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Language, reason and education

Studies in honor of Eddo Rigotti


Edited By Giovanni Gobber and Andrea Rocci

Language as reason represents the unifying theme of this multifaceted reflection on Eddo Rigotti’s scientific contribution offered by his students and colleagues on the occasion of his seventieth birthday. Spanning argumentation theory, linguistics, psychology, semiotics and communication sciences, the volume reflects Rigotti’s generous personality and his trajectory of semiotician, philosopher, linguist and specialist in argumentation studies. Language as an instrument of communication with semiotic peculiarities is considered at different levels in which it manifests traces of reason at work. This means considering how reality reveals itself by means of language and how the semiotic character of language structures is used by people to enable joint actions and change the natural and social world. Particularly in focus is the realm of argumentation, that is of those joint actions where people exchange reasons in various communities, fora and markets in view of understanding and practical deliberation. To argumentation Eddo Rigotti devoted all his research efforts in recent years, with a keen sense of its intrinsic educational value and a sincere care for fostering the development of the argumentative mind.
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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

1. Introduction

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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