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New from Oxford University Press!


It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Book Information

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Title: The Mental Corpus
Subtitle: How Language is Represented in the Mind
Written By: John R. Taylor

This book presents a radical reconceptualization of the nature of linguistic
knowledge. John Taylor challenges the conventional notion that a language
can be understood in terms of the interaction of syntax with a lexicon, the
second listing the words and the first the rules for combining them. He
proposes instead that an individual's knowledge of a language can be thought
of as a repository of memories of linguistic experience. Each encounter with
the language, he argues, leaves a trace in our minds. We record the forms of
utterances, the concepts and interpretations associated with them, and the
contexts in which they were heard or seen. Features of incoming language - a
word, a phrase, a meaning, a voice quality, an interactional situation -
resonate with items already stored. Similarities between stored items give
rise to generalizations of varying degrees of certainty and precision, which in
turn are able to sanction new and innovative expressions.

John Taylor writes with conviction, clarity, and wit, illustrating every stage of
his argument with arresting examples. His account makes a profound and
original contribution to understanding the nature of language and the
operations of the mind and brain. His book will appeal in equal measure to
linguists, philosophers, and cognitive scientists.

Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Philosophy of Language
Cognitive Science
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Format: Hardback
ISBN-13: 9780199290802
Pages: 336
Prices: U.K. £ 50