain their own behavior or the behavior of others, they are using
the explanation to manage a social interaction--by offering clarification,
trying to save face, or casting blame. Malle's account makes clear why
these two aspects of behavior explanation exist and why they are closely
linked; along the way, he illustrates the astonishingly sophisticated and
subtle patterns of folk behavior explanations.

Malle begins by reviewing traditional attribution theories and their
simplified portrayal of behavior explanation. A more realistic portrayal,
he argues, must be grounded in the nature, function, and origins of the
folk theory of mind--the conceptual framework underlying people's grasp of
human behavior and its connection to the mind. Malle then presents a theory
of behavior explanations, focusing first on their conceptual structure and
then on their psychological construction. He applies this folk-conceptual
theory to a number of questions, including the communicative functions of
behavior explanations, and the differences in explanations given for self
and others as well as for individuals and groups. Finally, he highlights
the strengths of the folk-conceptual theory of explanation over traditional
attribution theory and points to future research applications.

Bertram Malle is Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and
the Institute for Cognitive and Decision Sciences at the University of
Oregon. He is the editor of Intentions and Intentionality: Foundations of
Social Cognition (MIT Press, 2001).

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science

Written In: English (ENG )

See this book announcement on our website:

-------------------------- Major Supporters --------------------------
Cascadilla Press
Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd
Edinburgh University Press
Elsevier Ltd.
Hodder Arnold
John Benjamins
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
MIT Press
Mouton de Gruyter

---------------------- Other Supporting Publishers ----------------------
Graduate Linguistic Students' Assoc., Umass
Kingston Press Ltd
Multilingual Matters
Pacific Linguistics
SIL International
Utrecht Institute of Linguistics / LOT Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistic


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