"Important...Makes the strong case that theories of language-use misrepresent what it is that readers must actually do. Coulson's book has much in common with other theorists' valiant efforts to get the field to change its ways." Contemporary Psychology
"Most cognitive science work on thought and language focuses on relatively small sets of linguistic examples that only bear on restricted theoretical models. Seana Coulson's book Semantic Leaps is a wonderful exception to this trend. Her work addresses a wide range of diverse, complex linguistic phenomena, and she aims to capture how people construct meaning in terms of flexible theoretical framework of conceptual blending theory. Coulson's research and writing make use of principles and empirical methods from linguistics, psychology, and neuroscience. The results of her studies push the boundaries of current cognitive science thinking about meaning construction. Semantic Leaps takes several small, but significant empirical steps, yet contains findings and ideas that represent a giant leap forward for the interdisciplinary study of mind and meaning." Raymond W. Gibbs, Jr., Professor of Psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz
Semantic Leaps explores how people combine knowledge from different domains in order to understand and express new ideas. Concentrating on dynamic aspects of on-line meaning construction, Coulson identifies two related sets of processes: frame-shifting and conceptual blending. Frame-shifting is semantic reanalysis in which existing elements in the contextual representation are reorganized into a new frame. Conceptual blending is a set of cognitive operations for combining partial cognitive models.