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The conceptualization thesis bearing relevance to pragmatic contexts

Linguistic structure and lexical meanings are input into the construction of mental contexts which by no means reflect objective reality directly, but rather establish and view reality through conceptualization and the construction of mental images, carried out from a particular perspective with a selected frame of reference. This claim has been formulated in cognitive linguistics and has been known as the Conceptualization Thesis (Langacker 2002, Talmy 2000, Komlosi 2006).

From the direction of conceptual structure, we can observe the plasticity and the flexibility of the human mind which (i) sees things through mental schemes and cognitive models, (ii) can switch between frames of reference, (iii) can change perspectives on indexing (e.g. deictic, modal and counter-factual relations), (iv) constructs mental contexts to accommodate data and (v) modifies data by semantic shift and meaning extension to accommodate perceived situations and constructed contexts.

In (iv-v) we see a mechanism which utilizes reciprocal effects: in (iv) epistemology is serving ontology, while in (v) ontology is serving epistemology.

If we presume that conceptualization is a key notion in understanding our cognitive mechanisms and mental processes involved in meaning creation and interpretation, and we presume that cognition is a special mixture of at least two different cognitive abilities, namely the reproductive- analytic mode and the experimenting-holistic mode of meaning construction, then we can try to discern the strength of ontological commitment in the case of identifying linguistically depicted situations and mentally constructed contexts.

 
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