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SOME FUNDAMENTAL ISSUES OF COGNITIVE GRAMMAR

Nhon Dang

Abstract

Based on Lakoff and Johnson (1980)’s cognitive metaphor studies, Talmy (1983)’s gestalt-oriented analyses, Langacker (1986)’s cognitive semantic approach, and the mental space theory, the writer would like to touch on some of the basics of cognitive grammar assuming a concept in semantics. Cognitive grammar holds a view that the grammar of a language is not a long list of formal structural rules, but rather a result of human cognition that allows speakers of that language to seek to structure ideas for their communicative intent. Grammar is thought to reflect experiences in generalization, and schematization of mindset and perception of the world, helping recognize our ability to construe situations that are understood the same but expressed in different ways. Because of making sense of the expressions, all grammatical elements, in cognitive grammar, are attributed to a certain conceptual content. Therefore, grammar is “symbolic” in essence. Cognitive grammar is viewed to pay less attention to the processs of constructing structures, but more to schematization of the accepted structures and symbolization of the conceptual content. The success of cognitive grammar is associated with the language acquisition, schematization of the process of construction, categorization of expression, as well as our perception of the world.

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References

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