Półrocznik Językoznawczy Tertium/ Tertium Linguistic Journal

Vol 1, No 1 & 2 (2016)

Faces of Contemporary Cognitivism

Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk


The paper focuses on a comparison of the concepts of language and language studies as presented in contemporary cognitivism and expounded by Ronald Langacker, George Lakoff and Charles Fillmore in their versions of Cognitive Grammar on the one hand and by Noam Chomsky in his Minimalism Program on the other. The theoretical concepts and hypotheses that are discussed relate to the concept of modelling and the locus of linguistic meaning, place of intentionality in the philosophy of language and linguistic theory, the nature of language and cognitive abilities as well as the proper theme of linguistic inquiry. The status of public (shared) language and the position of meaning and semantic theories in linguistic description are dealt with in the next part. Problems evolving from those diverse views on language such as verifiability on the one hand and the methodological constraint on the other conclude the discussion. Referred to are also the generative as opposed to cognitive models of language acquisition and, consequently, diverse methodologies as used by scholars of these persuasions. Conclusions show those aspects of Chomsky’s generativism and Cognitive Linguistics that seem incompatible and those that can be perceived as converging.



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