How words mean 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 LCCM Theory).
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.
Table of Contents
Part 1 Introduction
1. Words and meaning
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
Part IV Figurative language and thought
14. Metaphor and metonymy
15. The semantics of Time
Part V Conclusion
16. LCCM Theory in context
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.