Felice Cimatti

From concepts to linguistic meanings. Language and embodied cognition

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Embodied cognition, abstract concepts, linguistic meanings, semantics

The greatest challenge for Embodied Cognition is not, as we often tend to think, that posed by so-called abstract concepts, but that of linguistic meanings. Indeed, very often it is assumed that meanings coincide with nonlinguistic concepts. For this reason, the EC approach frequently fails to account for the autonomy of linguistic semantics from the cognitive level of nonlinguistic experiential concepts. In this talk, we analyze the problem posed by the linguistic distinction between embodied concept and disembodied meaning. It is possible, however, to try to hold together the EC and autonomous dimensions of linguistic meaning by adopting a «discontinuist» view with respect to the relationship between the faculty of language and its corporeal basis. According to this perspective once the language system is established from nonlinguistic abilities and capacities, it retroacts on its own developmental bases, radically transforming them

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