The volume explores the ways in which language change is studied within the
framework of Cognitive Linguistics, a semantics-based theory of language
production and perception. The eleven chapters explore two kinds of
changes: firstly, those which involve mental prototypes or 'best instances'
of particular concepts and extensions of these prototypes, and secondly,
those which relate to conceptual networks, for example via metaphor or
metonymy. More specifically, the papers address syntactic and lexical
change, as well as the evolution of language and changes in the expression
- usually metaphoric - of emotions.
In presenting a wide range of current work of this kind, the volume
demonstrates the value of cross-fertilization between historical and
cognitive linguistics, and is intended to open the way for further related
research. The included papers are of particular relevance to those working
in metaphor theory and syntactic / semantic change within Cognitive
Linguistics, but will also be of interest to other historical linguists and
those studying cognitive semantics and metaphor from a synchronic viewpoint.