Introduction to Cognitive Grammar
The purpose of this chapter is the introduction of the framework of Cognitive Grammar, a theoretical development within the field of cognitive linguistics, whose pedagogical application is the focus of the present work. As a first step, Sect. 2.2 introduces, in a general fashion, the overall area of cognitive linguistics, as well as Cognitive Grammar, one of its major subcurrents, together with its definition of grammar/language. All the subsequent sections present the theoretical and descriptive apparatus of Cognitive Grammar, introducing along the way its most relevant notions, definitions, distinctions, terms, etc. First, in Sect. 2.3, the Cognitive Grammar view of language as essentially meaningful, or, in other words, the theory’s symbolic thesis, is introduced and discussed. The introduction to the theory is further effected by explaining in a detailed manner, in Sects. 2.4 and 2.5, the above-mentioned definition of grammar/language espoused by Cognitive Grammar. This theory is further introduced through a discussion, in Sect. 2.6, of its view of the role of cognitive abilities in natural language. Finally, Sect. 2.7 summarizes the diverse array of issues treated in the whole chapter, spells out how Cognitive Grammar conforms to the principles of cognitive linguistics and briefly compares this theory with other cognitive approaches to grammar, evaluating, in a preliminary fashion, its pedagogical potential.