By Sari Pietikäinen, FinlandAlexandra Jaffe, Long BeachHelen Kelly-Holmes, and Nikolas Coupland
Sociolinguistics from the Periphery "presents a fascinating book about change: shifting political, economic and cultural conditions; ephemeral, sometimes even seasonal, multilingualism; and altered imaginaries for minority and indigenous languages and their users."
Frame-shifting and conceptual blending in meaning construction
Semantic Leaps explores how people combine knowledge from different domains in order to understand and express new ideas. Concentrating on dynamic aspects of online meaning construction, Coulson identifies two related sets of processes: frame-shifting and conceptual blending. Frame-shifting is semantic reanalysis in which existing elements in the contextual representation are reorganized into a new frame. Conceptual blending is a set of cognitive operations for combining partial cognitive models. By addressing linguistic phenomena often ignored in traditional meaning research, Coulson explains how processes of cross-domain mapping, frame-shifting and conceptual blending enhance the explanatory adequacy of traditional frame-based systems for natural language processing. The focus is on how the constructive processes speakers use to assemble, link and adapt simple cognitive models underlie a broad range of productive language behaviour.