It was about one and a half years ago that I finally I arrived where I had always wanted to be and do what I had always wanted-- teach students, support small language communities and conduct research on African languages on my doorstep. The University of Cape Town and my new colleagues welcomed my efforts to establish the Centre for African Language Diversity-- CALDi as well as The African Language Archive-- TALA and I was recently appointed the Mellon Research Chair: African Language Diversity this initiative. The main aim of CALDi is to train young African scholars in descriptive linguistics and open up space for research into African languages at UCT with the hopes of countering the dominance of African linguistics outside the continent. It has been a great challenge for which my whole career has been a form of preparation...Read more
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Illocutionary constructions in English: Cognitive motivation and linguistic realization
A study of the syntactic realizations of the directive, commissive and expressive speech acts in English
Europäische Hochschulschriften / European University Studies / Publications Universitaires Européennes - Band 497
Grounded in the Lexical Constructional Model (LCM), a usage-based meaning construction model of language of recent design, this research argues that illocutionary meaning either results from filling in constructional variables such as X in the Can You XVP? construction or from affording access to abstract situational cognitive models through the metonymic activation of relevant elements of their structure. One such model is the Cost-Benefit Cognitive Model, which is incorporated into the description of pragmatic meaning and presented as lying at the core of the conventionalization process of illocutionary constructions. The inferential path based on the instantiation of the Cost-Benefit Cognitive Model determines the activation of speech act values that may become conventionalized within a linguistic community. The study determines the applicability of the analytical tools developed by the LCM for illocutionary description. The illocutionary acts selected are those proposed by the Cost-Benefit Cognitive Model as exploiting cultural principles of interaction.