Reenactment: An embodied cognition approach to meaning and linguistic content [Book Review]

Abstract
A central finding in experimental research identified with Embodied Cognition (EC) is that understanding actions involves their embodied simulation, i.e. executing some processes involved in performing these actions. Extending these findings, I argue that reenactment – the overt embodied simulation of actions and practices, including especially communicative actions and practices, within utterances – makes it possible to forge an integrated EC-based account of linguistic meaning. In particular, I argue: (a) that remote entities can be referred to by reenacting actions performed with them; (b) that the use of grammatical constructions can be conceived of as the reenactment of linguistic action routines; (c) that complex enunciational structures (reported speech, irony, etc.) involve a separate level of reenactment, on which characters are presented as interacting with one another within the utterance; (d) that the segmentation of long utterances into shorter units involves the reenactment of brief audience interventions between units; and (e) that the overall meaning of an utterance can be stated in reenactment terms. The notion of reenactment provides a conceptual framework for accounting for aspects of language that are usually thought to be outside the reach of EC in an EC framework, thus supporting a view of meaning and linguistic content as thoroughly grounded in action and interaction.
Keywords action  cognitive linguistics  embodied cognition  dialogue  meaning  simulation
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DOI 10.1007/s11097-011-9229-8
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References found in this work BETA
Metaphors We Live By.George Lakoff - 1980 - University of Chicago Press.
Action in Perception.Alva Noë - 2005 - MIT Press.
Six Views of Embodied Cognition.Margaret Wilson - 2002 - Psychonomic Bulletin and Review 9 (4):625--636.
Meaning.H. P. Grice - 1957 - Philosophical Review 66 (3):377-388.

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