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Integrating research in Linguistics, Philosophy, Semiotics, Experimental Psychology, and Literary Studies, The Communicative Mind presents a thought provoking and multifaceted investigation into linguistic meaning construction. It explores the various ways in which the intersubjectivity of communicating interactants manifests itself in language structure and use and argues for the indispensability of dialogue as a semantic resource in cognition. The view of the mind as highly conditioned by the domain of interpersonal communication is supported by an extensive range of empirical linguistic data from fiction, poetry and written and spoken everyday language, including rhetorically creative metaphors and metonymies. The author introduces Cognitive Linguistics to the notion of enunciation, which refers to the situated act of language use, and demonstrates the centrality of subjectivity and turn-taking interaction in natural semantics. The theoretical framework presented takes contextual relevance, viewpoint shifts, dynamicity, and the introduction into discourse of elements with no real-world counterparts (subjective motion, fictivity and other forms of nonactuality) to be vital components in the construction of meaning. The book engages the reader in critical discussions of cognitive-linguistic approaches to semantic construal and addresses the philosophical implications of the identified strengths and limitations. Among the theoretical advances in the cognitive humanities is Fauconnier and Turner's theory of conceptual integration of mental spaces which has proved widely influential in Cognitive Poetics and Linguistics, offering a philosophy of language bridging the gap between pragmatics and semantics. With its constructive criticism of the general mechanism hypothesis, according to which the theory can explain everything from the origin of language to binding in perception, Brandt's book brings the scope and applicability of Conceptual Integration Theory into the arena of scientific debate.
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Dr. Line Brandt is an interdisciplinary scholar, teacher, translator, and editor of literary and academic books and journals. She holds a Doctorate degree in cognitive semiotics and a Master's degree in philosophy and English. Brandt is a former Fulbright recipient and co-founder of Cognitive Semiotics - Multidisciplinary Journal of Meaning and Mind. Her publications include translations of literature and literary theory (works include My Life by L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poet Lyn Hejinian), an introduction to the field of Cognitive Poetics (Kognitiv Poetik, edited volume, 2009), and academic papers on topics in cognitive linguistics and philosophy.Review:
The Communicative Mind represents an extensive and highly original contribution to a cognitive theory of meaning within the emerging paradigm of cognitive semiotics (aiming at combining theories and methods from the cognitive sciences and the humanities) by articulating a synthesis of hitherto unconnected traditions in linguistics and semiotics: enunciation theory and cognitive linguistics, as well as bringing in insights from phenomenology and neuroscience. It resituates meaning construction in its actual, social or intersubjective contexts, and thus avoids the limitations of a reductive analysis focusing on the processing of linguistic stimuli . The theoretical framework is applied to investigations of fictive interaction, fiction and poetry, thereby showing its value for cognitive poetics. In sum, the book is an excellent illustration of the present cognitive turn in the humanities, without falling into the reductionist pitfall, since it highlights the essential roles of human subjectivity and sociality. --Jordan Zlatev, Professor of General Linguistics, Lund University; author of Situated Embodiment; co-editor of The Shared Mind and Moving Ourselves, Moving Others
The Communicative Mind presents the semiotics community with one of the most original investigations into the relationship between cognition and language in recent memory. Brandt s study covers topics as diverse as syntactic constituents, fictivity and other non-actual construal of events, acts, and relations, as well as enunciation in literature and poetry. Her treatment of these topics is so rich and provocative that it will influence generations of scholars and researchers working at the intersections of cognitive science, phenomenology, and linguistic pragmatics. --Todd Oakley, Professor and Chair of Cognitive Science, Case Western Reserve University; author of Elements of Attention: A New Approach to Meaning Construction in the Human Sciences; co-editor of Mental Spaces in Discourse and Interaction
Brandt brings together a remarkably diverse set of methodologies to elucidate the ways in which language depicts conceptualizers and enunciation. This work shows us new and useful directions in analyzing literary texts as complex subjective networks of mental spaces and challenges psychologists and neuroscientists to tackle cognitive complexities which are at present beyond them. --Eve Sweetser, Professor of Linguistics, University of California, Berkeley; author of From Etymology to Pragmatics: Metaphorical and Cultural Aspects of Semantic Structure; co-author of Mental Spaces in Grammar: Conditional Constructions
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