last changed in 2002

WG assumes a view of cognition (knowledge and thought) which is quite widely accepted among psychologists (e.g. Reisberg), though controversial. According to this view, our cognition includes a range of different kinds of knowledge. Most directly relevant to language is conceptual structure, which is a network of concepts, but there are also other kinds of mental representation including visual and auditory schemas (i.e. pictures and sounds) and motor commands (i.e. instructions for actions) which are also relevant. Auditory schemas and motor commands are (presumably) involved in hearing and speaking, so ultimately the 'linguistic' structures of phonetics must be related to them; and many word meanings may well have a visual schema as part of their 'definition' (Pinker 97, chapter 4). WG is a theory of conceptual structure, so it has nothing to say about sensory schemas and programmes.







This is an article from the Encyclopedia of Word Grammar and English grammar. If you refer to it, please give the url as "".