Professor of Linguistics
Email contact: v.evans AT bangor.ac.uk
President of the UK Cognitive Linguistics Association
editor of Language and
(Some books are available for download in their entirety; click on individual books to check availability)
Language is central to our lives, the cultural tool that arguably sets us apart from other species. Some scientists have argued that language is innate, a type of unique human ‘instinct’ pre-programmed in us from birth. In this book, Vyvyan Evans argues that this received wisdom is, in fact, a myth.
Debunking the notion of a language 'instinct', Evans demonstrates that language is related to other animal forms of communication; that languages exhibit staggering diversity; that we learn our mother tongue drawing on general properties and abilities of the human mind, rather than an inborn ‘universal’ grammar; that language is not autonomous but is closely related to other aspects of our mental lives; and that, ultimately, language and the mind reflect and draw upon the way we interact with others in the world.
Compellingly written and drawing on cutting-edge research, The Language Myth sets out a forceful alternative to the received wisdom, showing how language and the mind really work.
1. Language and mind rethought [PDF File]
Taking stock of language
Myths and realities
A straw man?
Lessons from evolution
5 . Is language a distinct module in the mind?
On grammar genes and chatterboxes
The chatterbox fallacy
Alas, poor Darwin
So, what’s the alternative to modularity?
What’s all the fuss anyway?
2. Is human language unrelated to animal communication systems?
From busy bees to startling starlings
Communication in the wild
Design features for language
But wherefore “design features”?
All in the mind of the beholder
Of chimps and men
6. Is there a universal Mentalese?
Mentalese and the computational mind
Intelligent bodies, embodied minds
Metaphors we live by
Embodiment effects in the brain
So, where does this leave us?
3. Are there language universals?
Linguistic diversity: A whistle-stop tour
Universal Grammar meets (linguistic) reality
Lessons from linguistic typology
So, how and why does language change?
The myth of proto-world
Adieu, Universal Grammar
7. Is thought independent of language?
Who’s afraid of the big bad Whorf?
The rise of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis
Born to colour the world?
The neo-Whorfian critique
Lessons from Rossel Island
Colour through the eyes of a child
All about sex
On time and space
What is linguistic relativity anyway?
4 . Is language innate?
An instinct for language?
Arguments for the language instinct
Lessons from neurobiology
Lessons from language learning
So how do children learn language?
Towards a theory of language learning
Learning what to say…from what isn’t said
But couldn’t language emerge all at once?
It’s all about language use!
8. Language and mind regained
Cultural intelligence and the ratchet effect
The human interaction engine
The rise of language
What does our mental grammar look like?
Universal scenes of experience
Why are there so many languages?
One final reflection…
‘A much-needed, comprehensive critique of universal grammar. Vyvyan Evans builds a compelling case that will be difficult to refute.’
David Crystal, author of The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Language, 3rd Edition.
‘Evans’ rebuttal of Chomsky’s Universal Grammar from the perspective of Cognitive Linguistics provides an excellent antidote to popular textbooks where it is assumed that the Chomskyan approach to linguistic theory (in one avatar or another) has somehow been vindicated once and for all.’
Michael Fortescue, Professor Emeritus, University of Copenhagen
‘The Language Myth builds a compelling case that there is no innate Universal Grammar. Evans's work is a welcome contribution to our understanding of the origin, nature, and use of human language.’
Daniel L. Everett, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Bentley University
Language allows us to express our thoughts and ideas. Everyday we use language to tell others--friends, colleagues, family members, casual acquaintances, lovers--whether we are happy or sad, to convey whether we are angry or bored. We use language to compose an email, to purchase groceries in the supermarket, to buy a bus ticket. We need language to propose marriage, to argue, or to declare undying love. We use it to make requests and demands, to signal our wishes and desires, to say whether we prefer our coffee with or without sugar. Language is indispensable in making public our thoughts. But while we use language to get our thoughts across, the way language is patterned in expressing these thoughts also provides us with insight into the very nature of our minds.The Meaning-Making Engine demonstrates the ways in which language reveals how we think. Language can illuminate, to the scientist, the way in which thought is structured. It reveals underlying features of mind design.
Table of Contents
1. Unweaving a mystery
Language as a window on the mind
The body in the mind
Unweaving a mystery
Meaning in mind, meaning in language
2. Patterns in language, patterns in the mind
Patterns in language
Patterns in the mind
All about events
Computers behaving badly, and reluctant lovers
The power of thought (through language)
Using language to uncover the mind
3. Time is our fruit fly
It’s only Tuesday
A clock in the brain
The many faces of time
Time is our fruit fly
Time in hand (and ear)
So where does this leave us?
4. Concepts body forth
The ghost in the machine
The language of the body
Concepts body forth
Minds without bodies
Laying the ghost to rest
5. The concept-making engine (or, how to build a baby)
How to build a baby
The anatomy of an image schema
The rationalist’s retort
Yes, but no!
Born to see structure in the world
The concept-making engine
Primary scenes of experience
6. The act of creation
A cognitive iceberg
The act of creation
Reducing complexity to human scale
The power of blending
The mystery of creativity
7. Webs of words
Words are changelings
Webs of words
Does conceptual metaphor change word meanings?
The illusion of semantic unity
The encyclopaedic nature of meaning
The private life of words
8. The meaning-making engine
A design feature for human meaning-making
The meaning of grammar
The human meaning-making potential
The meaning-making engine
Meaning in the mix
Towards a theory of meaning-making
9. On the way to deeper matters
An instinct for cooperation
The genesis of grammar
How old is language?
Language and Time:
Using language and thought to fix events in time is one of the most complex computational feats that humans perform. In the first book-length taxonomy of temporal frames of reference, Vyvyan Evans provides an overview of the role of space in structuring human representations of time. Challenging the assumption that time is straightforwardly structured in terms of space, he shows that while space is important for temporal representation, time is nevertheless separate and distinguishable from it. Evans argues for three distinct temporal frames of reference in language and cognition and evaluates the nature of temporal reference from a cross-linguistic perspective. His central thesis is that the hallmark of temporal reference is transience, a property unique to the domain of time. This important study has implications not only for the relationship between space and time, but also for that between language and figurative thought, and the nature of linguistically-mediated meaning construction.
"Time is at once familiar and mysterious. Its status in the physical universe may be uncertain and contested, cultural conceptions of it may vary dramatically, but time is fundamental to all human experience. Vyv Evans furnishes linguists and other researchers with important new tools for thought about this fascinating domain."
Professor Chris Sinha, President of the International Cognitive Linguistics Association
Table of Contents
PART I Orientation
1. Introduction [PDF File]
2. Acess semantics
PART II Temporal Frames of Reference
3. The nature of temporal reference
4. Deictic temporal reference
5. Sequential temporal reference
6. Extrinsic temporal reference
7. Time versus space
PART III Meaning Construction and temporal reference
8 . Conceptual metaphors and lexical concepts
9. Figurative meaning construction in LCCM Theory
10. Semantic affordances and temporal reference
11. Universals and diversity in the cross-linguistic respresentation of time
introduces a new approach to the role of words and other linguistic units
in the construction of meaning. It does so by addressing the interaction between
non-linguistic concepts and the meanings encoded in language. It develops
an account of how words are understood when we produce and hear language in
situated contexts of use. It proposes two theoretical constructs, the lexical
concept and the cognitive model. These are central to the accounts of lexical
representation and meaning construction developed, giving rise
to the Theory of Lexical Concepts
and Cognitive Models (or
The book integrates and advances recent developments in cognitive science, particularly in cognitive linguistics and cognitive psychology. It advances a framework for the understanding and analysis of meaning that is at once descriptively adequate and psychologically plausible. In so doing it also addresses current issues in lexical semantics and semantic compositionality, polysemy, figurative language, and the semantics of time and space, and is written in a way that will be accessible to students of linguistics and cognitive science at advanced undergraduate level and above.
Notable Features of the Book
· Synthesises and advances recent work in cognitive linguistics and cognitive psychology in terms of the nature of lexical representation and meaning construction.
· Presents a revised theory of the role of words in language understanding.
· Addresses the status of contemporary theories of grammar and meaning with respect to their
contribution to language understanding
· Addresses key issues such as figurative language and polysemy, providing a revised way of thinking about these phenomena.
· Provides up-to-date coverage of important areas of semantic structure including Time and Space.
· Written so as to be accessible to experts in linguistics and cognitive science, as well as educated lay-readers
Table of Contents
language and thought
Part 1 Introduction
1. Words and meaning [PDF File]
2. Towards a new account of word meaning
3. Cognitive linguistics
4. Word meaning in LCCM Theory
Part II Lexical representation
5. Symbolic units
6. Semantic structure
7. Lexical concepts
9. Conceptual structure
10. Cognitive models
Part III Semantic compositionality
11. Lexical concept selection
12. Lexical concept integration
14. Metaphor and metonymy
15. The semantics of Time
Part V Conclusion
16. LCCM Theory in context
language and thought
The Structure of Time:
Language, meaning and temporal cognition
One of the most enigmatic aspects of experience concerns time. Since pre-Socratic times scholars have speculated about the nature of time, asking questions such as: What is time? Where does it come from? Where does it go? The central proposal of The Structure of Time is that time, at base, constitutes a phenomenologically real experience. Drawing on findings in psychology, neuroscience, and utilising the perspective of cognitive linguistics, this work argues that our experience of time may ultimately derive from perceptual processes, which in turn enable us to perceive events. As such, temporal experience is a pre-requisite for abilities such as event perception and comparison, rather than an abstraction based on such phenomena. The book represents an examination of the nature of temporal cognition with two foci: i) an investigation into (pre-conceptual) temporal experience, and ii) an analysis of temporal structure at the conceptual level (which derives from temporal experience).
“Time belongs to the bedrock of human cognition. Beginning before birth and remaining for the most part below the horizon of consciousness, temporal cognition is a mystery not easily penetrated. The Structure of Time is an indispensable investigation, rich in theory and examples, into the phenomenology and the linguistics of the way we think about time.”
Mark Turner, Institute Professor,
Case Western Reserve University
“With this work, Cognitive Linguistics finally turns its attention from Space to Time.”
Jordan Zlatev, Lund University, Sweden
“This work is interesting, creative, thought-provoking, and timely (no pun intended)”
Wallace Chafe, University of California at Santa Barbara
“[...] thought provoking and inspiring. It is a valuable interdisciplinary source for insight in several domains, including lexical semantics, conceptual metaphor theory, and cognitive science in the area of time.”
, on Linguist List 15-2430 (2004) University of Bremen, Germany
“ In general, the style of the book is very accessible, especially in view of the fact that so many different fields are touched upon. The conclusions at the end of each chapter additionally contribute to the reader's comprehension. The book is therefore accessible not only to linguistics and cognitive scientists but to researchers from any field interested in the phenomenon of time.”
Nadja Nesselhauf, Univeristy of
, in Anglistik 16(1), 2005 Heidelberg
The Semantics of English Prepositions:
Spatial Scenes, Embodied Meaning, and Cognition
Andrea Tyler and Vyvyan Evans
[Download entire book] (See copyright notice before downloading)
Published June 2003 by Cambridge University Press
Paperback: ISBN-13: 9780521044639
Hardback: 10: 0521814308 | 13: 9780521814300
E-book edition: B00074QG3O
Using a cognitive linguistics perspective, this book provides the most comprehensive, theoretical analysis of the semantics of English prepositions available. All English prepositions originally coded spatial relations between two physical entities; while retaining their original meaning, prepositions have also developed a rich set of non-spatial meanings. In this innovative study, Tyler and Evans argue that all these meanings are systematically grounded in the nature of human spatio-physical experience. The original ‘spatial scenes’ provide the foundation for the extension of meaning from the spatial to the more abstract. This analysis articulates a new methodology that distinguishes between a conventional meaning and an interpretation produced for understanding the preposition in context, as well as establishing which of several competing senses should be taken as the primary sense. Together, the methodology and framework are sufficiently articulated to generate testable predictions and allow the analysis to be applied to additional prepositions.
Korean language edition published 2004
[Preface for the Korean edition]
1. The nature of meaning
2. Embodied meaning and spatial experience
3. Towards a model of principled polysemy: spatial scenes and conceptualization
4. The case of over
5. The vertical axis
6. Spatial particles of orientation
7. Bounded landmarks
Japanese language edition published 2005 by Kenkyusha Publishing Company
In the second edition of this best-selling introduction to Cognitive Linguistics, Vyvyan Evans revises and updates the entire contents. Featuring five brand new chapters, the second edition provides an up-to-date and authoritative general introduction to cognitive linguistics. The book will appeal to students learning about cognitive linguistics, as well as researchers from linguistics and neighbouring fields seeking a comprehensive, yet accessible overview of the cognitive linguistics enterprise. A detailed table of contents will follow soon.
Vyvyan Evans and Melanie Green
Published January 2006 in
North Americaby Lawrence Erlbaum (Taylor & Francis), and by Edinburgh University Press throughout the rest of the world.
Hardback: 0805860134 (N. America) 0748618317 (Rest of world)
Paperback: 0805860142 (
N. America), 0748618325 (Rest of world)
[How to order] [Sample chapter]
Korean language edition published by Hankookmunhwasa Publishing, April 2008. [Preface to the Korean language edition]
Chinese language edition published by Beijing World Publishing Corporation.
An authoritative general introduction to cognitive linguistics, this book provides up-to-date coverage of all areas of the field and sets in context recent developments within cognitive semantics (including primary metaphors, conceptual blending and Principled Polysemy), and cognitive approaches to grammar (including Radical Construction Grammar and Embodied Construction Grammar). While all topics are introduced in terms accessible to both undergraduate and postgraduate students, this work is sufficiently comprehensive and detailed to serve as a reference work for scholars from linguistics and neighbouring disciplines who wish to gain a better understanding of cognitive linguistics. The book is divided into three parts (The cognitive linguistics enterprise; Cognitive semantics; and Cognitive approaches to grammar), and is therefore suitable for a range of different course types, both in terms of length and level, as well as in terms of focus. In addition to defining the field, the text also includes appropriate critical evaluation. Complementary and potentially competing approaches are explored both within the cognitive approach and beyond it. In particular, cognitive linguistics is compared and contrasted with formal approaches including Generative Grammar, formal approaches to semantics, and Relevance Theory.
Contents (830 pages)
I. Overview of the Cognitive Linguistics
1. What Does it Mean to Know a Language?
2. The Nature of Cognitive Linguistics: Assumptions and Commitments
3. Universals and Variation in Language, Thought and Experience
4. Language in Use: Knowledge of Language, Language Change and Language Acquisition
II. Cognitive Semantics
5. What is Cognitive Semantics?
6. Embodiment and Conceptual Structure
7. The Encyclopaedic View of Meaning
8. Categorisation and Idealised Cognitive Models
9. Metaphor and Metonymy
10. Word-meaning and Radial Categories
11. Meaning-construction and Mental Spaces
12. Conceptual Blending
13. Cognitive Semantics in Context
III. Cognitive Approaches to Grammar
14. What is a Cognitive Approach to Grammar?
15. The Conceptual Basis of Grammar
16. Cognitive Grammar: Word Classes
17. Cognitive Grammar: Constructions
18. Cognitive Grammar: Tense, Aspect, Mood and Voice
19. Motivating a Construction Grammar
20. The Architecture of Construction Grammars
22. Cognitive Approaches to Grammar in Context
23. Assessing the Cognitive Linguistics
"This book provides a clear, careful and comprehensive introduction to what the authors call the ‘cognitive linguistics enterprise’, including cognitive semantics and cognitive grammar, synchronic and diachronic approaches, linguistic and socio-cultural perspectives, universal and language specific matters, older topics such as prototype theory, newer ones, such as blending and much more."
“Its breadth is unparalleled, the incorporation of exercises is a definite strength as well.”
. Princeton University
“I whole-heartedly congratulate Evans & Green for their laborious work and, accordingly, recommend it to be used as a textbook … indispensable reading
The Linguist List
“This massive yet reasonably priced book provides a very useful guide to major parts of the 'cognitive' strand of linguistics and I have no doubt that every cognitive linguist will want it as a reference book.” THES
A Glossary of Cognitive Linguistics
[Download entire book] (See copyright notice before downloading)
Universityof Utah Press( N. America) and Edinburgh University Press (rest of world)
Paperback: 978-0-87480-914-5 (
Paperback: 0748622802/ 978 0 7486 2280 1 (rest of world)
Published May 2007.
A Korean language edition will be published by Hankookmunhwasa Publishing in 2009.
A Polish language edition was published in 2010 by TAiWPN UNIVERSITAS
[How to Order] [UK Publisher] [US Publisher]
Cognitive linguistics is one of the most rapidly expanding schools in linguistics with, by now, an impressive and complex technical vocabulary. This alphabetic guide gives an up-to-date introduction to the key terms in cognitive linguistics, covering all the major theories, approaches, ideas and many of the relevant theoretical constructs. The Glossary also features a brief introduction to cognitive linguistics, a detailed annotated reading list and a listing of some of the key researchers in cognitive linguistics. The Glossary can be used as a companion volume to Cognitive Linguistics, by Vyvyan Evans and Melanie Green, or as a stand-alone introduction to cognitive linguistics and its two hitherto best developed sub-branches: cognitive semantics, and cognitive approaches to grammar.
· A handy and easily understandable pocket guide for anyone embarking on courses in cognitive linguistics, and language and mind.
· Supplies numerous cross-references to related terms.
· Includes coverage of newer areas such as Radical Construction Grammar, Embodied Construction Grammar, Primary Metaphor Theory and Principled Polysemy.
"This Glossary is impressively exhaustive in its coverage. It will be an indispensable aid to students in linguistics and other disciplines who need to understand a theory which is now coming of age, and advanced researchers will also find it a useful companion both for reference and for helping to access original texts."
Chris Sinha, Professor of Psychology,
Lund University, Sweden
"Cognitive Linguistics is now developing rapidly, and, like all new fields, this one has developed its own technical meta-language. Anyone needing a jargon-free guide through this fascinating new terrain will find exactly what is needed in Vyv Evans’ joined-up explanations of the landmark concepts and theories. The Glossary is far more than an alphabetical list – it gives unity and coherence to the Cognitive Linguistics project."
Professor Paul Chilton,
Cognitive Linguistics is the most rapidly expanding school in modern Linguistics. It aims to create a scientific approach to the study of language, incorporating the tools of philosophy, neuroscience and computer science. Cognitive approaches to language were initially based on philosophical thinking about the mind, but more recent work emphasizes the importance of convergent evidence from a broad empirical and methodological base.
The Cognitive Linguistics Reader brings together the key writings of the last two decades, both the classic foundational pieces and contemporary work. The essays and articles - selected to represent the full range, scope and diversity of the Cognitive Linguistics enterprise - are grouped by theme into sections with each section separately introduced. The book opens with a broad overview of Cognitive Linguistics designed for the introductory reader and closes with detailed further reading to guide the reader through the proliferating literature.
The Reader is both an ideal introduction to the full breadth and depth of Cognitive Linguistics and a single work of reference bringing together the most significant work in the field.
List of contributors
Original sources of papers
1. Evans, Vyvyan, Benjamin K. Bergen and Jörg Zinken. The Cognitive Linguistics
II Empirical methods in cognitive linguistics
2. Gibbs, Raymond W. Why Cognitive Linguists Should Care More About
3. Cuyckens, Hubert, Sandra Dominiek and Sally Rice. Towards an Empirical Lexical Semantics.
4. Stefanowitsch, Anatol and Stefan Th. Gries. Collostructions: Investigating the Interaction of Words and Constructions.
5. Coulson, Seana and Cyma Van Petten. Conceptual Integration and Metaphor: An Event-related Potential Study.
III Prototypes, polysemy and word-meaning
6. Lakoff, George. Cognitive Models and Prototype Theory.
7. Geeraerts, Dirk. Where does Prototypicality Come From?
8. Tyler, Andrea and Vyvyan Evans. Reconsidering Prepositional Polysemy Networks: The Case of over.
9. Fillmore, Charles. Frame Semantics.
IV Metaphor, metonymy and blending
10. Lakoff, George. The Contemporary Theory of Metaphor.
11. Grady, Joseph. A Typology of Motivation for Conceptual Metaphor: Correlation vs. Resemblance.
12. Radden, Günter and Zoltán Kövecses. Towards a Theory of Metonymy.
13. Fauconnier, Gilles and Mark Turner. Conceptual Integration Networks.
14. Grady, Joseph, Todd Oakley and Seana Coulson. Blending and Metaphor.
V Cognitive approaches to grammar
15. Langacker, Ronald W. An Introduction to Cognitive Grammar.
16. Talmy, Leonard. The Relation of Grammar to Cognition.
17. Fillmore, Charles, Paul Kay and Mary Catherine O’Connor. Regularity and Idiomaticity: The Case of let alone.
18. Goldberg, Adele. Constructions: A New Theoretical Approach to Language.
, Benjamin K. and Nancy Chang. Embodied Construction Grammar in Simulation-based Language Understanding. Bergen
20. Croft, William. Logical and Typological Arguments for Radical Construction Grammar.
VI Conceptual structure in language
21. Talmy, Leonard. Force Dynamics in Language and Cognition.
22. Evans, Vyvyan. How we Conceptualise Time: Language, Meaning and Temporal Cognition.
23. Talmy, Leonard. How Language Structures Space.
VII Language acquisition, diversity and change
24. Tomasello, Michael. A Usage-based Approach to Child Language Acquisition.
25. Melissa Bowerman and Soonja Choi. Space Under Construction: Language- specific Spatial Categorization in First Language Acquisition.
26. Boroditsky, Lera. Does Language Shape Thought? English and Mandarin Speakers' Conceptions of Time.
27. Slobin, Dan. Language and Thought Online: Cognitive Consequences of Linguistic Relativity.
28. Croft, William. Linguistic Selection: An Utterance-based Evolutionary Theory of Language.
Annotated guide to further
New Directions in Cognitive Linguistics
Edited by Vyvyan Evans and Stéphanie Pourcel
[Download entire book] (See copyright notice before downloading)
Published June 2009 by John Benjamins (in the Human Cognitive Processing series)
This volume forms a coherent collection of original papers relating to new directions in Cognitive Linguistics. Cognitive Linguistics is now, nearly 30 years after the publication of one its seminal texts, Metaphors We Live By, a mature theoretical and empirical enterprise, with, by now, a voluminous associated literature. Indeed, it is arguably the most rapidly expanding ‘school’ in modern linguistics, and one of the most exciting areas of research within the interdisciplinary project known as cognitive science. As such, Cognitive Linguistics is increasingly attracting a broad readership both within linguistics as well as from neighbouring disciplines including other cognitive and social sciences, and from disciplines within the humanities.
The volume surveys new approaches to established phenomena in Cognitive Linguistics, including approaches to figurative language, lexicalisation patterns, cross-linguistic variation, grammar, and the relationship between language, conceptual structure and experience. In addition, the volumes also showcase a representative selection of both new methodological and empirical approaches now increasingly being deployed in Cognitive Linguistics.
Table of Contents
Vyvyan Evans & Stéphanie Pourcel
I Approaches to Semantics: Theory and Method
1. Meaning as input: The instructional perspective
2. Semantic representation in LCCM Theory [PDF File]
3. Behavioral profiles: A corpus-based approach to cognitive semantic analysis
Stefan Th. Gries & Dagmar Divjak
4. Polysemy, syntax and variation: A usage-based method for cognitive semantics
II Approaches to Metaphor and Blending: Theory and Method
5. Solving the riddle of metaphor
Ziwei Mimi Huang
6. When is a linguistic metaphor a conceptual metaphor?
7. Generalised integration networks
8. Genitives and proper names in constructional blends
III Approaches to Grammar: Theory and Method
9. What’s (in) a construction? Non-predictability vs. entrenchment as criterial attributes
10 . Words as constructions
11. Constructions and constructional meaning
12. Partonomic structures in syntax
IV Language, Embodiment and Cognition: Theory and Application
13. Language as biocultural niche and social institution
14. Understanding embodiment: Psychophysiological Models in traditional medical systems
15. Get and the grasp schema: A new approach to conceptual modelling in image schema semantics
16. Motion scenarios in cognitive process
V Extensions and Applications of Cognitive Linguistics
17. Toward a social cognitive linguistics
18. Cognitive and linguistic factors in evaluating text quality: global versus local?
Ruth Berman and Bracha Nir-Sagiv
19. Reference points and dominion in narratives: A discourse level exploration of the reference point model of anaphora
Sarah van Vliet
20. The dream as blend in David Lynch's
21. “I was in that room!”: Conceptual integration of context and content in a writer’s vs. a prosecutor’s description of a murder
Paperback: ISBN-13: 9781845535018
[View publisher book details]
Spatial perception and cognition is fundamental to human abilities to navigate through space, identify and locate objects, and track entities in motion. Moreover, research findings in the last couple of decades reveal that many of the mechanisms humans employ to achieve this are largely innate, providing abilities to store ‘cognitive maps’ for locating themselves and others, locations, directions and routes. In this humans are like many other species. However, unlike other species, humans can employ language in order to represent space. The human linguistic ability combined with the human ability for spatial representation apparently results in rich, creative and sometimes surprising extensions of representations for three-dimensional physical space. The present volumes bring together 19 articles from leading scholars who investigate the relationship between spatial cognition and spatial language. The volume is fully representative of the state of the art in terms of language and space research, and point to new directions in terms of findings, theory, and practice.
Table of Contents
I perception and space
1. The perceptual basis of spatial representation. Vyvyan Evans (
) [PDF File] Bangor University
II THE I nteraction between language and spatial cognition
2. Language and space: Momentary interactions. Barbara Landau, Banchiamlack Dessalegn, and Ariel Micah Goldberg (
) Johns Hopkins University
3. Language and inner space. Benjamin Bergen, Carl Polley, and Kathryn Wheeler (
, Manoa) Universityof Hawai’i
III psycho- and neuro-linguistic approaches to spatial representation
4. Inside in and on: Typological and psycholinguistic perspectives Michele Feist (
Universityof Louisianaat ) Lafayette
5. Parsing space around objects. Laura Carlson (
Dame) Universityof Notre
6. A neuroscientific perspective on the linguistic encoding of categorical spatial relations. David Kemmerer (
) Purdue University
IV theoretical approaches to spatial representation in language
7. The genesis of spatial terms. Claude Vandeloise (
) Louisiana State University
8. Forceful prepositions. Joost Zwarts (
Radboud University Nijmegen& ) Utrecht University
9. From the spatial to the non-spatial: The ‘state’ lexical concepts of in, on and at. Vyvyan Evans (
) [PDF file] Bangor University
V spatial representation in specific languages
10. Static topological relations in Basque. Iraide Ibarretxe-Antuñano (Universidad de Zaragoza)
11. Taking the Principled Polysemy Model of Spatial Particles Beyond English: The Case of Russian za. Darya Shakhova and Andrea Tyler (
) Georgetown University
12. Frames of reference, effects of motion, and lexical meanings of Japanese FRONT/BACK terms. Kazuko Shinohara (
Universityof Agricultureand Technology, Tokyo) and Yoshihiro Matsunaka ( ) Tokyo Polytechnic University
VI SPACE In gesture and sign-language
13. How spoken language and signed language structure space differently. Leonard Talmy (
State Universityof New York, ) Buffalo
14. Geometric and image-schematic patterns in gesture space. Irene Mittelberg (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
15. Translocation, language and the categorization of experience. Jordan Zlatev, Johan Blomberg (
), and Caroline David (Université de Montpellier 3) Lund University
16. Motion: A conceptual typology. Stéphanie Pourcel (
) Bangor University
VIII THE relation between space, time and modality
17. Space for thinking. Daniel Casasanto (
) Stanford University
18. Temporal frames of reference. Jörg Zinken (
) Portsmouth University
19. From mind to grammar: Coordinate systems, prepositions, constructions. Paul Chilton (
) Universityof Lancaster
A Unified Account of Polysemy within LCCM Theory. To appear in a special issue of Lingua, 'New Topics in Polysemy'. [PDF File]
Within the cognitive linguistics tradition, polysemy has often been viewed as a function of underlying entries in semantic memory: word forms have distinct, albeit related, lexical entries, which thereby give rise to polysemous word senses in language use (e.g., Evans 2004; Tyler and Evans 2001, 2003). In this paper, I seek to broaden out the study of polysemy within this tradition by tackling it from two slightly different angles. I argue that polysemy can also arise from the non-linguistic knowledge to which words facilitate access. This phenomenon I refer to as conceptual polysemy. I illustrate this with an analysis of the lexical item book. Moreover, polysemy also arises from different word forms which, at least on first blush, appear to share a common semantic representation. This phenomenon I refer to as inter-lexical polysemy. I illustrate with a detailed case study involving an analysis of the prepositional forms in and on. I draw on the Theory of Lexical Concepts and Cognitive Models (LCCM Theory), to provide a joined-up account of these phenomena.
What's in a concept? Analogue versus parametric concepts in LCCM Theory. To appear. Concepts: New Directions. Ed. by Eric Margolis and Stephen Laurence. MIT Press. [PDF File]
Any account of language and the human mind has to grapple, ultimately, with the nature of concepts, the subject of this chapter. In the words of cognitive scientist Jesse Prinz (2002: 1), concepts are “the basic timber of our mental lives.” For without concepts that could be no thought, and language would have nothing to express. What is less clear, however, is exactly how concepts are constituted, and the relationship between language and concepts. These are the two issues I address in this chapter. I address these issues by posing and attempting to answer the following question: do linguistic units (e.g., words) have semantic content independently of the human conceptual system. The answer to this question is, I will argue, a clear yes.
Metaphor, lexical concepts and figurative meaning construction. 2013, Cognitive Semiotics. [PDF File]
This paper addresses the status and significance of conceptual metaphor as an explanatory theoretical construct in giving rise to figurative language (e.g., Lakoff 2008; Lakoff and Johnson 1999), I argue that conceptual metaphor is but one component, albeit a significant one, in figurative meaning construction. I contend that while conceptual metaphors inhere in the conceptual system, there is a class of metaphors—discourse metaphors—which emerge and evolve in and through language use, and inhere in the linguistic system. Indeed, the semantic units associated with discourse metaphors, and other linguistic expressions I refer to as lexical concepts. I also introduce LCCM Theory (Evans 2009, 2010), and suggest that lexical concepts provide access to non-linguistic knowledge representations, cognitive models, which can be structured in terms of conceptual metaphors.
On the nature of lexical concepts. Published 2010 in Belgrade Journal of English Linguistics and Literature Studies (BELLS). [PDF File]
This paper addresses the nature of lexical concepts, a theoretical construct in LCCM Theory (Evans 2006, 2009). It provides an overview of the main properties and characteristics of lexical concepts. It also provides a methodology for identifying and so distinguishing between lexical concepts. The latter is important when dealing with cases, such as polysemy, where a related form is paired with distinct lexical concepts.
Figurative language understanding in LCCM Theory. 2010. Cognitive Linguistics 21-4: 601-662. [PDF File]
This paper presents a theoretical account of figurative language understanding, examining metaphor and metonymy in particular. The account is situated within the Theory of Lexical Concepts and Cognitive Models (LCCM Theory). It is argued that an account of figurative language understanding from this perspective complements the ‘backstage cognition’ perspectives of Conceptual Metaphor Theory and Conceptual Blending Theory.
From the spatial to the non-spatial: The ‘state’ lexical concepts of in, on and at. 2010. In V. Evans & P. Chilton (eds.). Language, Cognition & Space. Published by Equinox. [PDF file]
This paper is concerned with modelling the lexical representation of spatial relations, particularly as encoded by English prepositions, and examining how these spatial relations give rise to non-spatial meanings. In particular, the paper develops an
LCCM Theory account of the ‘state’ lexical concepts for the prepositional forms in, on, and at. The paper shows how this treatment builds upon and revises the earlier Principled Polysemy account of spatial semantics.
Semantic representation in LCCM Theory. 2009. In New Directions in Cognitive Linguistics, edited by V. Evans and S. Pourcel. Published by John Benjamins. [PDF File]
This paper focuses on the nature of semantic representation from the perspective of
LCCM Theory. It distinguishes between the nature and function of the conceptual and linguistic systems, before discussing the nature of representations in each, and their interaction. It concludes by discussing implications for meaning-construction.
Semantic structure versus conceptual structure: The nature of lexical concepts in a simulation-based account of language understanding. 2009. Unpublished technical report. [PDF File].
Towards a Cognitive Compositional Semantics: An Overview of
LCCM Theory. 2007. In Further Insights into Semantics and Lexicography, edited by Ulf Magnusson, Henryk Kardela and Adam Glaz. pp. 11-42. : Wydawnictwo UMCS. [PDF File] Lublin, Poland
In this paper I am concerned with the nature of word ‘meaning’ and their semantic contribution in combination. I argue that the semantic values associated with words are flexible, open-ended and highly dependent on the utterance context in which they are embedded. In attempting to provide an account of meaning-construction that coheres with this fact, I present a cognitively-realistic theory of lexical representation and a programmatic theory of lexical concept integration: the Theory of Lexical Concepts and Cognitive Models (
Lexical Concepts, Cognitive Models and Meaning-Construction. 2006. Cognitive Linguistics 17/4, 491-534 [PDF File].
This paper provides a new approach to meaning-construction. The fundamental claim is that there is a basic distinction between lexical concepts, and meaning. While lexical concepts constitute the semantic units conventionally associated with linguistic forms, and form an integral part of a language user’s individual mental grammar, meaning is a property of situated usage-events, rather than words. The paper presents an account of lexical concepts and the conceptual knowledge structures, cognitive models, with respect to which they are relativised. A theory of lexical concept integration is then developed, which serves to provide an account of how lexical concepts are combined in service of situated meaning-construction.
COGNITIVE LINGUISTIC THEORY (AND ITS APPLICATION IN THE REAL WORLD)
Review of Cognitive Linguistics. 2012. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science. Ed. by Lyn Nadel. [PDF File]
This review article provides an overview of the primary commitments of Cognitive Linguistics, its central assumptions and worldview. It also contrasts Cognitive Linguistics with formalist approaches to language, especially Generative Grammar and Formal Semantics.
Annotated Bibliography: Cognitive Linguistics. 2011. Oxford Online Bibliography Series, ed. by Mark Aronoff. [PDF File]
This is an annotated bibliography covering the major foci of concern within Cognitive Linguistics. Topics covered include: foundational works, textbooks, glossaries, reference resources, bibliographies, edited collections, journals and the major theories.
Low carbon diet: Reducing the Complexities of Climate Change to Human Scale. (With Brigitte Nerlich and Nelya Koteyko).Language & Cognition 3: 1 (2011). [PDF File]
This paper combines metaphor and blending analysis with media and discourse analysis to shed light on the linguistic framing of a real-world problem: climate change. The paper examines the ways in which the use of language, and in particular, the novel compound, 'low carbon diet' reduces climate change to human scale. This is achieved by studying the development of the 'low carbon diet' blend in an advertising campaign, a book, and by a catering company in the
. United States
Language and Cognition: The View from Cognitive Linguistics. Published 2011 in Language & Bilingual Cognition, ed. By V. Cook & B. Bassetti, by Taylor Francis. [PDF]
The main purpose of this chapter is to survey the theoretical position and main findings of Cognitive Linguistics as it bears on the relationship between language and cognition for researchers from other disciplines who are working on, or considering working on, bilingual cognition.
The Cognitive Linguistics
: An Overview. (With Benjamin K. Bergen and Jörg Zinken). 2007. In The Cognitive Linguistics Reader, ed. by V. Evans, B. Bergen and J. Zinken. Enterprise : Equinox. [PDF File]. London
This review article provides an overview of the fundamental theoretical commitments and guiding principles of the Cognitive Linguistics enterprise, and its two best developed areas of study: cognitive semantics, and cognitive approaches to grammar. It also critically reviews the main theoretical approaches and frameworks within Cognitive Linguistics.
Time. Under contract. Cognitive Linguistics Handbook. Ed. by Ewa Dabowska and Dagmar Divjak. Mouton de Gruyter. [PDF File]
Cognitive Linguistics. Under contract. Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Science. Oxford University Press. [PDF File]
Word Meaning. 2010. Published in The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Language Sciences, edited by Patrick Colm Hogan. [PDF File].
This encyclopaedia entry provides an introduction to some of the central concerns relating to both the nature and study of word meaning, including cognitive linguistic approaches.
Cognitive Linguistics. 2009. In The Encyclopedia of Pragmatics, ed. by L. Cummings. Published by Routledge. [PDF File]
The encyclopaedia entry provides an overview of cognitive linguistics as it bears on issues relevant to the study of pragmatics.
The Evolution of Semantics. 2005. Elsevier Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd edition, ed. K. Brown. [PDF File]
This article is concerned with the evolution of semantic knowledge. Semantic knowledge relates to the linguistic ability to encode and externalise humanly-relevant concepts, and combinations of concepts. This article explores the evolution of knowledge of this kind from two perspectives. The first examines possible cognitive pre-adaptations for the emergence of semantic knowledge. These include the evolution of voluntary motor control, the evolution of intention-reading abilities and the relationship between personality traits and language. The second examines the nature and range of semantic structure, and the kinds of conceptual mechanisms which underpin this knowledge and their possible evolutionary basis.
Temporal frames of reference. 2013. Cognitive Linguistics, 24/3:393-435. [PDF File].
This paper develops a taxonomy of temporal frames of reference (t-FoRs), providing arguments to support my claim that they have psychological reality. The arguments are based on a review of findings from neuroscience and experimental psychology, as well as an original analysis of the linguistic manifestations of t-FoRs in English. I propose three kinds of t-FoRs: deictic, sequential and extrinsic.
Simulation Semantics and the Linguistics of Time – A Response to Zwaan. 2008. In P. Indefrey & M. Gullberg (eds.). The cognitive and neural prerequisites of time in language. Language Learning 58:Suppl. 1, pp. 27–33. [PDF File]
In this short commentary, I respond to the simulation semantics agenda as presented by Zwaan. My overall point is that before we can speculate on the relationship between the role of visuo-motoric simulations (sensory-motor resonances) in language understanding in the domain of time, we must first get some basic issues straight with respect to i) language, ii) the relationship between language and temporality, and iii) the role of language in meaning construction.
The Meaning of Time: Polysemy, the Lexicon and Conceptual Structure. 2005. Journal of Linguistics, 41.1, 33-75. [PDF File]
This paper argues that the lexeme time consitutes a lexical category of distinct senses instantiated in the mental lexicon. Three criteria are provided which serve to distinguish between distinct senses and context-dependent readings. The view presented is contrasted with other theories of word-meaning, including Pustejovsky (1995) and Lakoff (1987).
How We Conceptualise Time: Language, Meaning and Temporal Cognition. 2004. Essays in Arts and Sciences, XXXIII, No. 2, pp. 13-44. Issue Theme: TIME. Issue editor Mirjana N. Dedaic. Reprinted in The Cognitive Linguistics Reader (2007). Edited by V. Evans, B. Bergen and J. Zinken.
: Equinox. [PDF File] London
This paper provides a descriptive overview of the nature of our conceptual representation for time. This is organised at two levels, the level of 'lexical concepts', which is to say a concept represented by a single word or fixed expression, and the level of 'cognitive models'. This is a level of organisation in which various lexical concepts are integrated together with their conventional patterns of imagery, termed 'concept elaboration', in order to provide complex, yet coherent representations of time. Evidence is presented for both levels of organisation.
The Relation Between Experience, Conceptual Structure and Meaning: Non-temporal Uses of Tense and Language Teaching. (With Andrea Tyler). 2001. In M. Puetz,
S. Niemeierand R. Dirven (eds.). Applied Cognitive Linguistics I: Theory and Language Acquisition, 63-108. : Mouton de Gruyter. [PDF File] Berlin
Presents a survey of non-temporal meanings of English tense. Proposals are made for the cognitive-pragmatic interaction which has led to time-reference having developed new semantic-pragmatic functions, such as politeness, epistemic stance, etc. Also considers the implication of the analysis for language teaching.
The Perceptual Basis of Spatial Representation. 2010. In V. Evans and P. Chilton (eds.). Language, Cognition and Space: The State of the Art and New Directions. Equinox publishing. [PDF File]
This chapter is concerned with i) the perception of space, and the way in which spatial experience is ‘constructed’ by virtue of our sense-perceptory systems and brain mechanisms, and ii) how spatial experience is ‘redescribed’, giving rise to foundational spatial concepts prior to the emergence of language from around one year onwards.
Spatial Experience, Lexical Structure and Motivation: The Case of In. (With Andrea Tyler). 2004. In G. Radden and K. Panther. Studies in Linguistic Motivation, pp. 157-192.
Berlinand : Mouton de Gruyter. [PDF File] New York
This paper takes issue with the received view of lexical structure, which views the lexicon as being the repository of the arbitrary and the idiosyncratic. It is argued that the lexicon is systematically motivated. The traditional view of the lexicon is shown to be inadequate in three ways. These relate to the fact that a word can take on new meanings in novel contexts, that words tend to be polysemous, and that a single word can appear in a range of different lexical classes. A case study of in is presented to illustrate the issues at hand.
Rethinking English "Prepositions of Movement": The Case of To and Through. (With Andrea Tyler). 2004. In H. Cuyckens, W. de Mulder and T. Mortelmans (eds.), Adpositions of Movement, pp. 247-270. (Belgian Journal of Linguistics, 18).
: John Benjamins. [PDF File] Amsterdam
This paper argues against the view that prepositions designate motion. It is suggested that prepositions such as to and through are associated with spatial properties in addition to a functional element. The functional element arises as a consequence of our daily interaction with the spatial-configuration associated with the particular preposition. The 'movement' reading often associated with these prepositions results from the integration of spatial and functional elements with sentential context.
Reconsidering Prepositional Polysemy Networks: The Case of Over. (With Andrea Tyler). 2001. Language, 77, 4, 724-765. [PDF File]. Reprinted in B. Nerlich, L. Todd, V. Herman and D.D. Clarke (eds.) 2003. Polysemy: Flexible Patterns of Meaning in Mind and Language, pp. 95-160.
: Mouton de Gruyter. [PDF File] Berlin
This article explores lexical polysemy through an in-depth examination of the English preposition over. Working within a cognitive linguistic framework, the present study illustrates the nonarbitrary quality of the mental lexicon and the highly creative nature of the human conceptual system.
Applying Cognitive Linguistics to Pedagogical Grammar: The English Prepositions of Verticality. (With Andrea Tyler). 2005. Revista Brasileira de Linguistica Aplicada, 5, 2, 11-42. [PDF File]
This article considers the merit of applying insights from Cognitive Linguistics to pedagogical grammar. It does so by examining English prepositions, long assumed to be one of the most difficult areas of acquisition for second language learners.
Applying Cognitive Linguistics to Pedagogical Grammar: The Case of Over. (With Andrea Tyler). 2004. In M. Achard and S. Niemeier. Cognitive Linguistics, Second Language Acquisition, and Foreign Language Teaching, pp. 257-280.
: Mouton de Gruyter. [PDF File] Berlin
This paper describes how insights from the principled polysemy approach to prepositions, developed in Tyler and Evans (2001, 2003) can be applied to language teaching. After illustrating the approach with the preposition over, the paper proceeds to provide details of how this approach to English prepositions might be employed in the foreign language classroom.
Ronald Langacker, Cognitive Grammar: A Basic Introduction.
Oxford: Press. Pp 562. Language & Cognition, 1/2 (November 2009). [PDF] Oxford University
Dirk Geeraerts & Hubert Cuyckens (eds.), The
handbook of Cognitive Linguistics. Oxford Oxford: Press, 2007. Pp. xxx + 1334. Journal of Linguistics, 45/2 (June 2009). [PDF] Oxford University
Sophia S. A.Marmaridou: Pragmatic Meaning and Cognition.
Amsterdam/ : John Benjamins, 2000. Pp. 322. Review published in Cognitive Linguistics 13–1 (2002) pp. 116-121. [PDF] Philadelphia
An interdisciplinary journal of language and cognitive science.
The documents distributed on this website have been provided in order to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work on a noncommercial basis. Copyright and all rights therein are maintained by the authors or by other copyright holders, notwithstanding that they have offered their works here electronically. It is understood that all persons accessing this information will adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. In particular, these works are offered for individual and personal use only. They may not be reposted on other websites, reprinted, or otherwise disseminated without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.