Cognitive Foundations of Grammar

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The main function of language is to convey meaning. Therefore, argues Bernd Heine in these pages, the question of why language is structured the way it is must first of all be answered with reference to this function. Linguistic explanations offered in terms of other exponents of language structure (for example, syntax) are likely to highlight peripheral or epi-phenomenal-rather than central-characteristics of language structure. Heine provides a solid introductory treatment of the ways in which language structure (that is, grammar) and language usage can be explained with reference to the processes underlying human conceptualization and communication. Exploring and area of linguistics that has developed only recently and is rapidly expanding, Cognitive Foundations of Grammar will appeal to students of linguistics, psychology, and anthropology, especially those interested in grammaticalization processess.