Reenactment: An embodied cognition approach to meaning and linguistic content

Sandler, Dr. Sergeiy (2011) Reenactment: An embodied cognition approach to meaning and linguistic content. [Journal (Paginated)]

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A central finding in experimental research identified with Embodied Cognition (EC) is that understanding actions involves their embodied simulation, i.e. executing some processes involved in performing these actions. Extending these findings, I argue that reenactment – the overt embodied simulation of actions and practices, including especially communicative actions and practices, within utterances – makes it possible to forge an integrated EC-based account of linguistic meaning. In particular, I argue: (a) that remote entities can be referred to by reenacting actions performed with them; (b) that the use of grammatical constructions can be conceived of as the reenactment of linguistic action routines; (c) that complex enunciational structures (reported speech, irony, etc.) involve a separate level of reenactment, on which characters are presented as interacting with one another within the utterance; (d) that the segmentation of long utterances into shorter units involves the reenactment of brief audience interventions between units; and (e) that the overall meaning of an utterance can be stated in reenactment terms. The notion of reenactment provides a conceptual framework for accounting for aspects of language that are usually thought to be outside the reach of EC in an EC framework, thus supporting a view of meaning and linguistic content as thoroughly grounded in action and interaction.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Additional Information:The final publication is available at
Keywords:action; cognitive linguistics; dialogue; embodied cognition; meaning; simulation
Subjects:Linguistics > Pragmatics
Linguistics > Semantics
Philosophy > Philosophy of Language
ID Code:7659
Deposited By: Sandler, Dr. Sergeiy
Deposited On:01 Oct 2011 00:30
Last Modified:01 Oct 2011 00:30

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