The Language of Memory in a Crosslinguistic Perspective
This book offers, for the first time, a detailed comparative study of how speakers of different languages express memory concepts. While there is a robust body of psycholinguistic research that bears on how memory and language are related, there is no comparative study of how speakers themselves conceptualize memory as reflected in their use of language to talk about memory. This book addresses a key question: how do speakers of different languages talk about the experience of having prior experiences coming to mind (‘remembering’) or failing to come to mind (‘forgetting’)? A complex array of answers is provided through detailed grammatical and semantic investigation of different languages, including English, German, Polish, Russian and also a number of non-Indo-European languages, Amharic, Cree, Dalabon, Korean, and Mandarin. In addition, the book calls for a broader interdisciplinary engagement by urging that cognitive semantics be integrated with other sciences of memory.