2. Theoretical Tenets
Language comprehension and language generation are possible thanks to a set of constructions or form-meaning pairs (Goldberg 1995, Fillmore 1988, Fillmore and Kay 2000, Kay and Fillmore 1999, Lakoff 1987), elaborated by means of the interaction of semantic-schemas and simulation-based inference (Bergen et al. 2001; Bretones et al. 2001), this all based on bodily grounded structures: image schemas (Johnson 1987, Lakoff and Johnson 1999) and executing schemas (Narayanan 1997). Image schemas (I-schemas) are abstractions over sensorimotor experience that are retrieved by simulation in the brain. Executing schemas (X-schemas) are “dynamic, fined-grained, distributed action-controller[s] that tightly couple action and reaction in an uncertain and rapidly changing environment” (Narayanan 1997: 25), that is, structures that carry out dynamic processes.
Mental Spaces and Conceptual Integration (Faucconier 1997, Faucconier and Turner 1998) are used to infer universal of human reasoning processes. The fundamental idea of Mental Space Theory is that thinking and speaking involve the constant activation of related mental representations. The mental spaces are set up and structured by world knowledge, cultural knowledge, and language. Mental spaces are the mental representations mediating between language and the real-world referents. The basic conceptual operation that has special importance in the underlying conceptual structure of the construction to be analyzed is Conceptual Integration. It works by finding counterparts through projection with the purpose of relating novel conceptual structure to preexisting knowledge, and creating emergent structure in a new space called blend.
Volumen 23 (2006)