Cognitive Studies as the Direction of Modern Linguistics
COGNITIVE STUDIES AS THE DIRECTION OF MODERN LINGUISTICS At the end of the 20th century linguistics applied to anthropocentric paradigm of knowledge including among other things presentation about the human factor in the language [4, 2001:15].
The cognitive linguistics is the study of how the person operates the symbols, while coming to understanding the world and themselves in the world, the subject matter of which is the human mind, the thinking and the mental processes and conditions [11, 2005: 8]. The processes associated with knowledge and information are called cognitive ones.
Their synonyms are also words «intellectual», «mental», «and rational». Cognitive aspect is the basic concept of cognitive linguistics. It is obvious that in the complex of human sciences the relations between language and other human activities are closely interwoven with each other. Languages give cognitive scientists the key to understand human behavior even in the greater degree, than the culture and society [6, 1997:21].
In the 70-80th of the last century mainly lexico-grammatical and thematic groups of words were studied for identifying general and specific characteristics in a lexical system of language.
Today the cognitive research is aimed at expansion of the Humanities [2, 2005: 28]. It is the question of great importance for scientists to find out the very existence of the words in the mental lexicon of individuals. Scientists consider the word to be a unit of knowledge, phenomenon or process meant by it, and also the knowledge of unit position in the system of language, where it is associated with other units of the same system [6, 1997: 306-307]. There are many definitions of concepts, as the term «concept» is currently one of the most popular in a Russian science.
It is not only about linguistics, the concept is used in perceptual and cognitive psychology, and lingvo-cultural science, sociology, and many other sciences.
The concept is a multifaceted term, that can be considered as the storage of cultural values, and as a unit which the background for the perspective is the cultural environment surrounding the person. According to Professor V. A. Maslova there are 3 approaches to the concept’s definition: 1. The first approach pays great attention to cultural aspect – when the entire culture is understood as a set of concepts and relations between them.
Concepts are like clots of cultural environment in the person’s consciousness.
2. The second approach defines the semantics of linguistic sign as the only means of concept formation. 3. Representatives of the third approach believe the concept to be a combination of word meanings from personal, and national person experience, i. e. the concept is the mediator between words and reality.
Concepts are universal [11, 2005: 32]. E. S. Kubryakova considers concept as the operational memory unit, mental lexicon, the conceptual system and the language of brain, the whole picture of the world, the quantum of knowledge [7, 1996: 90].
Structure of the concept, according to Pr.
Stepanov consists of 3 layers: basic sign, optional and inner form, usually not realized. The structure of the concept can be represented in the circle form, in the center of which lies the main concept, the core of concept, and on the periphery is everything that are brought by culture, traditions, national, and personal experience [11, 2005:42]. Each concept includes evaluation, personal attitude towards an object. The same concepts can cause various associations in the different recipients [3, 2006: 24].
Cognitive linguistics is aimed at modeling the picture of the world. The concept itself is an element of the picture of the world, when the picture of the world is one of fundamental notions; it is a model of the world, which is formed as the result of human interaction [11, 2005:47].
Concepts can be classified according to different grounds. They can form emotional, educational, and other conceptual spheres. Concepts of objects and movements with the concepts of space are included in the list of «primary» concepts defining conceptual system of the human being.
Space is one of the main forms of categories of existence, reflecting the extent, the position, and the location of objects in a world continuum. As a consequence, the space belongs to the basic categories of thinking, and causes strong interest for scientists.
The movement is a form of life and the factor of human development. The concept of movement – is a complex phenomenon, and is associated with the characteristics like the starting point of movement, the last point of movement, way of movement, the environment in which the action takes place, its orientation, move pace, and character of action [8, 2004: 10].
Identifying the sources of phraseological unit’s origin we share the opinion of N. N. Amosova, who considers it to be the speech situation in which the original word is used in a phraseological meaning [1, 1963:65].
Each phrasal unit initially was the individual’s formation, and at first was used in a single context. The verbal complex is to pass several stages before becoming a phraseological unit. Potential phrasal unit is a speech phenomenon. When words complex are used in countless contexts, they gradually acquire elements of stability, and form phrases.
Actually it is impossible to ascertain the «forthcoming» of phrases [10, 1996: 158].
We can assume that each word being born in someone’s speech gets new meanings in the course of its further usage. The important feature of obtaining new values is the degree of abstraction [13, 2001: 67]. A. M. Melerovich points out abstraction from lexical and grammatical meanings. She distinguishes four levels of abstraction: highest, high, medium, and low one.
1. The highest level of abstraction is observed in phraseological fusions, and in phraseological intensifiers. These phrases are completely abstracted from the literal meanings. . At the high level of abstraction phrasal units have all kinds of abstraction except grammatical one.
3. The average level of abstraction is observed in phrases with partially rethought meanings, i. e. , where one component is used literally, and the other one is used in figurative sense. 4. The low level of abstraction is characterized by the fact that all components are used in the literal senses.
The structure of abstraction in this case is so-called «colorless abstraction» [14, 1959:171]. Thus, the phraseology reflects complex of culture and psychology of the people; it is a unique method of thinking.
However, for each language the selection of priority word’s meanings depends on cultural development. Presence of a certain motivation, «which is directly linked with people’s outlook» proves that idioms have cultural and ethnic connotation. The study of phrases gives the key to understanding of language picture of the world [16, 1996: 214] Literature 1. Amosova N.
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