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By Jan Nuyts

The connection among language and conceptualization continues to be an enormous puzzle in language study. This identify investigates major different types of expressions of epistemic modality in Dutch, German and English. through adopting a scientific practical orientation, the e-book explains an entire diversity of peculiarities of epistemic expression types and provides a standpoint on which cognitive structures are had to get from the concept that of epistemic modality to its linguistic expression.

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Extra resources for Epistemic Modality, Language, and Conceptualization: A Cognitive-Pragmatic Perspective (Human Cognitive Processing)

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This term is sometimes explicitly related to deontic modality, among others by Steele (1975a), Talmy (1988a) and Sweetser (1990). But Sweetser’s and probably also Talmy’s actual use of it turns out to be wider, also including (at least part of) dynamic modality. And Hofmann (1976) and Coates (1983), for example, explicitly use root modality as a cover term for deontic and dynamic modality. In this latter usage root modality is synonymous with yet another term currently gaining popularity, viz. ‘agent-oriented’ modality, which is opposed to ‘speaker-oriented’ and epistemic modality (terminology introduced by Bybee 1985, Bybee et al.

Symbolic behavior, including language use, is actually a superimposed type of behavior, since it taps the basic possibilities of one or more sense organs and motor systems and conventionalizes certain patterns based on them as codes to convey specific (types of) meanings. Now, conceptualization is obviously not another among those systems for interaction with the world. Instead, it is a necessary ingredient for each of these behavioral systems (I will often use the term ‘behavior’ to cover both perception and action), since somehow they must all draw on a central representation of the way a human makes 13.

In view of the latter statement, it appears paradoxical that precisely the Cognitive Linguistics movement is even more radical than traditional functionalist linguistics in presenting a static or passive view of grammar. Models such as Cognitive Grammar (Langacker 1987) or Construction Grammar (à la Lakoff 1987 or à la Fillmore 1988, Fillmore et al. 1988) heavily rely on fixed constructions to account for linguistic structure, up to the level of the sentence. This translates into a concept of grammar as a network of such constructions, in which there is hardly any concern with, or even room for, the processing dimension.

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