Pragmatics and Cognition 17 (3):495-508 (2009)

Language is coordination. Pursuing this, the present Special Issue of Pragmatics & Cognition challenges two widely held positions. First, the papers reject the claim that language is essentially `symbolic'. Second, they deny that minds represent verbal patterns. Rather, language is social, individual, and contributes the feeling of thinking. Simply, it is distributed. Elucidating this claim, the opening papers report empirically-based work on the anticipatory dynamics of reading, their cognitive consequences, Shakespearean theatre, what images evoke, and insight problem-solving. Having given reasons for rejecting linguistic autonomy, the papers turn to theory building. Initially, attention is given to a possible origin for semiotic cognition. Then, it is claimed that language functions by realizing values. Next, it is argued that human dynamics are co-regulated by cultural and biological symbols. Finally, in a review article, the distributed view of language is used to contrast Clark's organism-centered cognition with what is here called ecologically extended cognition.
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DOI 10.1075/pc.17.3.01cow
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