Introduction to Cognitive Linguistics
Tutor: Dr. Snezha Tsoneva-Mathewson
Mode of delivery: Seminars
Course place and status within the program
Students will gain insight into a new approach to linguistics and also learn more about how human cognition works. On a more practical level, students will develop a greater awareness of the meaning of words and syntactic expressions which is of paramount importance in the art of translation. The course will teach them some basic methods of argumentation, a skill which can be transferred to any area of academic and social interest.
Aims and objectives of the course
The purpose of this course is to introduce some of the basic tenets of Cognitive Linguistics. Some of the specific issues that are examined include:
- How humans categorise and how categories are internally structured. Prototype theory vs. logical or classical model of categorisation.
-Cognitive models and cultural models
-The nature and ubiquity of metaphor and metonymy in everyday language and what it might tell us about human cognition
-The relationship of semantics and syntax, in particular the notion that grammatical constructions themselves carry meaning independently of the words in the sentence
Weekly organization of topics & reading assignments
Week 1 Ch. 1. What does it mean to know a language?
Week 2 Ch. 2. The nature of cognitive linguistics: assumptions and commitments
Week 3 Ch. 3. Universals and variation in language, thought and experience
Week 4 Ch. 4. Language in use: knowledge of language, language change and language acquisition
Week 5 Ch. 5. What is cognitive semantics?
Week 6 Ch. 6. Embodiment and conceptual structure
Week 7 Ch. 7. The encyclopaedic view of meaning
Week 8 Midterm test
Week 9 Ch. 9 Metaphor and Metonymy
Week 10 Ch. 14 What is a cognitive approach to grammar
Week 11 Ch. 19 Motivating a construction grammar
Week 12 Ch. 20 The architecture of construction grammars
Week 13 Ch. 23 Assessing the cognitive linguistics enterprise
Week 14, 15 Revision and preparation for the final exam
Mode of assessment
The final grade will be cumulative of the grades below:
10% class participation
30% midterm paper
60% final paper
Vyvyan Evans and Melanie Green, Cognitive Linguistics: An Introduction
Кръпова, Илияна. Лекции по езикознание. 2001, Сема.
Some additional materials are be provided by the tutor.