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Cognitive Grammar Lesson

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Cognitive Grammar

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Cognitive Grammar Lesson

  1. 1. COGNITIVE GRAMMAR BY: Mercy T. Diaz
  2. 2. COGNITIVE GRAMMAR (CG) -a usage-based approach to grammar that emphasizes symbolic and semantic definitions of theoretical concepts that have traditionally been analyzed as purely syntactic. ETYMOLOGY: Introduced by Ronald W. Langacker in his two-volume study Foundations of Cognitive Grammar.
  3. 3. EXAMPLES AND OBSERVATION Portraying grammar as a purely formal system is not just wrong but wrong-headed. I will argue instead, that grammar is meaningful. That is so in two respects: For one thing, the elements of grammar, like vocabulary item, have meanings in their own right.
  4. 4. Additionally, grammar allows us to construct and symbolize the more elaborate meanings of complex expressions (like phrases, clauses, and sentences). It is thus an essential aspect of the conceptual apparatus through which we apprehend and engage the world.
  5. 5. CG IS BASED ON THE FOLLOWING ASSUMPTIONS The grammar of a language is part of human cognition and interacts with other cognitive faculties specially with perception, attention and memory. The grammar of a language reflects and presents generalizations about phenomena in the world as its speakers experience them.
  6. 6. Forms of grammar are like lexical items, meaningful and never “empty” or meaningless as after assumed in purely structural models of grammar. The grammar of a language represents the whole of a native speaker’s knowledge of both the lexical categories and the grammatical structure of the language.
  7. 7. The grammar of a language is usagebased in that it provides speakers with a variety of structural options to present their view of a given scene. ( G. Radden and R. Dirven, Cognitive English Grammar, John Benjamins, 2007)
  8. 8. BRIEF HISTORY Ronald Langacker, the founder of CG and still one of its main practitioners, originally called his approach “Space Grammar” in the mid 1970’s. Langacker developed CG as a reaction against Chomky’s Generative Grammar (GG) which privileges a logically formal approach to grammar that does not and cannot take into consideration either usage or figurative language.
  9. 9. In CG linguistic semantics is neither autonomous nor formal and a complete analysis of meaning is tantamount to a complete account of developmental cognition. This consequence is terribly inconvenient for linguistic theorists imprinted on autonomous formal systems, but that is not a legitimate argument against its validity. (Langacker 1990)
  10. 10. Grammar represents an abstract symbolic structure and forms in regard with the lexicon. “When we use a particular construction or grammatical morpheme, w select a particular image to structure the conceived situation for communicative purposes. (L. 1990)
  11. 11. CG’s non-formal image-based understanding of grammar does not lead to a focus on uncovering “deep” grammatical structure or a set of grammatical universals.
  12. 12. CG claims that grammatical structure is almost entirely overt. Surface grammatical form does not conceal a “truer” deeper level of grammatical organization; rather, it itself embodies the conventional means of language employs for the structuring and symbolization of semantic content.
  13. 13. Grammatical diversity is real instead of only apparent, and although grammatical universals can still be sought and formulated. They must be limited and flexible enough to accommodate the variability actually encountered. (L 1987)
  14. 14. Generative Grammar 1. Linguistic structure can be studied independently of meaning. 2. Grammar is fully compositional. 3. Grammar is modular. 4. Grammar is innate. (Croft & Cruse 2004 Cognitive Grammar 1. Language is not an autonomous cognitive faculty. 2. Grammar is conceptualization. 3. Knowledge of language emerges from language use
  15. 15. SENTENCE CONSTRUCTION The primary concern in the above and in most grammar books is subject-verb agreement. What come after the verbs are not clearly defined.
  16. 16. Form Subject Be Verb Contraction 1st Person I am 2nd Person you are 3rd Person He, She, It is 1st Person pl we 2nd Person pl you 3rd Person pl they are are are I’m you’re He’s, She’s, It’s we’re you’re they’re
  17. 17. EXAMPLES I’m here. You’re busy. He’s a friend. She’s a doctor. It’s cold today. We’re hungry. You’re beautiful. They’re asleep.
  18. 18. PRESENTING THE VERB BE & SENTENCE STRUCTURE  SUBJECT + VERB + OBJECT  SUBJECT + VERB + COMPLEMENT  SUBJECT + VERB + EXPANSION
  19. 19. It can be linked to  An identifying element (1a)  A category or class (1b)  a characteristic (1c)  A given place (1d)  The notion of mere experience (1e) 1a. The place on the map here is the Sahara. 1b. The Sahara is a desert. 1c. The Sahara is a dangerous territory. 1d. The desert is in North Africa. 1e. There is a desert in North Africa. (Dirven & Verspoor, 2004)S

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