Blending in language, conceptual structure, and the cerebral cortex

Rick Grush
University of California, San Diego
0. Introduction The past decade has seen Cognitive Linguistics (CL) emerge as an important, exciting and promising theoretical alternative to Chomskyan approaches to the study of language. Even so, sheer numbers and institutional inertia make it the case that most current neurolinguistic research either assumes that the Chomskyan formalist story is more or less correct (and thus that the task of neurolinguistics is to determine how the brain implements GB, for instance), or that the there are two possibilities, Chomskyanism or associationism/connectionism, and that the task of neurolinguistics is to discover which is really the way the brain does it. In either case, the theoretical apparatus of CL is not being explored by neurolinguistics, and hence the promise CL holds for making genuine fruitful contact with theoretical neurobiology is not materializing as quickly as one might hope. This paper is an attempt to make some initial steps at fulfilling this promise.
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