Matlock et al

The contribution by Matlock et al. invokes the notion of embodiment. Embodiment is the suggestion in cognitive science and philosophy that our bodily experience shapes aspects of the mind. Embodiment thus poses a challenge to traditional Cartesian dualism. In the context of the Modularity Hypothesis made by generative grammar, it is unsurprising that embodiment has not been accorded a place in the theory, while it has been naturally incorporated into cognitive linguistics. One example of this is the cognitive linguistic account of metaphors based on bodily experience, such as Good is Up and Bad is Down (see e.g. Johnson 1987, Lakoff 1987, Lakoff & Johnson 1999). Matlock et al. relate embodiment to the language and gestures produced in a task where subjects watched a video of a car accident and were then asked to describe "what happened" vs. "what was happening". The authors show that the imperfective question yielded more details being provided, i.e. more motion verbs and expressions related to reckless driving being used, and more iconic gestures being produced.

Much of Matlock's previous work (e.g. 2004, Gibbs & Matlock 2008) is centred on the notion of mental simulation, i.e. the mental reactivation of patterns associated with past bodily experiences. Here, Matlock et al. argue that the imperfective aspect invites a different kind of mental simulation of the events witnessed, along the lines suggested by the classic typological literature on aspect (e.g. Comrie 1976, Dahl 1985).

With regard to the questions that this thematic volume is built around, Matlock et al. show how, in relation to the language and gestures evoked by different aspectual framing, a cognitive linguistic viewpoint may represent an advantage over a modular theory such as generative grammar. Yet at the same time it reveals that there is considerable scope left for cognitive linguists to do research on how language structure might guide interpretation in real world situations. The present study very clearly raises the issue of leading questions in for example a courtroom setting an issue that cognitive linguistics may at least begin to address. The closely related issue of language and power has been addressed in a very different tradition, i.e. that of Critical Discourse Analysis (e.g. Fairclough 2001, van Dijk 2008). Yet the present study (and see also Fausey & Matlock 2011 for a study of aspect in discourse about politics) is considerably more convincing in terms of a detailed study of empirical, psycholinguistic evidence than work in CDA tends to be.


Aarts, Bas. 2007. Syntactic gradience: The nature of grammatical indeterminacy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Baker, Mark C. 2003. Lexical categories: Verbs, nouns, and adjectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Baker, Mark. 2009. Formal Generative Typology. In B. Heine and H. Narrog (eds.), The Oxford handbook of linguistic analysis, 285-312. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ball, Catherine N. 1991. The historical development of the it-cleft. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania dissertation.

Ball, Catherine N. 1994. The origins of the informative-presupposition it-cleft. Journal of Pragmatics 22. 603-628.

Barðdal , Johanna. 2008. Productivity: Evidence from case and argument structure in Icelandic. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Barðdal , Johanna. 2009. The development of case in Germanic. In Johanna Barðdal & Shobhana L. Chelliah (eds.), The role of semantic, pragmatic and discourse factors in the development of case, 123-159. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Barwise, Jon & John Perry. 1983. Situations and attitudes. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Bergen, Benjamin, Shane Lindsay, Teenie Matlock & Srini Narayanan. 2007. Spatial and linguistic aspects of visual imagery in sentence comprehension. Cognitive Science 31. 733-764.

Brinton, Laurel, and Elizabeth Closs Traugott. 2005. Lexicalization and language change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Broccias, Cristiano & Willem B. Hollmann. 2007. Do we need summary and sequential scanning in (Cognitive) grammar? Cognitive Linguistics 18. 487-522

Bybee, Joan. 1985. Morphology. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Bybee, Joan L. 2001. Phonology and language use. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Bybee, Joan. 2010. Language, usage, and cognition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Cassidy, Kimberley W. & Michael H. Kelly. 1991. Phonological information for grammatical

category assignment. Journal of Memory and Language 30. 348-369. Chomsky, Noam & Howard Lasnik. 1977. Filters and Control. Linguistic Inquiry 8. 425-504. Clark, Lynn & Kevin Watson. 2011. Testing claims of a usage-based phonology with Liverpool

English t-to-r. English Language and Linguistics 15. 523-547. Comrie, Bernard. 1976. Aspect. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press. Cowart, W. 1997. Experimental syntax: Applying objective methods to sentence judgments.

London: Sage Publications. Cristofaro, Sonia. 2003. Subordination. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Croft, William. 1998. Linguistic evidence and mental representations. Cognitive Linguistics 9. 151-173.

Croft, William. 1999. What (some) functionalists can learn from (some) formalists. In M.

Darnell, E. Moravcsik, F. Newmeyer, M. Noonan & K. Wheatley (eds.), Functionalism and

formalism in linguistics, 85-108. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Croft, William. 2000. Explaining language change: An evolutionary approach. Harlow: Longman. Croft, William. 2001. Radical Construction Grammar: Syntactic theory in typological perspective.

Oxford: Oxford University Press. Culicover, Peter, and Ray Jackendoff. 2005. Simpler syntax. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Cuyckens, Hubert, René Dirven & John R. Taylor (eds.). 2003. Cognitive approaches to lexical

semantics. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Dabrowska, Ewa. 1997. The LAD goes to school: A cautionary tale for nativists. Linguistics 35.


Dabrowska, Ewa. 2008. Questions with long-distance dependencies: A usage-based perspective.

Cognitive Linguistics 19. 391-425. Dahl, Osten. 1985. Tense and aspect systems. New York: Basil Blackwell. Deane, Paul D. 1992. Grammar in mind and brain. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Dijk, Teun van. 2008. Discourse and power. Houndsmills: Palgrave. Fairclough, Norman. 2001. Language and power, 2nd edn. Harlow: Longman. Fausey, Caitlin M. & Teenie Matlock. 2011. Can grammar win elections? Political Psychology 32. 563-473.

Featherston, Sam. 2005a. That-trace in German. Lingua 115. 1277-1302.

Featherston, Sam. 2005b. Magnitude estimation and what it can do for your syntax: Some wh-constraints in German. Lingua 115. 1525-1550

Felser, Claudia & David Britain. 2007. Deconstructing what with absolutes. Essex Research Reports in Linguistics 53: 97-134.

Ferreira, Fernanda. 2005. Psycholinguistics, formal grammars, and cognitive science. The Linguistic Review 22. 365-380.

Fox, Anthony. 1995. Linguistic reconstruction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Gibbs, Raymond W. & Teenie Matlock. 2008. Metaphor, imagination, and simulation: Psycholinguistic evidence. In Raymond W. Gibbs, Jr. (ed.), Cambridge handbook of metaphor and thought, 161-176. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Gisborne, Nikolas B. 2010. The event structure of perception verbs. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Gisborne, Nikolas B. & Amanda Patten. 2011. Constructions and grammaticalization. In Bernd Heine & Heiko Narrog (eds.), The Oxford handbook of grammaticalization, 92-104. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Goldberg, Adele E. 1995. Constructions: A construction grammar approach to argument structure. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Goldberg, Adele E. 2006. Constructions at work: On the nature of generalization in language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Gries, Stefan Th. & Anatol Stefanowitsch (eds.). 2006. Corpora in cognitive linguistics: Corpus-based approaches to syntax and lexis. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

Gries, Stefan Th., Beate Hampe & Doris Schônefeld. 2005. Converging evidence: Bringing together experimental and corpus data on the association of verbs and constructions. Cognitive Linguistics 16. 635-676.

Halle, Morris & Alec Marantz. 1993. Distributed Morphology and the pieces of inflection. In Kenneth Hale & S. Jay Keyser (eds.), The view from Building 20, 111-176. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Haspelmath, Martin. 2003. The geometry of grammatical meaning: Semantic maps and cross-linguistic comparison. In M. Tomasello (ed.), The new psychology of language, vol. 2, 211242. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Higginbotham, James. 1985. On semantics. Linguistic Inquiry 16. 547-593.

Himmelmann, Nikolaus. 2004. Lexicalization and grammaticization: Opposite or orthogonal? In Walter Bisang, Nikolaus Himmelmann & Björn Wiemer (eds.), What makes grammaticalization? A look from its components and its fringes, 21-42. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Hollmann, Willem B. & Anna Siewierska. 2006. Corpora and (the need for) other methods in a study of Lancashire dialect. Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik 54. 203-216.

Hollmann, Willem B. & Anna Siewierska. 2007. A construction grammar account of possessive constructions in Lancashire dialect: Some advantages and challenges. English Language and Linguistics 11. 407-424.

Hollmann, Willem B. & Anna Siewierska. 2011. The status of frequency, schemas, and identity in Cognitive Sociolinguistics: A case study on definite article reduction. Cognitive Linguistics 22. 25-54.

Hopper, Paul & Elizabeth Traugott. 2003. Grammaticalization, 2nd edn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hudson, Richard. 1990. English word grammar. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Hudson, Richard. 2003. Gerunds and multiple default inheritance. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 21. 579-615

Hudson, Richard. 2007. Language Networks. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Israel, Michael. 1996. The way constructions grow. In Adele E. Goldberg (ed.), Conceptual structure, discourse and language, 217-230. Stanford: CSLI.

Israel, Michael. 2004. The pragmatics of polarity. In Laurence Horn and Gregory Ward (eds.), The handbook of pragmatics, 701-723. Oxford: Blackwell.

Johnson, Mark. 1987. The body in the mind: The bodily basis of meaning, imagination and reason. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Kelly, Michael 1996. The role of phonology in grammatical category assignment. In James L. Morgan and Katherine Demuth (eds.), From signal to syntax, 249-262. Hillsdale: Erlbaum.

Kelly, Michael H. 1992. Using sound to solve syntactic problems: The role of phonology in grammatical category assignments. Psychological Review 99. 349-364.

Koopman, Willem. 2005. Transitional syntax: Postverbal pronouns and particles in Old English. English Language and Linguistics 9. 47-62.

Lakoff, George & Mark Johnson. 1999. Philosophy in the flesh: The embodied mind and its challenge to Western thought. New York: Basic Books.

Lakoff, George. 1987. Women, fire and dangerous things: What categories reveal about the mind. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Langacker, Ronald W. 1987. Foundations of cognitive grammar. Volume 1: Theoretical prerequisites. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Lightfoot, David W 1979. Principles of diachronic syntax. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Matlock, T. 2004. Fictive motion as cognitive simulation. Memory & Cognition 32. 1389-1400.

Monaghan, Padraic, Nick Chater & Morten H. Christiansen. 2005. The differential role of phonological and distributional cues in grammatical categorisation. Cognition 96. 143-182.

Patten, Amanda. 2010. Cleft sentences and grammaticalization. University of Edinburgh dissertation.

Pérez-Guerra, Javier. 1999. Historical English syntax: A statistical corpus-based study on the organisation of Early Modern English sentences (Studies in Germanic Linguistics 11). München: Lincom Europa.

Pintzuk, Susan. 1999. Phrase structures in competition: Variation and change in Old English word order. New York: Garland.

Reinhart, Tanya. 1983. Anaphora and semantic interpretation. London: Croom Helm.

Roberts, Ian G. 2010. Grammaticalization, the clausal hierarchy, and semantic bleaching. In Elizabeth Traugott & Graeme Trousdale (eds.), Gradience, gradualness and grammaticalization, 45-73. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Rosenbaum, Peter S. 1967. The grammar of English predicate complement constructions. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Ross, John Robert. 1967. Constraints on variables in syntax. MIT dissertation.

Russell, Bertrand. 1905. On denoting. Mind 14. 479-493.

Traugott, Elizabeth. 2003. Constructions in grammaticalization. In Brian D. Joseph & Richard

D. Janda (eds.), A handbook of historical linguistics, 624-647. Oxford: Blackwell. Traugott, Elizabeth Closs. 2010. Grammaticalization. In Silvia Luraghi & Vit Bubenik (eds.), The

Continuum companion to historical linguistics. London: Continuum, 269-283. Trousdale, Graeme. 2008. Constructions in grammaticalization and lexicalization: Evidence

from the history of a composite predicate in English. In Graeme Trousdale & Nikolas B.

Gisborne (eds.), Constructional approaches to English grammar, 33-67. Berlin/New York:

Mouton de Gruyter

Van Hoek, Karen. 1997. Anaphora and conceptual structure. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Van Kemenade, Ans. 1999. Sentential negation and word order in Old English. In Ingrid Tieken-

Boon van Ostade, Gunnel Tottie & Wim van de Wurff (eds.), Negation in the history of

English, 147-166. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Visser, F. Th. 1963. An historical syntax of the English language, Part 1: Syntactical units with one verb. Leiden: Brill.

< Prev   CONTENTS   Next >