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Title: Ontolinguistics: An outline
Contributor(s): Schalley, Andrea (author); Zaefferer, D (author)
Publication Date: 2007
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Abstract: Current progress in linguistic theorizing is more and more informed by cross-linguistic investigation. Comparison of languages relies crucially on those concepts which are essentially the same across human minds, cultures, and languages, and which therefore can be activated through the use of any human language. These instances of mental universals join other less common concepts to constitute a complex structure in our minds, a network of cross-connected conceptualizations of the phenomena that make up our world. Following more and more widespread usage we call such a system of conceptualizations an 'ontology', and we submit that the most reliable basis for any cross-linguistic research lies in the common core of the different individual human ontologies. This is the basic tenet of all approaches that can properly be called ontology-based linguistics or 'ontolinguistics' for short. While concept activations depend on episodic linguistic and non-linguistic stimuli and therefore are subject to permanent change, recorded in short-term memory, the conceptual system itself, after its development, differentiation, and stabilization in the ontogeny of each agent, l is assumed to be relatively stable and stored in long-term memory. Therefore, the emphasis of ontolinguistic research is less on processing than on structure. The initial idea behind the present volume is to further instigate progress in linguistics by asking a rather underexplored question: What is the relation between the ontologies in our minds and the languages we participate in?
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Ontolinguistics: how ontological status shapes the linguistic coding of concepts, p. 3-22
Publisher: Mouton de Gruyter
Place of Publication: Berlin, Germany
ISBN: 9783110189971
Field of Research (FOR): 200408 Linguistic Structures (incl Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics)
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Series Name: Trends in linguistics. Studies and monographs
Series Number : 176
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