Journals Higher Education



Published: 01 March 2010

360 Pages | 50 halftones, 50 line illus.

7 x 10 inches

ISBN: 9780195311129

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Bookseller Code (05)

Words and the Mind

How Words Capture Human Experience

Edited by Barbara Malt and Phillip Wolff

  • The study of word meanings promises important insights into the nature of the human mind by revealing what people find to be most cognitively significant in their experience.
  • Researchers have found that different languages seem to be telling different stories about the mind. This book explores the differences in those stories.
  • Presents evidence from the leading researchers who are carrying out empirical work that integrates the theory and method necessary for real progress on topics as diverse as spatial relations, events, emotion terms, motion events, objects, body-part terms, causation, color categories, and relational categories.
  • Highlights some of the most exciting cross-linguistic and cross-cultural work on the language-thought interface, from a broad array of fields including linguistics, anthropology, cognitive and developmental psychology, and cognitive neuropsychology.
  • The results presented in this book provide some answers to questions such as: What are we to make of cross-linguistic differences, such as that important distinctions made in one language are not necessarily made in others? How do they arise? Are they created by purely linguistic processes operating over the course of language evolution? Or do they reflect fundamental differences in thought? In this sea of differences, are there any semantic universals? Which categories might be given by the genes, which by culture, and which by language? And what might the cross-linguistic similarities and differences contribute to our understanding of conceptual and linguistic development?

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