Cognitive Approaches


Cognitive Linguistics is "the study of the mind through language and the study of language as a cognitive function" (Bergen, 2008). Cognitive perspectives hold that language is part of a cognitive system, which comprises perception, emotions, categorization, abstraction processes, and reasoning. All these cognitive abilities interact with language and are influenced by language.

The purpose of this module is to provide an overview of cognitive approaches to language and to introduce you to the basic tenets and central themes of cognitive linguistics.

Research in Cognitive Linguistics is multi-disciplinary. Within the two main branches of cognitive linguistics, cognitive semantics and cognitive grammar, evidence from text analysis and language change are as important as findings within the fields of language acquisition, psycholinguistics and brain imaging. You will therefore find various perspectives and answers to questions like: how do people construct meaning in thought and language?, how do characteristics of the language you speak influence the way you think?, or how do learners use input as they learn a language? within this module.


Categories: Glossary

All modules of Selected Subfields are divided into 3 areas: focus and content, exercises and tools & extras. Note that under focus and content you find the core content, which contains a fixed compilation of content in the field of linguistics (this information e.g. is always covered in seminars/lectures on this topic), and the extended content which will be augmented from time to time with content that is more specific (hence not necessarily covered in a seminar/lecture on this topic.)
Use the various short texts and attached exercises in each module in addition to your textbooks and make use of our extensive annotated reading lists and tools to improve your knowledge according to your needs. All subfields in the area focus and content are linked to several exercises, designed for the respective topics in three degrees of difficulty. You can either work through the texts and attached exercises in the given order or you can move on directly to the area exercises to improve your skills where necessary.