On cognition and communication in usage-based models of language change

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This article discusses eight theoretical aspects of usage-based models on language and language change from the perspectives of Cognitive Linguistics and a sociological model of communication: the relationship between usage events and grammatical structure, the model of communication, the primacy of meaning, the status of the linguistic sign, procedural anchoring and the role of frequency, the modelling of dynamic-stable processes, innovation, and diffusion. Its aim is to assess the theoretical validity of a model of language use that is based on communication in contrast to the established cognitive focus. It also identifies and discusses the explanatory potential of such a concept, namely a co-ordinated relationship between cognitive and communicative processing of language structure.


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