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Topics in grammar

Topics in grammar

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Topics in grammar

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  1. Topics in grammar Cognitive Grammar

  2. Schedule for the end of semester • 11th June: Cognitive linguistics • 18th June: Make-up classtest Course review (learning log review) Consultationon final essay

  3. Cognitive approach togrammar • Like Chomksyan approach in its appeal tothe mind. • Unlike Chomskyan approach in its lack of interest in formal models of syntax. • Like Hallidayan approach in its interest in meaning. • Unlike Hallidayan approach in lack of interest in networks of meaning potential. • Appeals to conceptual domains to account for different structural possibilities.

  4. Basic concepts • We experience the world and map it onto language. • Therefore it follows that: • 1. Linguistic structures construe (i.e. construct) the world as we experience it. • 2. Linguistic structures indicate the perspective of the experiencer. • 3. We foreground (make prominent) things/events that are important to our experience. • 4. Basic experiential categories/meanings radiate to related categories via metaphor. • 5. We understand structures with reference to frames of lived experience. • These are the basic concepts that conceptual grammarians use to account for language use.

  5. construal • Which of the following sentences are likely? • Lucas sent a text to Ana. • Lucas sent Ana a text. • Lucas sent a book to Canada. • Lucas sent Canada a book.

  6. construal • Which of the following sentences are likely? • Lucas sent a text to Ana. • Lucas sent Ana a text. • Lucas sent a book to Canada. • Lucas sent Canada a book.

  7. construal • Lucas sent Ana a text. • *Lucas sent Canada a book. • We conceptualise (‘construe’) the referent of a direct object (‘sent + Ana/Canada’) as a recipient and not just the place to which the transferred object is sent. A person can receive but a country cannot.

  8. construal • Lucas sent a text to Ana. Ana=recipient • Lucas sent Ana a text. Ana=recipient • Lucas sent a book to Canada. Canada=destination • *Lucas sent Canada a book. *Canada=recipient • Lucas sent a text to Ana. • Similar structures but different construals. • Lucas sent a book to Canada.

  9. Construalactivities • From the perspective of cognitive grammar, how would you account for the factors that trigger the following encodings in English? • a) Matteo kissed Gabriella. • b) Gabriella kissed Matteo. • c) Gabriella and Matteo kissed. • d) He’s eaten every biscuit on the plate. • e) He’s eaten each biscuit on the plate. • f) Would you like a chocolate? • g) Would you like some chocolate? • h) The woman at the corner table wants coffee. • i) The woman at the corner table wants a coffee. • j) The local team is playing really well at the moment. • k) The local team are playing really well at the moment.

  10. perspective • Which sentences are likely and unlikely. And why? • 1. The sofa is under the picture. • 2. The picture is above the sofa. • 3. The dog is under the sink. • 4. The sink is above the dog.

  11. Perspective • Which sentences are likely and unlikely. And why? • 1. The sofa is under the picture. • 2. The picture is above the sofa. • 3. The dog is under the sink. • 4. *The sink is above the dog. underabove • The Landmark (LM) is construed as a point of reference for the Trajector (T) which is located with reference to it. Sofas and pictures are immobile and so each can act as the LM or T for the other, depending on your perspective. The sink is immobile and so can be a good LM for the dog. But dogs move around and so are not good LMs for immobile sinks. T LM

  12. foregrounding • I have graded your tests with Moodle. • Your tests have been graded. • Moodle has graded your tests. • Your tests have been graded by Moodle. • Why choose one of these structures rather than another?

  13. foregrounding • I have graded your tests with Moodle. • Your tests have been graded. • Moodle has graded your tests. • Your tests have been graded by Moodle. • Subject position foregrounds the salient entity: • Agent (I) • Patient (Your tests) • Instrument (Moodle)

  14. Perspective andforegrounding • What is being foregrounded and backgrounded in the following sentences? Does any seem less ‘natural’ than the others? If so, why? • a) To test her reflexes, I tapped a small hammer against her knee. • b) To test her reflexes, I tapped her knee with a small hammer. • c) To test her reflexes, I tapped a small hammer against Wendy. • d) To test her reflexes, I tapped Wendy with a small hammer.

  15. Metaphor (radiationofmeaning) Which of the following verbs express mental processes and which express material (physical) processes? think infer gather collect

  16. Metaphor (radiationofmeaning) Which of the following verbs express mental processes and which express material (physical) processes? think infer gather collect Now compare: • I understand that you are an exchange student. • I gather that you are an exchange students. • Give me time to think. • Give me time to collect my thoughts.

  17. Words for ‘infer/conclude’ in English • The history of English synonyms for ‘infer/conclude’ shows a mixture of mental processes (‘conclude’, ‘derive’, ‘reason’, ‘deduce’) and physical metaphors (‘niman/take’, ‘gather’, ‘pick’, ‘collect’, ‘fetch’, ‘take up.’) • 02.01.08.03.02.02 (vt.) Infer, conclude. 2019. In The Historical Thesaurus of English, version 4.21. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 18 May 2019, from https://ht.ac.uk/category/?id=117466.

  18. Radiationof ‘out’ • a) Alicia went out for a walk. (central image schema) • b) He spread the tablecloth out. • c) We are stockpiling food in case supplies run out. • d) Suddenly, the lights went out. • e) All of a sudden, the sun came out. • f) The ship set out on its voyage at dawn. • g) I’m trying to blank out the memory. • h) In the end, we will find out the truth. • i) There’s no use talking to her, she’s completely out of it

  19. a) Alice went out... • Trajector moved outside LM (1) • b) ...spread out... • LM increased in size to what was outside the LM (2) • c) ...supplies run out... • TR moves away from area of availability (9) • d) …the lights went out… • TR exited from conceptual field of observer (visibility) (5)

  20. e) ...the sun came out... • TR moved out of LM into conceptual field of observer (4) • f) ...the ship set out... • TR moved away from LM (3) • g) ...blank out the memory.. • TR moves out of cognitive field (7) • h) ...find out the truth... • TR moves into cognitive field of conceptualizer (6) • i) …out of it…. • TR is absent from normal state (8)

  21. frames • We understand structures with reference to a set of conceptual frameworks that we build up through experience and knowledge of the world. These frames may be culturally relative. • Which frames are evoked by the following sentence? • I’ve been attacked by a virus.

  22. The importanceof frames • A newspaper is better than a magazine.

  23. The importanceof frames • A newspaper is better than a magazine. A seashore is a better place than a street.

  24. The importanceof frames • A newspaper is better than a magazine. A seashore is a better place than a street. At first, it is better to run than walk. Also, you may have to try several times.

  25. The importanceof frames • A newspaper is better than a magazine. A seashore is a better place than a street. At first, it is better to run than walk. Also, you may have to try several times. It takes some skill but it's easy to learn. Even young children can enjoy it. Once successful, complications are minimal. Birds seldom get too close. One needs lots of room. Rain soaks in very fast. Too many people doing the same thing can also cause problems. If there are no complications, it can be very peaceful. A rock will serve as an anchor. If things break loose from it, however, you will not get a second chance.

  26. The importanceof frames • The procedure is actually quite simple. First, you arrange things into different groups. Of course, one pile may be sufficient depending on how much there is to do. If you have to go somewhere else due to lack of facilities that is the next step; otherwise, you are pretty well set. It is important not to overdo things. That is, it is better to do too few things at once than too many. In the short run, this may not seem important but complications can easily arise. A mistake can be expensive as well. At first, the whole procedure will seem complicated. Soon, however, it will become just another fact of life. It is difficult to foresee any end to the necessity for this task in the immediate future, but then one can never tell. After the procedure is completed one arranges the materials into different groups again. Then they can be put into their appropriate places. Eventually, they will be used once more, and the whole cycle will then have to be repeated. However, that is part of life.

  27. Summingup • Cognitive linguistics shares a basic concern with SFG – how do we account for the structures of English with respect to meaning? • But SFG is a descriptive grammatical theory that aims to account for langue as a speech community’s meaning potential at a given time. • Cognitive grammar attempts to account for instances of parole with reference to conceptual domains that construe, foreground, frame, and radiate with respect to an individual´s embodied perspective. • Ultimately…what do you want your grammatical theory to do?