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«… the ball seemed to keep rolling …»

Linking up Cognitive Systems in Language: Attention and Force Dynamics

Martina Lampert and Günther Lampert

Again firmly rooted in Leonard Talmy’s Cognitive Semantics, this new study moves beyond the analysis of single schematic systems in language contributing to the linguistic task of conceptual integration. It investigates for the first time effects of linking up Force Dynamics, a conceptual category generalizing over the traditional notion of the causative, and the Attention system of language, as detailed in Talmy’s most recent extended draft version. To accommodate the conceptual and formal complexities involved at the interface of Attention, Force Dynamics, and Cognitive State and to allow for an appropriate degree of fine-grainedness the analytical framework affords, the exposition has been constrained to the golf scenario, where forces are at work in the physical and sociodynamic domains.


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Chapter 2 Language as an Entrée to the Mind: From Cogni- tion to Language To contextualize the objective of this study, the present chapter will introduce and briefly outline its conceptual reference system, Leonard TALMY’s Overlap- ping Systems Model of Cognitive Organization, which dates back, as a large- scale research trajectory, at least to the early 90s1 and has been developing ever since and offers an encompassive coherent “single theoretical framework,” in- cluding a “uniform terminology” (TALMY 2000, 1:7)2. It has been devised to re- construct the specific cognitive architecture of the human mind and integrating more specialized cognitive systems like vision or language largely on the basis of cross-systems compatibility in their (evolutionary) organizational design features. System-internally, however, language itself is conceived as compris- ing several extensive organizing systems, assembling, top-down, successively more specific conceptual categories, which, at lower levels, incorporate indi- vidualized concepts representing relevant conceptual content of a language. As an overall projection, this hierarchical model constitutes the principal aegis of Cognitive Semantics -- an approach to language that “is concerned with the patterns in which and the processes by which conceptual content is organized in language” (TALMY 2006a:543). Given a principled ‘communication’ across cognitive systems, the Overlap- ping Systems Model pursues a balanced view vis-à-vis modular and non-mod- ular stances in linguistics, delineating a hierarchically structured framework in which, at the most general level, “different cognitive systems can be compared with each other as to similarities and differences in their organizational...

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