Teaching Syntactic Relations: A Cognitive Semiotic Perspective
Language and Semiotic Studies, Vol. 3, No. 2, Summer 2017
21 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2017
Date Written: July 07, 2017
This paper suggests a theoretical model for teaching syntactic relations to foreign students of English Linguistics using insights from Cognitive Grammar as developed in Langacker (e.g. 1987, 1991, 1999) and elaborated on in Radden and Dirven (2007). The model deals with syntactic relations as participants in a prototypically structured network of events, radiating out from the experiential action chain schema (a skeletal concept of force dynamics involved in the interaction between entities) (see Langacker, 1999). This involves dealing with syntactic relations as meaning-making tools that collaborate with the verb in a regular manner manipulating the prototypical schema. The aim is to draw attention to the need to add a cognitive semiotic dimension to the teaching of sentence structure. Such a dimension exposes learners to the cognitive factors behind grammatical meaning making and may, therefore, result in a better understanding of language structure and use on the part of learners who can become English language teachers.
Keywords: action chain schema, Cognitive Grammar, figure-ground perception, event schemas, syntactic relations
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