The role of creativity in the cognitive turn in linguistics

Kenesei, István (2013) The role of creativity in the cognitive turn in linguistics. INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF PRAGMATICS, 5. pp. 270-291. ISSN 1877-3095

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The recent cognitive turn in linguistics is closely related to research into the creative nature of language. Formal creativity, or in other words, the recursive nature of language (with respect to both words, i.e., the basic units, and sentences, i.e., the end products) is what determines further domains of creativity, viz., at the level of meanings and in the theory of mind, providing for their unlimited and variable nature. Principles of the formal properties of language are presented at the levels of words and sentences, showing that recursion occurs both in words and sentences, indicating the local nature of syntactic relations, and demonstrating their neural correlates. Reference to neurolinguistic experiments is used to argue that metaphorical extensions of meanings are a natural phenomenon placing no burden on mental processing, even though literal meanings are not handled the same way as metaphors. It is claimed that sentential meanings have a primacy over word meanings, while words, and not sentences, are the basic units of the mental lexicon, i.e., long-term memory. In order to understand metaphors it is essential to have theory of mind (ToM), which develops in children parallel with the acquisition of complex syntactic structures involving mental verbs, as is shown by false-belief tasks. The nature and limits of the complexity of ToM is related to the limits of syntactic complexity in natural language.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature / nyelvészet és irodalom > P0 Philology. Linguistics / filológia, nyelvészet
Depositing User: MTMT SWORD
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2013 09:50
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2013 10:04

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