LINGUIST List 31.1746

Tue May 26 2020

Books: Frequency in Language: Divjak

Editor for this issue: Jeremy Coburn <>

Date: 26-May-2020
From: Dan Iredale <>
Subject: Frequency in Language: Divjak
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Title: Frequency in Language
Subtitle: Memory, Attention and Learning
Published: 2019
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Book URL:

Author: Dagmar Divjak
Electronic: ISBN: 9781108763042 Pages: 340 Price: U.S. $ 88.00
Hardback: ISBN: 9781107085756 Pages: 340 Price: U.S. $ 110.00
Hardback: ISBN: 9781107085756 Pages: 340 Price: U.S. $ 85.00

Cognitive linguists are bound by the cognitive commitment, which is the commitment to providing a characterization of the general principles governing all aspects of human language, in a way that is informed by, and accords with, what is known about the brain and mind from other disciplines. But what do we know about aspects of cognition that are relevant for theories of language? Which insights can help us build cognitive reality into our descriptive practice and move linguistic theorizing forward? This unique study integrates research findings from across the cognitive sciences to generate insights that challenge the way in which frequency has been interpreted in usage-based linguistics. It answers the fundamental questions of why frequency of experience has the effect it has on language development, structure and representation, and what role psychological and neurological explorations of core cognitive processes can play in developing a cognitively more accurate theoretical account of language.

1. Frequency of experience
2. A cognitive perspective on language
3. What this book is not about
4. What this book is about
Part I:
5. Counting occurrences: how frequency made its way into the study of language
5.1. The frequency wars: the role of frequency in nativist and nurturist frameworks
5.2. Lexical statistics and word (frequency) lists
5.3. Word lists in psycholinguistics: the discovery of the (word) frequency effect
5.4. Word frequency distributions and the beginning of quantitative linguistics
5.5. Summary and outlook
6. Measuring exposure: frequency as s linguistic game-changer
6.1 Frequency and usage-based theories of language
6.2. Frequency measures that have played an important role in the development of usage-based theories of language
6.3. Summary and outlook
7. More than frequencies: towards a probabilistic view on language
7.1. Constructing a grammar from the ground up
7.2. probabilistic grammar
7.3. Probabilities link linguistics to information theory
7.4. Summary and outlook
Part II:
8. Committing experiences to memory
8.1. What is memory?
8.2. The physiology or neurobiology of memory
8.3. Memory systems, memory processes and neural mechanisms of memory storage
8.4. Behavioural diagnostics of memory for language
8.5. Summary and outlook
9. Entrenching linguistic structures
9.1. Entrenchment in the mind, or in society?
9.2. Three types of entrenchment
9.3. How are repeated experiences recorded?
9.4. Frequently asked questions
9.5. Summary and outlook
Part III:
10. The brain's attention-orienting mechanisms
10.1. Grasping the phenomenon: what is attention and what does it do?
10.2. Ways of deploying attention
10.3. Attention and memory: encoding and retrieving information
10.4. Summary and outlook
11. Salience: capturing attention in and through language
11.1. Capturing attention in language: linguistics versus psychology
11.2. Attention and salience
11.3. Conclusions and outlook
Part IV:
12. Predicting: using past experience to guide future action
12.1. Predicting from stored memories
12.2. Memoryless prediction: Bayesian predictive coding frameworks
12.3. What does predictive processing mean for language cognition? 12.4. Conclusions and outlook
13. Learning: navigating frequency, recency, context and contingency
13.1. Background: learning theory
13.2 Applications to linguistics
13.3. Conclusions: the place of frequency in a learning theoretic approach to language
14. Conclusions
14.1. Why do frequencies of occurrence play an important role in usage-based linguistics?
14.2 How can frequency be used to explain the construction of a grammar from the ground up?
14.3. Memory, attention and learning in the emergence of grammar
14.4. Looking forward: what lessons can we learn?
14.5. By way of conclusion.

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science
                            General Linguistics

Written In: English (eng)

See this book announcement on our website:

Page Updated: 26-May-2020