The volume presents an up-to-date collection of methodologically sensitive
contributions providing mainly enthusiastic, at times also critical support
for the cognitive-linguistic enterprise. The book is important for the
advancement of cognitive linguistics because the contributions demonstrate
the seriousness of its ambitions to develop into a set of testable
linguistic approaches. For the same reason, the volume is a contribution to
our understanding of language in general, since it puts a promising modern
approach on firmer ground. Assets of the book include the wide range of
linguistic phenomena studied (individual concepts, fundamental semantic
problems like vagueness and polysemy, grammatical issues incl. gender and
tense, collocations, constructions and speech acts) and the scope of
applied perspectives including lexicographical, computational,
developmental and critical discourse ones. The languages investigated are
English, German, Dutch, Polish and Italian.
Common to the contributions is the desire to bring together observed
patterns of linguistic usage with concepts and models established in
cognitive linguistics. In addition, all contributions have an empirical
basis and emphasize the need to rely on a sound methodology. The linguistic
phenomena investigated span the range from the lexico-conceptual and
collocational level to constructions, grammatical categories and functions.
Two complementary perspectives of language and cognition are represented in
the volume: In one group, the established methods of psycholinguistic
experimentation, quantitative corpus analysis and computational simulation
are exploited to demonstrate the viability and to increase the plausibility
of cognitive-linguistic thinking. The second group tests well-known
cognitive-linguistic approaches like Conceptual Metaphor Theory, the Theory
of Idealized Cognitive Models and Construction Grammar against authentic
data demonstrating their applicability and explanatory potential. Both
groups include contributions reaching beyond the scope of traditional
cognitive-linguistic topics, e.g. by taking a critical stance of
reductionist cognitive thinking.
The volume is of interest to cognitive linguists, psycholinguists,
theoretical linguists, lexicologists, and lexicographers.