From the point of view of psychology and cognitive science, much of modern linguistics is too formal and mathematical to be of much use. The newly emerging approaches to language termed "Functional and Cognitive Linguistics," however, are much less formally oriented and are typically couched in terms that are already familiar to cognitive scientists, such as perception, attention, conceptualization, meaning, and symbols. The account of human linguistic competence emerging from this new paradigm should be extremely useful to scientists studying how human beings--not formal devices--comprehend, produce, and acquire natural languages.
The current volume brings together 10 of the most important linguists in cognitive and functional linguistics whose work is often not easily available to those outside the field. Of special importance to all the contributions are the cognitive and social interactional processes that constitute human linguistic communication. The book should be of interest to psychologists, cognitive scientists, psycholinguists, and developmental psycholinguists--in addition to those linguists taking a more psychological approach to language.