Date and Time: November 30, Monday, 11.30 am.
Location: Carlos Santamaría Building, Room B14
Speaker: Roslyn M. Frank (University of Iowa) (https://uiowa.academia.edu/RoslynMFrank)
Title: A cognitive approach to the schema of ‘dialogic subjectivity’ (elkarrekikotasuna) in Euskera: Three examples
The talk begins with a brief overview of the way that ‘language’ has come to be defined as a complex adaptive system and how concepts such as distributed cognition and cultural conceptualizations are being brought to bear in order to analyze the cognitive dimensions of language, in this instance the Basque language. The role played by the sociocultural situatedness of language agents as well as language itself in the production of macro- and micro-level structure of a linguistic system is highlighted. Next, factors contributing to the stability of a linguistically instantiated schema are summarized, e.g., the notion of networking, that is, the way that mutually supporting instantiations of a schema can contribute to its stability and continuity across time. Even when the cognitive schema entrenched in the language is not consciously perceived by its speakers, the participating linguistic subsystems still provide mutual structural support for each other. As will be demonstrated, from a cognitive perspective the three subsystems that will be examined in the talk act to support each other and have contributed to the stability of the schema of ‘dialogic subjectivity’ (elkarrekikotasuna) across time. As a bridging mechanism for the last section of the talk, the need to consider the ‘dialogic dimension’ of language is brought forward which as Stawarska (2009) has noted, involves moving beyond first-person transcendental subjectivity and the limited scope of first and third modes at the exclusion of the first-to-second person mode of interrelatedness. In the last part of the talk the way that the Basque language emphasizes the first-to-second person mode of interrelatedness and structurally incorporates the schema of ‘dialogic subjectivity’ will be addressed. To illustrate how this schema is instantiated, three examples of subsystems that feed into the schema of ‘dialogic subjectivity’ will be analyzed. All three of them are present in the Basque language today. Moreover, as will be demonstrated, this cognitive schema is deeply embedded in the Basque language and shows significant time-depth. Although no knowledge of Basque is required to follow the presentation, Basque speakers may discover that Euskera has some remarkable cognitive dimensions that until now have gone relatively unnoticed, not the least of which is the way that schema of ‘dialogic subjectivity’ contrasts with the schema of ‘monologic subjectivity’ found in languages like Spanish and English.
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