Cognitive linguistics is a movement within the field of linguistics that describes language in terms of human cognition and experience. It posits that language is not a self-contained module but part of the overall socio- and psychophysical structure that makes up human functioning. This presents a direct challenge to generativist theories that presume a modular view of language and to behaviorist approaches that eschew mental processes.

Cognitive linguistics emerged as a movement in the 1970s as a response to the then-dominant generativist view of language. Discontent with treating language as an abstract rule system dissociated from other areas of cognition, authors such as Charles Fillmore, George Lakoff, and Eleanor Rosch took their cues from the philosophy of language as well as from the newly prominent cognitive ...

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