Download e-book for kindle: Epistemic Modality, Language, and Conceptualization: A by Jan Nuyts

By Jan Nuyts

ISBN-10: 0585461783

ISBN-13: 9780585461786

ISBN-10: 9027223572

ISBN-13: 9789027223579

The connection among language and conceptualization continues to be a big puzzle in language learn. This identify investigates major kinds of expressions of epistemic modality in Dutch, German and English. by way of adopting a scientific sensible orientation, the ebook explains an entire variety of peculiarities of epistemic expression varieties and provides a point of view on which cognitive platforms are had to get from the concept that of epistemic modality to its linguistic expression.

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Additional resources for Epistemic Modality, Language, and Conceptualization: A Cognitive-Pragmatic Perspective (Human Cognitive Processing)

Example text

Surely, by virtue of the communicative function of language, a no doubt considerable part of humans’ acquisition of information is achieved through language. Hence language is likely to be an important player in constituting conceptualization, and may have quite some influence on the latter’s characteristics. Yet language is certainly not the only, and probably not even the most important player in this matter. Vision, for example, is at least as important as a source of conceptual knowledge. And it is one, moreover, which in the course of human development is operational long before the linguistic system (ontogenetically, and no doubt also phylogenetically).

As anyone with practice in analyzing natural conversation knows, spoken utterances are often very loose and far from clearly demarcated (cf. Chafe 1994). The present investigation, too, will offer a nice illustration of the (functionally determined) flexible nature of linguistic structure in the range of epistemic expression forms. The dynamic nature of language equally implies that (our models of) the cognitive systems for language use must be essentially procedural in nature, with — in view of the complexity of communication probably quite sophisticated, intelligent and flexible — processing instructions being at least as central as representations.

On the one hand, it offers a test for our intuitive assumption that all of these do express epistemic modality. If this assumption is true, the usage differences between the alternatives should be explicable entirely in terms of functional dimensions other than the epistemic evaluation, and without affecting the core notion of epistemic modality. That is, we should not be forced to distinguish semantically different types of epistemic modality expressed in different linguistic forms (such as a distinction between subjective and objective modality, to be discussed below).

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Epistemic Modality, Language, and Conceptualization: A Cognitive-Pragmatic Perspective (Human Cognitive Processing) by Jan Nuyts


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