Studies in honor of Eddo Rigotti
Edited By Giovanni Gobber and Andrea Rocci
Marcel Danesi: Metaphors and metaforms: interconnecting language, culture and cognition
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Metaphors and metaforms: interconnecting language, culture and cognition
MARCEL DANESI, University of Toronto
Starting in the 1970s, mainstream linguistics started moving away from considering its primary object of study strictly linguistic phenomena (langue or linguistic competence) and move towards the study of language as a communicative, cultural and cognitive tool (parole or communicative and conceptual competence). This shift dovetailed perfectly with trends in other areas of the general study of the language-communication nexus, such as the rise and establishment of argumentation theory as a systematic means of understanding the nature of parole in relation to the structure of logic and cognitive organization. Particularly relevant in the latter case are the efforts of Italian linguist Eddo Rigotti and his research team in Lugano (for example, Rigotti and Rocci 2003; Rigotti, 2005; Rigotti, Rocci and Greco 2006; Danesi and Rocci 2009). These trends reflect, overall, an emphasis on what can be called connectionism, a movement that traces its roots in the contemporary social sciences to Gestalt psychology, founded in 1912 (Kohler 1929). Research in the neurosciences in the 1970s on so-called Parallel distributed processing then came forward to provide empirical support for connectionism, by showing that brain networks interconnect with each other in the processing of information (Cohen 1973; Rumelhart and McClelland 1986). In linguistics, this led to an emphasis on the role of cultural context in the production of discourse (Duranti and Goodwin 1992; Rigotti and Rocci 2006; Duranti 2010)...
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