Constructions of Intersubjectivity shows that the meaning of grammatical constructions often has more to do with the human cognitive capacity for taking other peoples' points of view than with describing the world. Treating pragmatics, semantics, and syntax in parallel and integrating insights from linguistics, psychology, and studies in animal behaviour, Arie Verhagen develops a new understanding of linguistic communication. In doing so he shows the continuity between language and animal communication and reveals the nature of human linguistic specialization. Professor Verhagen uses Dutch and English data from a wide variety of sources and considers the contributions of grammar to the coherence of discourse. He argues that important problems in semantics and syntax may be resolved if language is understood as an instrument for exerting influence and coordinating different perspectives. The grammatical phenomena he discusses include negative expressions, the let alone construction, complementation constructions, and discourse connectives.
This powerfully argued and original explanation of the nature and operation of communication will interest a wide range of scholars and advanced students in linguistics, cognitive science, and human evolution.
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(233mm x 155mm x 18mm)
Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Author Biography - Arie Verhagen
Arie Verhagen has been the chair of Dutch Linguistics at the University of Leiden since 1998. He received his PhD in 1986 at the Free University in Amsterdam and has taught at the Free University, Utrecht University, and the University of Leiden. His books include Linguistic Theory and the Function of Word Order in Dutch (1986) and Usage-Based Approaches to Dutch (co-edited with Jeroen van de Weijer, 2003). He was editor-in-chief of the journal Cognitive Linguistics from 1996 until 2004. His research focuses on relations between language use and language structure, synchronically and diachronically. Current topics, in addition to those addressed in this book, include causative constructions and other expressions of causation, and the organization of constructions into grammars.