LINGUIST List 2.64

Friday, 8 Mar 1991

Disc: Cognitive Linguistics

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  1. Margaret Fleck, autonomy of language etc
  2. Vicki Fromkin, Re: Cognitive Linguistics
  3. , Re: Cognitive Linguistics

Message 1: autonomy of language etc

Date: Mon, 4 Mar 91 23:33:59 GMT
From: Margaret Fleck <>
Subject: autonomy of language etc

This may be a silly naive question, but isn't it unwise to debate how
language is related to other areas of cognition in a forum containing
essentially no one with detailed knowledge of those other areas?
Wouldn't it be more productive to find a way to bring linguists and
psychologists together with researchers from areas such as robotics
and computer vision, who (I strongly suspect) are almost unrepresented
on this list and in the LSA?

Margaret Fleck (, Oxford University)
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Message 2: Re: Cognitive Linguistics

Date: Tue, 05 Mar 91 15:06 PST
From: Vicki Fromkin <>
Subject: Re: Cognitive Linguistics
This is not the reply to George I promised -- just a couple of quick
comments to Kac and Pesetsky.

To Michael -- I agree. There are two separate issues. I also agree
that maybe we should all get back to the lab where according to
who? "The rat is the only one who is always right". And it is not
really fighting for turf (as you yourself note) the problem with
one group with one view calling themselves 'cognitive linguists' is
that that implies that the rest of us are not. And afterall, the
Susie Curtiss came out in the summer of 1979.

To David -- I agree. And there are other kinds of evidence that have
to be looked at also -- for example, the work of Curtiss and Yamana
(look at the recent MIT Bradford book LAURA BY Jeni Yamada) showing the
asymmetrical developments of language from general cognitive ability or
other specific cognitive abilities. Laura, studies by Jeni, is an extremely
retarded person (from birth) with a full knowledge of English syntax and
grammar. A lot of her highly complex sentences don't make too much sense
because she does not, for example, know whether 2 is more than or less than

enough -- for no real answer. Real work awaits. Vicki Fromkin
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Message 3: Re: Cognitive Linguistics

Date: Tue, 5 Mar 1991 20:50 MST
Subject: Re: Cognitive Linguistics
To Lakoff/Hestvik/Kac/Pesetsky: I agree. Lets all subscribe to
"Cognitive Linguistics" and read it. THEN, we can get back to this
debate with some substance to talk about.

Carol Georgopoulos
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