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The Communicative Mind

A Linguistic Exploration of Conceptual Integration and Meaning Construction

Author(s): Line Brandt

Book Description

Integrating research in linguistics, philosophy, semiotics, neurophenomenology, and literary studies, The Communicative Mind presents a thought-provoking and multifaceted investigation into linguistic meaning construction. It explores the various ways in which the intersubjectivity of communicating interactants manifests itself in language structure and use and argues for the indispensability of dialogue as a semantic resource in cognition. The view of the mind as highly conditioned by the domain of interpersonal communication is supported by an extensive range of empirical linguistic data from fiction, poetry and written and spoken everyday language, including rhetorically “creative” metaphors and metonymies. The author introduces Cognitive Linguistics to the notion of enunciation, which refers to the situated act of language use, and demonstrates the centrality of subjectivity and turn-taking interaction in natural semantics. The theoretical framework presented takes contextual relevance, viewpoint shifts, dynamicity, and the introduction into discourse of elements with no real-world counterparts (subjective motion, fictivity and other forms of non-actuality) to be vital components in the construction of meaning. The book engages the reader in critical discussions of cognitive-linguistic approaches to semantic construal and addresses the philosophical implications of the identified strengths and limitations. Among the theoretical advances in what Brandt refers to as the cognitive humanities is Fauconnier and Turner’s theory of conceptual integration of “mental spaces” which has proved widely influential in Cognitive Poetics and Linguistics, offering a philosophy of language bridging the gap between pragmatics and semantics. With its constructive criticism of the “general mechanism” hypothesis, according to which “blending” can explain everything from the origin of language to binding in perception, Brandt’s book brings the scope and applicability of Conceptual Integration Theory into the arena of scientific debate.

The book contains five main chapters entitled Enunciation: Aspects of Subjectivity in Meaning Construction, The Subjective Conceptualizer: Non-actuality in Construal, Conceptual Integration in Semiotic Meaning Construction, Meaning Construction in Literary Text, and Effects of Poetic Enunciation: Seven Types of Iconicity.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-4144-3
ISBN-10: 1-4438-4144-7
Date of Publication: 01/06/2013
Pages / Size: 640 / A5
Price: £69.99


Dr Line Brandt is an interdisciplinary scholar, teacher, translator, and editor of literary and academic books and journals. She holds a Doctorate degree in Cognitive Semiotics and a Master’s degree in Philosophy and English. Brandt is a former Fulbright recipient and co-founder of Cognitive Semiotics – Multidisciplinary Journal of Meaning and Mind. Her publications include translations of literature and literary theory (works include My Life by L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poet Lyn Hejinian), an introduction to the field of cognitive poetics (Kognitiv Poetik, edited volume, 2009), and academic papers on topics in cognitive linguistics and philosophy.