名家論壇系列講座第122期

作者: 時間:2019-10-24 點擊數:

主講人:Professor Peter Harder哥本哈根大學

時間:20191031(周四)15:00-17:00

地點:北京外國語大學 西院綜合樓501


講座題目: Functional and procedural aspects of syntax in cognitive linguistics


內容摘要

Cognitive Linguistics arose as an alternative to Generative Linguistics. Naturally enough, focal interest in Cognitive Linguistics has been on those properties of language that are not focal in generative linguistics, and hence are not well-covered in Chomskyan linguistic theory.

Thus, just as autonomy is central to generative theory, the dependence of language on general cognitive capacities (those that are not specific to language) has been equally central in cognitive linguistics. Further, the sharp boundaries that are characteristic of generative linguistics also internally in language have motivated a skepticism among cognitive linguists against all sharp boundaries. These include the separation between semantics and pragmatics, and between semantics and syntax, both of which are central from a generative point of view, and have been downplayed in Cognitive Linguistics.  If language as a whole is an integral part of cognition as a whole, it is natural that also internal divisions between subcompartments of the language ability have blurry outlines.

This ‘continuism’ extends also to the classical dichotomy between lexicon and grammar. For generative grammar, this division is central because the lexicon has obvious relations with the world of experience and cannot plausibly be understood as autonomous in the same sense as syntactic categories arguably can. While the existence of empty subjects in sentences like it is raining entails that the subject category can plausibly be kept apart from concrete experiential content, this is not the case for semantic categories. Cognitive Linguistics, in which a foundational assumption is that all linguistic units have a semantic as well as a phonological pole, however, does not recognize the existence of a special domain of syntax in which elements are purely formal, and therefore linguistic units are not assumed to be rigidly separable into two subcategories, grammatical vs. lexical.

While I align myself with this general orientation on the part of Cognitive Linguistics, I think it has had the unintended consequence of under-addressing the question of what is the special nature of syntactic phenomena, thus leaving this to some extent as the turf of generative grammar. This makes syntax a potential chink in the armour of cognitive linguistics, given that the existence of syntactic structure is generally recognized to be a design feature of human language. Therefore I think it is worth while for Cognitive Linguistics to upgrade its picture of what syntax means for human languages.

I am going to address two aspects of this issue:

(1) The general features of syntax in a cognitive-functional perspective – with particular focus on the role of ‘content syntax’ (understood as the combinatorial relations between meanings), cf Harder (2010, ch. 6).

(2) The special linguistic and neurocognitive characteristics of grammatical (as opposed to lexical) items - with particular focus on the procedural (as opposed to declarative) aspects of grammar. This includes the issue of grammaticalization (Boye & Harder 2012): what is it that happens when a lexical element becomes grammatical?

I argue that these aspects are underemphasized in the constructional approach to grammar, which has been the most widespread foundation for syntactic theory in Cognitive Linguistics. In the proposed alternative, I draw on two main sources, one linguistic and one neuro-cognitive: the European structural-functional tradition (e.g. Engberg-Pedersen et al. 1995), and Ullman’s research on the declarative and the procedural systems in the brain, as explored especially by Ullman (e.g., 2016).


講座人簡介:

皮特?哈德教授Peter Harder),哥本哈根大學英語語言學教授丹麥皇家科學和文學學會成員。1994年春季在加州大學圣地亞哥分校訪問,2003年秋季在加州大學伯克利分校訪學。

皮特?哈德教授共有172個出版作品,涉及時態、條件式、遞歸、限定詞和語法化等方面,以及對一些基礎性問題的探討,如語言使用和語言結構之間的關系,以及心智和語言之間的關系。主要著作包括由德古意特出版社出版的《功能語義學》(1996)和《心智與社會中的意義》(2010)。

皮特?哈德教授出席過一系列的功能語法國際會議(1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2004, 2006)和認知語言學國際會議(1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017)Peter Harder作為主旨發言人在諸多國際會議上發言,如1997年第4屆國際認知語言學會議,20103月在朗多舉辦的第10LAUD會議,201010月在俄羅斯坦波夫舉辦的俄羅斯認知語言學家協會國際認知語言學大會,以及20176月法國認知語言學協會舉辦的會議。

皮特?哈德教授的研究以歐洲傳統的功能和結構主義語言學為基礎,主要關注語言的功能維度與認知維度之間的關系。目前研究興趣包括語法化、語言規范以及語言學與(其他)社會科學之間的界面研究。可以通過[email protected]皮特?哈德教授聯系。


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