Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Cognitive Linguistics

Editor-in-Chief: Divjak, Dagmar

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 1.902
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 2.297

CiteScore 2017: 1.62

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 1.032
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 1.930

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 27, Issue 4


Working toward a synthesis

Ronald W. Langacker
Published Online: 2016-10-14 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cog-2016-0004


Although Cognitive Linguistics represents a recontextualization with respect to prior tradition, internally it has been diverse and grounded from the outset. In design and principle, this holds for Cognitive Grammar, which seeks a comprehensive yet unified account of structure and use. It foreshadowed the “social turn” by claiming that the speaker-hearer interaction is inherent in linguistic units, which are abstracted from usage events; and also the “quantitative turn”, by its usage-based nature and the view that structure resides in processing activity. There is no single way of describing a language, just as there is no single way of describing a biological organism. Linguistics is thus a vast, multifaceted enterprise embracing a wide range of objectives, methods, and expertise. A number of points are made in this regard. (i) While corpus analysis is essential for many purposes, elicited and introspective data also have their place. (ii) With no inconsistency, language is validly characterized as both a cognitive/mental phenomenon and a social/interactive one. (iii) The fact that language resides in processing activity does not entail the absence of discreteness or the non-existence of complex structures. (iv) The importance of quantitative methods does not obviate the central role of structural analysis and description, which have equal claim to being empirical.

Keywords: Cognitive Grammar; data; description; discourse; discreteness; empirical; functionalism; interaction; unification


  • Achard, Michel. 2008. Teaching construal: Cognitive pedagogical grammar. In Peter Robinson & Nick C. Ellis (eds.), Handbook of cognitive linguistics and second language acquisition, 432–455. New York & London: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Allwood, Jens. 2003. Meaning potentials and context: Some consequences for the analysis of variation in meaning. In Hubert Cuyckens, René Dirven & John R. Taylor (eds.), Cognitive approaches to lexical semantics, 29–65. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Barlow, Michael & Suzanne Kemmer (eds.). 2000. Usage-based models of language. Stanford: CSLI Publications.Google Scholar

  • Blumentahl-Dramé, A. 2016. What corpus-based cognitive linguistics can and cannot expect from neurolinguistics. doi: .CrossrefWeb of Science

  • Croft, William. 2007. The origins of grammar in the verbalization of experience. Cognitive Linguistics 18(3). 339–382.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Croft, William. 2009. Toward a social cognitive linguistics. In Vyvyan Evans & Stéphanie Pourcel (eds.), New directions in cognitive linguistics, 395–420. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Dąbrowska, Ewa. 2000. From formula to schema: The acquisition of English questions. Cognitive Linguistics 11(1–2). 83–102.Google Scholar

  • Dąbrowska, Ewa. 2016. Cognitive linguistics’s seven deadly sins. doi: CrossrefWeb of Science

  • Du Bois, John W. 2014. Towards a dialogic syntax. Cognitive Linguistics 25(3). 359–410.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Feldman, Jerome A. 2006. From molecule to metaphor: A neural theory of language. Cambridge, MA & London: MIT Press.Google Scholar

  • Geeraerts, Dirk. 2010. Recontextualizing grammar: Underlying trends in thirty years of cognitive linguistics. In Elżbieta Tabakowska, Michał Choiński & Łukasz Wiraszka (eds.), Cognitive linguistics in action: From theory to application and back, 71–102. Berlin & New York: De Gruyter Mouton.Google Scholar

  • Geeraerts, Dirk, Gitte Kristiansen & Yves Peirsman (eds.). 2010. Advances in cognitive sociolinguistics. Berlin & New York: De Gruyter Mouton.Google Scholar

  • Harder, Peter. 2010. Meaning in mind and society: A functional contribution to the social turn in cognitive linguistics. Berlin & New York: De Gruyter Mouton.Google Scholar

  • Harrison, Chloe, Louise Nuttall, Peter Stockwell & Wenjuan Yuan (eds.). 2014. Cognitive grammar in literature. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Ibbotson, Paul, Elena V. M. Lieven & Michael Tomasello. 2013. The attention-grammar interface: Eye-gaze cues structural choice in children and adults. Cognitive Linguistics 24(3). 457–481.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Lakoff, George. 1996. Moral politics: What conservatives know that liberals don’t. Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar

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

  • Langacker, Ronald W. 1976. Modern syntactic theory: Overview and preview. Publications of the University of Rhodesia in Linguistics 2. 1–23.Google Scholar

  • Langacker, Ronald W. 1987. Foundations of cognitive grammar – Vol. 1. Theoretical prerequisites. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Langacker, Ronald W. 1995. Raising and transparency. Language 71. 1–62.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Langacker, Ronald W. 2001a. Discourse in cognitive grammar. Cognitive Linguistics 12(2). 143–188.Google Scholar

  • Langacker, Ronald W. 2001b. Topic, subject, and possessor. In Hanne Gram Simonsen & Rolf Theil Endresen (eds.), A cognitive approach to the verb: Morphological and constructional perspectives, 11–48. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Langacker, Ronald W. 2006. On the continuous debate about discreteness. Cognitive Linguistics 17(1). 107–151.Google Scholar

  • Langacker, Ronald W. 2008. Cognitive grammar: A basic introduction. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Langacker, Ronald W. 2012. Elliptic coordination. Cognitive Linguistics 23(3). 555–599.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Langacker, Ronald W. 2015. Descriptive and discursive organization in cognitive grammar. In Jocelyne Daems, Eline Zenner, Kris Heylen, Dirk Speelman & Hubert Cuyckens (eds.), Change of paradigms – new paradoxes: Recontextualizing language and linguistics, 205–218. Berlin & Boston: De Gruyter Mouton.Google Scholar

  • Langacker, Ronald W. 2016a. Metaphor in linguistic thought and theory. Cognitive Semantics 2(1). 3–29.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Langacker, Ronald W. 2016b. Toward an integrated view of structure, processing, and discourse. In Grzegorz Drożdż (ed.), Studies in lexicogrammar: Theory and applications, 23–53. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

  • Nesset, Tore. 2016. Does historical linguistics need the cognitive commitment? Prosodic change in East Slavic. doi: Crossref

  • Pascual, Esther. 2014. Fictive interaction: The conversation frame in thought, language, and discourse. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Pulvermüller, Friedemann, Bert Cappelle & Yury Shtyrov. 2013. Brain basis of meaning, words, constructions, and grammar. In Thomas Hoffmann & Graeme Trousdale (eds.), The Oxford handbook of construction grammar, 397–416. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Rosch, Eleanor. 1973. On the internal structure of perceptual and semantic categories. In Timothy E. Moore (ed.), Cognitive development and the acquisition of language, 111–144. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar

  • Thompson, Sandra A. 2002. “Object complements” and conversation: Towards a realistic account. Studies in Language 26(1). 125–164.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Tomasello, Michael. 1992. First verbs: A case study of early grammatical development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Tomlin, Russell S. 1995. Focal attention, voice, and word order. In Pamela Downing & Michael Noonan (eds.), Word order in discourse, 517–554. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Zlatev, Jordan. 2003. Polysemy or generality? Mu. In Hubert Cuyckens, René Dirven & John R. Taylor (eds.), Cognitive approaches to lexical semantics, 447–494. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Zlatev, Jordan. 2016. Turning back to experience in cognitive linguistics via phenomenology. doi: .CrossrefWeb of Science

About the article

Received: 2016-01-09

Revised: 2016-07-22

Accepted: 2016-08-18

Published Online: 2016-10-14

Published in Print: 2016-11-01

Citation Information: Cognitive Linguistics, Volume 27, Issue 4, Pages 465–477, ISSN (Online) 1613-3641, ISSN (Print) 0936-5907, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cog-2016-0004.

Export Citation

©2016 by De Gruyter Mouton.Get Permission

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Dagmar Divjak, Natalia Levshina, and Jane Klavan
Cognitive Linguistics, 2016, Volume 27, Number 4, Page 447
Oren Kolodny and Shimon Edelman
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2018, Volume 373, Number 1743, Page 20170052
Hana Gustafsson
International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 2018, Page 1

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in