Cognitive functionalism in language education

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Functional pressures on language are always cognitive, and cognitive pressuresare always functional, so cognitivism and functionalism combine to explain thestructure of lexicogrammar – the continuum of lexicon and grammar – andalso the statistics of language usage. As an example, the paper shows how WordGrammar explains the difficulty of centre-embedding in terms of dependencysyntax combined with a general cognitive principle of binding, and also thebenefits of non-canonical word orders (such as extraposition) in the lexicogrammar.These reordering options are part of the formal academic languagethat children learn through education, and education should be guided bylinguistic research. This is a research area that calls for far more effort and collaborationwith other disciplines.


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