Communication Processes at the Seam of Life

by Marta Bogusławska-Tafelska (Author)
©2016 Monographs 126 Pages


This volume proposes a new, post-Newtonian alley in modern language and communication studies. The new linguistics receives here the label ecolinguistics, as the conceptual-terminological field founded on the «ecological» metaphor seems optimal to formulate the thesis of human language being a life process, and involving a repertoire of ecosystemic, not exclusively cognitive or social, parameters. Communicators are living systems and as such they transpersonally co-build momentary meanings and communicational senses together with the rest of the communication field. The communication apparatus which is phylogenetically present in humans includes both the cognitive modalities and the noncognitive communication modalities. The ecolinguistic paradigm in modern linguistics offers new theoretical departure models for educational programs, for psychological/therapeutic interventions, or for self-exploratory and self-educational undertakings of a human communicator.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Preface
  • Chapter One: Ecolinguistics on the scientific map today
  • Chapter Two: From the speaker-hearer using language to the living system as embedded in relationships
  • Chapter Three: The possibility of a paradigmatic shift in present-day linguistics
  • Chapter Four: Life is light: the quantum unfolding of reality
  • Chapter Five: In search of a new methodology
  • Chapter Six: Ecolinguistic applications: an extended educational paradigm
  • Chapter Seven: Linguistic labelling as a feedback process of bringing the named into being – the ecolinguistic perspective
  • References
  • Appendix

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The present moment the sciences find themselves in is unique in several ways. Primarily, it is possible to notice a wide and strong wave of veritably multidisciplinary research across the map of scholarly disciplines, research fields and theoretical perspectives. A historian of science would point to a circular process of returning to the pre-Renaissance period, when scientific work did not suffer from disciplinary divisions. We, though, will keep ourselves focused on the present here and opt for a perspective that embraces the uniqueness and freshness of the present-day process of unification that is happening in science, rather than look back to the history of science for deeper comparisons. The reason for this is that never in the history of human intellectual work has there been such a meeting of the two pathways of thought and exploration: the first-person, phenomenological insight of the thinker, mystic and philosopher; and the third-person cognitive-experimental approach of the scholar who demonstrates his/her theory to the community by undertaking an experimental research program. The early days of science as an effort to learn about life used the first methodological route. And one has to admit that it was very productive. Philosophy and mystic/contemplative traditions worldwide have formulated most if not all the assumptions that children learn about at school today as the basic laws of life. However, it is only the beginning of the third millennium – the present age – in which the insights and claims made by visionaries centuries ago, can be verified, systemized and tested by the scientific community. In other words, what an individual could see and understand – is today presented to the intellectual community and internalized by the scientific collective. This time in the development of science is special in the sense that modern multidisciplinary science is crossing the barrier of phenomenological and cognitive insight of the individual and moving towards the collective realizations and agreements.

In order to allow this to happen, a shift of the paradigm is occurring. In the paper by J. V. Davis and J. M. Canty we read (2015: 605):

(…) our ordinary experience of ourselves as separate autonomous beings is incomplete and inaccurate. [Recognising this] will require … a shift in consciousness (the transpersonal emphasis) from the smaller, autonomous ego-oriented self to ← 7 | 8 → the wider and deeper ecological self. Transpersonal psychologists, ecopsychologists, and transpersonal ecologists argue that such a shift is more than a cognitive event – it is also a directly perceptual and/or spiritual event.

Ecolinguists share this paradigmatic ground with transpersonalists. This becomes a wide and vibrant research plane on which scholars have begun to join forces. Previously hermetic disciplines open up for dialog, mutual inspiration and the exchange of the scientific theory, research output and ideas for application. For the time being, this movement is not collective; it is created by groups of bold scientists who represent their specialties and research fields. However, this trend is strong enough today for us to predict its intensification in the years to come.

Out of this transdisciplinary partnership another interesting fact emerges. Namely, the opportunities for mutual verification of the research proposals. Scholars put together their pieces of the puzzle and can see where their theories or models are compatible with the big picture and where they are not. To illustrate the point, G. Vitiello reports what has been achieved at the boundary of biology, neurology, chemistry and physics. As regards chemistry, it received a solid confirmation of its Periodic Table of Elements from quantum physics (Vitiello, 2001: 2). When scholars widened their perspective in neurobiology it became clear that brain functioning does not depend on the functioning of every single neuron. In other words, the coherent activeness of the brain prevails in spite of a continuous reshuffling in the number of living neurons (Vitiello, 2001: 70). Contemporary physics provides a new perspective on what actually correlates the brain’s internal coherence. It is complex internal processes, quantum/nonlocal in nature, which order the brain conglomerate of the cell and electromagnetic formation.


ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2016 (March)
Communicational modalities Life process Post-Newtonian paradigm New linguistics
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2016. 126 pp.

Biographical notes

Marta Bogusławska-Tafelska (Author)

Marta Bogusławska-Tafelska is an ecolinguist and Assistant Professor at the Department of English Studies, University of Warmia and Mazury, Olsztyn, Poland. She started the Ecolinguistic Studies Program for advanced students of linguistics and authored several monographs as well as a collection of peer-reviewed papers and essays.


Title: Ecolinguistics