Courses / MA Courses

Mind and Body in Space: A Cognitive Linguistics Account of Language


In this course, we will explore key concepts that define language in terms of meaning, such as conceptual metaphor and metonymy, mental spaces, prototypes, embodied cognition and gesture, image schemas, Cognitive Grammar, or language learning. There will be a varied range of genres and materials used from a blended learning and flipped classroom perspective: basic and advanced readings from prominent references in the field, Ted Talks, newspaper articles, and also movie excerpts or music. Individual as well as collaborative work for in and out-of-class discussions will be constant throughout the semester.

What happens in the minds of people when language is at work? How do we process our surroundings, understand the world we live in, accommodate our own culture as shaper of perceptions… and communicate about it all by using the right words?

Cognitive Linguistics provides a theoretical a framework to understand language as a builder of meaning that stems from interaction with the world. Language emerges in the mind as part of our experience as natural beings in the physical world, and is a direct reflection of it. Meaning, then, is construed as a bridge between all the complex, abstract, intangible thoughts in our minds, and what we can all understand in relatable, identifiable and shared experience: our grounded, tangible, physical position in space. Language, from this point of view, embodies the global cognitive capabilities of all human beings, and is not understood as an independent component of the mind, or an isolated, formal object of study.

Last Updated 1 year ago