Cognitive Foundations of Grammar

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 more

Product details

  • Paperback | 196 pages
  • 152 x 226 x 16mm | 320g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • line figures, tables
  • 0195102525
  • 9780195102529
  • 1,474,836

About Bernd Heine

Bernd Heine is Professor of African Studies (Afrikanistik) and Director of the Institute for African Studies at the University of Cologne in Germany. He has published thirty books, including Possession: Cognitive Sources, Forces, and Grammaticalization (1997), The Mukogodo Maasai: An Ethnobotanical Survey (co-author, 1994), Auxiliaries: Cognitive Forces and Grammaticalization (Oxford, 1993), and Grammaticalization: A Conceptual Framework (co-author, 1991).show more

Review quote

This is an interesting book that offers a dynamic viewpoint on grammar. It offers important analysis of diachronic linguistics. The bibliography of the book offers extensive references for each topic, and the quality of the print is high. This book will spark more thoughts on the topics discussed as well as on the notion of language as an evolving system of communication. Written in a reader-friendly style, I am sure students of linguistics as well as anthropology will find the discussions easy to follow. All in all, this purple paperback is worth the money and time. * Jyh Wee Sew, Linguistics, Vol.35, 1999 * an interesting and informative study that should appeal to linguistic and cognitive anthropologists, cognitive and historical linguists, and laypersons interested in languages ... Heine presents a plausible explanatory framework and lucid descriptions of a variety of lexical patterns and grammatical constructions in several domains of meaning. * Gary B. Palmer, Cognitive Linguistics, 10-2, 1999. *show more

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