Topics in Linguistics: Cognitive Linguistics

Following the ‘cognitive revolution’ of the latter part of the twentieth century came the birth of a new subdiscipline of linguistics known as cognitive linguistics. The so-called ‘cognitive linguistics enterprise’ has since become highly influential; work in cognitive linguistics, and especially in such areas as blending theory and conceptual metaphor theory, is now positioned at the cutting edge of research in theoretical linguistics. Often heralded as a ‘more human’ alternative to formal models of language, cognitive linguistics draws on the findings of research in the cognitive sciences as a means to examining the relationship between language, body and mind. From this cognitive perspective, many of the principles underlying previous linguistic theories have come to be re-framed, re-examined and questioned.

At its heart, then, this course is an introduction to some of the most cutting-edge work being done in linguistics today, but one that is particularly cognizant of the legacy of linguistic theory and practice which has paved its way.