This book - written in collaboration with René Doursat, director of the
Complex Systems Institute, Paris - adds a new dimension to Cognitive
Grammars. It provides a rigorous, operational mathematical foundation,
which draws from topology, geometry and dynamical systems to model iconic
«image-schemas» and «conceptual archetypes». It defends the thesis that
René Thom's morphodynamics is especially well suited to the task and allows
to transform the morphological structures of perception into Gestalt-like,
abstract, proto-linguistic schemas that can act as inputs into higher-level
specific linguistic routines.
Cognitive Grammars have drawn upon the view that the deep syntactic and
semantic structures of language, such as prepositions and case roles, are
grounded in perception and action. This study raises difficult problems,
which thus far have not been addressed as a mathematical challenge.
Cognitive Morphodynamics shows how this gap can be filled.
Contents: The Cognitive and Morphodynamical Turns - Things - Relations -
Processes: What is an «Attractor Syntax»? - From Morphodynamics to
Attractor Syntax - Attractor Syntax and Perceptual Constituency.
Jean Petitot is a mathematician and expert on neurocognitive models, a
semiolinguist and a philosopher of science. He is currently professor at
the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris, and
former director of CREA at the École Polytechnique. He is the author of
eight books and over 300 articles, the editor of 10 volumes, and a member
of the International Academy of Philosophy of Science, the editorial boards
of several journals, and the scientific committees of many institutions.