Conceptual and Discourse Factors in Linguistic Structure

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The predominant approaches in American linguistics use theoretical assumptions about the formal nature of grammar to show what we can learn about the human mind. However, these studies are restricted to unapplied models of language, not how language functions in actual speech situations, so their power to reveal the workings of the human mind is limited. This volume examines data on naturally occuring language usage, not theoretical examples. It focuses on the motivations for linguistic patterning in human social and cognitive experience, and on the dynamic properties of language construal, use and development. Topics researched include first language acquisition, metaphor, language processing and discourse, and conceptual structure and grammar.