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Voice Quality

By John H. Esling, Scott R. Moisik, Allison Benner, Lise Crevier-Buchman

Voice Quality "The first description of voice quality production in forty years, this book provides a new framework for its study: The Laryngeal Articulator Model. Informed by instrumental examinations of the laryngeal articulatory mechanism, it revises our understanding of articulatory postures to explain the actions, vibrations and resonances generated in the epilarynx and pharynx."


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Let's Talk

By David Crystal

Let's Talk "Explores the factors that motivate so many different kinds of talk and reveals the rules we use unconsciously, even in the most routine exchanges of everyday conversation."



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Dissertation Information


Title: Cognitive Reference Points: Semantics beyond the prototypes in adjectives of space and colour Add Dissertation
Author: Elena Tribushinina Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Leiden University Centre for Linguistics, Linguistics
Completed in: 2008
Linguistic Subfield(s): Semantics; Cognitive Science;
Director(s): Theo Janssen
Arie Verhagen

Abstract: Psychologists have shown that reference-point reasoning is a ubiquitous
cognitive phenomenon intrinsic to perception, categorisation, spatial
orientation, social, organisational and marketing behaviour of human
beings. Various cognitive tasks involve evoking a salient entity - called
cognitive reference point - for establishing mental contact with less
salient items. It is then reasonable to assume that language use also
involves a lot of reference-point reasoning. However, linguistic aspects of
this phenomenon have hardly been investigated. A welcome exception is
Langacker's reference-point model dealing with grammatical constructions
and metonymy.

This thesis elaborates the reference-point model by applying it to lexical
semantics. The only reference point that has been quite intensely studied
in lexical semantics is a prototype. By focusing on two adjectival groups
(colour and size), the author demonstrates that a whole panoply of
cognitive reference points are used to anchor conceptual specifications of
lexical items, prototypes being only a special case of the reference-point
mechanism. An important finding is that a word may trigger more than one
reference point at a time. For example, dimensional adjectives may be
interpreted vis-à-vis an average value, endpoints of the scale, prototypes
and dimensions of the human body. Contextual variability is claimed to be
related to various combinations of reference points, their relative
salience and patterns of interaction.

The dissertation is of interest to scholars studying the semantics of
adjectives and degree adverbs, as well as to anyone concerned with
cognitive linguistics and cognitive psychology.