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The Foundations of Cognitive Grammar: Volume I: Theoretical Prerequisites Paperback – August 1, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0804738514 ISBN-10: 0804738513 Edition: 1st
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The Foundations of Cognitive Grammar: Volume I: Theoretical Prerequisites + Foundations of Cognitive Grammar: Volume II: Descriptive Application + Cognitive Grammar: A Basic Introduction
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"It represents important changes in the thrust of linguistic approaches to language . . . It is rich, full, and thought-provoking . . . The issues it raises are significant and will be much debated in the future."—Linguistic Anthropology


"It is impossible within the limits of a review to discuss, or even do justice to, the wealth of information and genuine insights that the book contains . . . Let us look forward to seeing the continuation of this promising approach to language. Langacker has written a highly stimulating first part; it will be exciting to see the sequel."—Canadian Journal of Linguistics


"Understanding Langacker's grammar is made easier by the fact that, instead of using mathematical formalisms to prove his points, he uses common knowledge of language to persuade the reader . . . The book is valuable for several factors in addition to its clarification of grammar. The insights into verbal thought and meaning are prime reasons for recommending the book to the semantically inclined."—Et cetera

From the Inside Flap

This is the first volume of a two-volume work that introduces a new and fundamentally different conception of language structure and linguistic investigation. The central claim of cognitive grammar is that grammar forms a continuum with lexicon and is fully describable in terms of symbolic units (i.e. form-meaning pairings). In contrast to current orthodoxy, the author argues that grammar is not autonomous with respect to semantics, but rather reduces to patterns for the structuring and symbolization of conceptual content.
Reviews
“It is impossible within the limits of a review to discuss, or even do justice to, the wealth of information and genuine insights that the book contains. . . . Let us look forward to seeing the continuation of this promising approach to language. Langacker has written a highly stimulating first part; it will be exciting to see the sequel.”
—Canadian Journal of Linguistics
“It represents important changes in the thrust of linguistic approaches to language. . . . It is rich, full, and thought-provoking. . . . The issues it raises are significant and will be much debated in the future.”
—Linguistic Anthropology
“Understanding Langacker’s grammar is made easier by the fact that, instead of using mathematical formalisms to prove his points, he uses common knowledge of language to persuade the reader. . . . The book is valuable for several factors in addition to its clarification of grammar. The insights into verbal thought and meaning are prime reasons for recommending the book to the semantically inclined.”
—Et cetera
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 540 pages
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press; 1 edition (August 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804738513
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804738514
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,182,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Lee D. Carlson HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 25, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Cognitive grammar is presented in this book as a theory that is "fundamentally at odds with the dominant trends in current linguistic theory", especially the generative tradition of grammar. The author's main thesis is the inseparability of syntax and semantics, and he attempts to present an account of linguistic structure that is independent of the any particular domain. The formalism of accepted linguistic theory is to be rejected, in favor of what the author calls a "conceptual clarification" of the fundamental issues in linguistics. Figurative language, with its idioms, metaphors, and "semantic extensions" is to be given central status, the author argues.
For this reviewer, the book was difficult reading, this no doubt due to its departure from the standard formal constructions of linguistics. The author recognizes the difficulty he faces in presenting his theory, he cautions the reader that the theory is not complete, but he asserts that the basic elements of the theory are "stable" enough to allow presentation in a work such as this. These basic elements are summarized as saying that semantic structure is not universal, but specific to a certain language; grammar is symbolic in nature and consists of the symbolization of semantic structure; and that grammar and lexicon cannot be distinguished.
Readers with a background in cognitive science or neuroscience may be taken aback by the author's carefree talk of the functioning of the human brain and mental events, which is frequently done with no empirical evidence to substantiate it. The author though is aware of the lack of evidence, for he says early on that some of the book could be regarded as an exercise in what he calls "speculative psychology.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Filippo Crosara on December 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
Ronald Langacker Cognitive Grammar is one of the most fine works on language and cognition of the last twenty years. Instead of deducing the organisation of conceptual system by means of pragmatic analisys of language (as Jackendoff and Talmy for istance)Langacker take up the hard task of describing language as a natural-cognitive based phenomena. Language, says Langacker, is simbolic in nature. This means that meaning pertains to all levels of language structure and that sintax and semantics can not be studied as separate components of language as argued by Chomsky. Moreover, semantics is strictly endowned in cognive structure. The cognive system and the cognive abilities of mind are, therefore, basical to the understanding of conceptual and linguistic structures. Again, the central role played by the notions of Landmark and Trajectory in Langacker'Cognitive Grammar lead Langacker's theory very close to gestalt psychology and to the struttural approach to language such that of Tesniére [1959]. All those aspects make of Langacker's CG a masterpiece to be remembered in the History of Linguistics.
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The Foundations of Cognitive Grammar: Volume I: Theoretical Prerequisites
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