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Author Howard, Harry
Source Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
Content type Text
Publisher Universidad de Murcia
File Format HTM / HTML
Date Created 2012-07-07
Copyright Year ©2007
Language English
Subject Domain (in LCC) PE1-3729 ♦ PR1-9680
Subject Keyword Semantic change ♦ Sparseness ♦ English literature ♦ Entropy ♦ Metaphor ♦ Visual cortex ♦ Language and Literature ♦ Computational neuroscience ♦ Metonymy ♦ English language ♦ Synecdoche
Abstract What is the difference between description and explanation in linguistics? We take explanation to be the reduction of description to independently motivated general principles. For language, a promising source of independently motivated general principles can be found in neuroscience, and especially computational neuroscience. As an example, we consider the notion of historical change in word meaning, which in cognitive semantics is often described in terms of conceptual metaphor, metonymy and synecdoche. Why does language rely on these three mental abilities and not some others? We argue that it is because the brain depends on the computational principles of sparseness and entropy to generate efficient mental representations. These principles have been found at work in primary and secondary visual cortex, so that a proper understanding of semantic change takes us through the physiology of early visual cognition.
ISSN 19896131
Age Range 18 to 22 years ♦ above 22 year
Educational Use Research
Education Level UG and PG ♦ Career/Technical Study
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 2007-06-01
e-ISSN 15787044
Journal International Journal of English Studies (IJES)
Volume Number 7
Issue Number 1
Page Count 18
Starting Page 17
Ending Page 34


Source: Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)