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08 SEPTEMBER 2016

George Lakoff: Idea Framing, Metaphors, and Your Brain

UC Berkeley Professor George Lakoff discusses concepts from his 2008 book, The Political Mind: Why You Can't Understand 21st-Century American Politics with an 18th-Century Brain.

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2008brain networks • breaking the frame • Charles Fillmore • cognitive linguistics • cognitive strategy • Commonwealth Club of California • conceptual framing • cultural narratives • embodied mind • Erving Goffman • fora.tv • frame analysis • frame elements • framingGeorge Lakoff • human thinking • idea framing • institutions • Jerry Feldman • Joe Epstein • linguistic construction • linguisticsmetaphormetaphor analysis • metaphors are political • metaphors structure our thinking • mutual inhibition • neural circuit • neural computation • political behaviour • political behaviour and society • primary metaphor • Rockridge Institute • roles • scenarios • structured frames • the way we think • thinking in terms of metaphors

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
19 FEBRUARY 2016

Grammar comes to students as an abstract whole

"The Reed-Kellogg diagram is a tool of the classroom and of the textbooks that codify the rules for its production. But grammar textbooks share a problem similar to the one Thomas Kuhn noted for science textbooks: they tend to efface the history of their subject. Indeed, grammar textbooks are far more ahistorical that science textbooks. The average science textbook will contain some history, however Whiggish. There will be at least a cursory mention of the scientists who formulated the theories under discussion, some suggestion that scientific knowledge is subject to change and accretion. Grammar, however, comes to students as an abstract whole. The sources from which the textbook authors derived their accounts normally go unacknowledged. There is no sense of grammar as a theory—or, more precisely, a constellation of competing theories—with its own intellectual history."

(Karl Hagen, 17 October 2015)

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19th century • a constellation of competing theories • abstract whole • ahistorical • Alonzo Reed • analytic grammar • Brainerd Kellogg • change and accretion • diagram • diagramming • diagramming sentences • education • English grammar • etymological parsing • Goold Brown • grammar • grammar as a theory • grammar textbooks • grammarians • grammatical concepts • grammatical pedagogy • grammatical principles • grammatical ruleshigh schoolhistory of ideas and learningintellectual history • Kitty Burns Florey • Lindley Murray • linguistics • morphosyntax • North America • oral parsing • pedagogical method • Reed-Kellog Diagram • Richard Brittain • Robert Lowth • rote recitation • Samuel Kirkham • schoolbook • sentence • sentence diagram • sentence diagramming • sentence structure • symbolic illustration • syntaxsystematic approach • systematic scheme • teaching grammar • textbooksThomas Kuhn • transformational-generative syntax • tree diagram • visual depictions • visual learningvisualisation • Whiggishness

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
12 OCTOBER 2015

Social media platform affordances promote phatic communication

"Facebook, for example, encourages phatic communication through sociable add-ons like 'vampire bites', 'zombies', 'hot potatoes' and automating messages encouraging participation between friends in quizzes, film taste reviews and the like.[6] Furthermore, Facebook's new 'beacon' technology creates an environment where one's online purchases and interests get relayed to one's network of friends through automated communication. Twitter encourages phatic communication through the imposed limits of the medium itself. The 160 character limit for messages creates brevity in communication. The lack of a private messaging facility, promotes generic 'announcements' over dialogue or targeted conversation. "

(Vincent Miller, 2008, p.398)

[6] For example, a typical automated message such as ''Mr X' has challenged you to a movie quiz' suggests a personal invitation to compete. However, it is usually the case that if 'Mr X' has participated in a movie quiz, you will, by default, be automatically 'challenged' to the quiz, by virtue of being friends with 'Mr X'.

Miller, V. (2008). "New Media, Networking and Phatic Culture." Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 14(4): 387–400.

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2008 • activity patterns • announcements • automated communication • automated messagesbrevitycharacter limitconstant connection • conversation for its own sake • Facebookfriendship networks • generic announcements • grooming talking • hot potatoe • I share therefore I am • imposed limits • linguisticsmedium limitationonline activitiesonline followersperformativitypersonal interests • phatic communication • phatic communion • phatic expression • phatic speech • relationship communication • self-disclosureshare your interestssharing personal informationsharing platformshow and tellsmall talk • sociable add-on • social groomingsocial practices • social task • spectacular society • speech act • status updatethe mediumTwitterutterances • vampire bite • Vincent Miller • zombie

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
07 JUNE 2015

Ferdinand de Saussure: Place of Language in the Facts of Speech

"In order to separate from the whole of speech the part that belongs to language, we must examine the individual act from which the speaking-circuit can be reconstructed. The act requires the presence of at least two persons; that is the minimum number necessary to complete the circuit. Suppose that two people, A and B, are conversing with each other [see figure 1 below].

Suppose that the opening of the circuit is in A's brain, where mental facts (concepts) are associated with representations of the linguistic sounds (sound-images) that are used for their expression. A given concept unlocks a corresponding sound-image in the brain; this purely psychological phenomenon is followed in turn by a physiological process: the brain transmits an impulse corresponding to the image to the organs used in producing sounds. Then the sound waves travel from the mouth of A to the ear of B: a purely physical process. Next, the circuit continues in B, but the order is reversed: from the ear to the brain, the physiological transmission of the sound-image; in the brain, the psychological association of the image with the corresponding concept. If B then speaks, the new act will follow-from his brain to A's-exactly the same course as the first act and pass through the same successive phases, which I shall diagram as follows [see figure 2 below].

The preceding analysis does not purport to be complete. We might also single out the pure acoustical sensation, the identification of that sensation with the latent sound-image, the muscular image of phonation, etc. I have included only the elements thought to be essential, but the drawing brings out at a glance the distinction between the physical (sound waves), physiological (phonation and audition), and psychological parts (word-images and concepts). Indeed, we should not fail to note that the word-image stands apart from the sound itself and that it is just as psychological as the concept which is associated with it. "

(Ferdinand de Saussure, Charles Bally, Albert Sechehaye, Albert Riedlinger, Wade Baskin, p.11, 12)

Ferdinand de Saussure, Charles Bally, Albert Sechehaye, Albert Riedlinger, Wade Baskin (1966). "Course in General Linguistics", McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York Toronto London.

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1966 • acoustical sensation • Albert Riedlinger • Albert Sechehaye • audition (linguistics) • audition phonation circuit • brain • Charles Bally • circuitcommunication processcommunication theory • Course in General Linguistics (1966) • dialogic • ear • Ferdinand de Saussurehuman expressionimagelanguagelinguistic philosophy • linguistic sounds • linguistics • mental facts (concepts) • messagemodel of communicationmouth • muscular image of phonation • phonation (linguistics) • phonation and audition • physiological process • physiological transmission • psychological association • psychological phenomenon • sound waves • sound-image • speaking-circuit • speechtheory of communication • Wade Baskin • word-image

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
05 JUNE 2015

Emoticons as computer-mediated non-verbal communication

"The term 'emoticons'—short for 'emotion icons'—refers to graphic signs, such as the smiley face, that often accompany computer-mediated textual communication. They are most often characterized as iconic indicators of emotion, conveyed through a communication channel that is parallel to the linguistic one. In this article, it is argued that this conception of emoticons fails to account for some of their important uses. We present a brief outline of speech act theory and use it to provide a complementary account of emoticons, according to which they also function as indicators of illocutionary force. More broadly, we identify and illustrate three ways in which emoticons function: 1) as emotion indicators, mapped directly onto facial expression; 2) as indicators of non-emotional meanings, mapped conventionally onto facial expressions, and 3) as illocutionary force indicators that do not map conventionally onto a facial expression. In concluding, we draw parallels between emoticons and utterance-final punctuation marks, and show how our discussion of emoticons bears upon the broader question of the bounds between linguistic and non-linguistic communication."

(Eli Dresner and Susan C. Herring, 2010)

Dresner, E., & Herring, S. C. (2010). "Functions of the non-verbal in CMC: Emoticons and illocutionary force". Communication Theory, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 249-268.

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2010computer-mediated communication (CMC) • computer-mediated textual communication • discourse analysis • Eli Dresner • emoticons • emotion icon • emotion indicators • facial expressionsgraphic communication • graphic signs • hieroglyphs • iconic indicators of emotion • illocutionary act • illocutionary force • illocutionary force indicator • illustration to visually communicate informationimages replace text • linguistic communication • linguistics • non-emotional meanings • non-linguistic communication • non-verbal communicationpictogrampictorial languagepicture language • smiley face • social informatics • speech act theory • Susan Herring • textual computer-mediated communication (CMC) • utterance-final punctuation marks • visual languagevisual literacyvisual representation graphically

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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