chapter  4
12 Pages

MAP Grammar

A cognitive grammar perspective
WithKazumi Taniguchi

Cognitive grammar (CG) fundamentally adopts a Saussurean symbolic view of language. What is notable of CG is that, as with lexical items, grammatical constructions are symbolic in that they are regarded as pairings of forms and meanings, which CG refers to as 'symbolic units'. CG takes a view on semantics that is in stark contrast to the traditional objective semantics which reduces linguistic meanings to the truth conditions of denoted propositions. CG mainly adopts a psychologically plausible model of prototype categories which assumes that members of a given category vary with respect to their typicality or centrality to that category. Japanese learners of English are apt to make literal translation of such that 'There is an English class today', which involves no grammatical errors but sounds somewhat unnatural. This chapter demonstrates that meaning-order approach to pedagogical grammar is a cognitively reasonable and valid approach to English education, in that it explicitly utilizes the 'natural path' of human cognition.