Leonard Talmy

Leonard Talmy is Professor Emeritus of Linguistics and Director Emeritus of the Center for Cognitive Science at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. He is the author of Toward a Cognitive Semantics, volume 1, Concept Structuring Systems, and volume 2, Typology and Process in Concept Structuring (MIT Press).

  • The Targeting System of Language

    The Targeting System of Language

    Leonard Talmy

    A proposal that a single linguistic/cognitive system, “targeting,” underlies two domains of reference, anaphora (speech-internal) and deixis (speech-external).

    In this book, Leonard Talmy proposes that a single linguistic/cognitive system, targeting, underlies two domains of linguistic reference, those termed anaphora (for a referent that is an element of the current discourse) and deixis (for a referent outside the discourse and in the spatiotemporal surroundings). Talmy argues that language engages the same cognitive system to single out referents whether they are speech-internal or speech-external.

    Talmy explains the targeting system in this way: as a speaker communicates with a hearer, her attention is on an object to which she wishes to refer; this is her target. To get the hearer's attention on it as well, she uses a trigger—a word such as this, that, here, there, or now. The trigger initiates a three-stage process in the hearer: he seeks cues of ten distinct categories; uses these cues to determine the target; and then maps the concept of the target gleaned from the cues back onto the trigger to integrate it into the speaker's sentence, achieving comprehension. The whole interaction, Talmy explains, rests on a coordination of the speaker's and hearer's cognitive processing. The process is the same whether the referent is anaphoric or deictic.

    Talmy presents and analyzes the ten categories of cues, and examines sequences in targeting, including the steps by which interaction leads to joint attention. A glossary defines the new terms in the argument.

    • Hardcover $50.00
  • Toward a Cognitive Semantics, 2 volume set

    Toward a Cognitive Semantics, 2 volume set

    Volume 1: Concept Structuring Systems and Volume 2: Typology and Process in Concept Structuring

    Leonard Talmy

    In this two-volume set, Talmy approaches the question of how language organizes conceptual material both at a general level and by analyzing a crucial set of particular conceptual domains: space and time, motion and location, causation and force interaction, and attention and viewpoint.

    One of a two-volume set defining the field of cognitive semantics. Leonard Talmy approaches the question of how language organizes conceptual material both at a general level and by analyzing a crucial set of particular conceptual domains: space and time, motion and location, causation and force interaction, and attention and viewpoint. Talmy maintains that these are among the most fundamental parameters by which language structures conception. By combining these conceptual domains into an integrated whole, Talmy shows, we advance our understanding of the overall conceptual and semantic structure of natural language. Volume one examines the fundamental systems by which language shapes concepts.

    • Hardcover $32.75
    • Paperback $75.00
  • Toward a Cognitive Semantics, Volume 1

    Toward a Cognitive Semantics, Volume 1

    Concept Structuring Systems

    Leonard Talmy

    In this two-volume set, Talmy approaches the question of how language organizes conceptual material both at a general level and by analyzing a crucial set of particular conceptual domains: space and time, motion and location, causation and force interaction, and attention and viewpoint.

    One of a two-volume set defining the field of cognitive semantics. Leonard Talmy approaches the question of how language organizes conceptual material both at a general level and by analyzing a crucial set of particular conceptual domains: space and time, motion and location, causation and force interaction, and attention and viewpoint. Talmy maintains that these are among the most fundamental parameters by which language structures conception. By combining these conceptual domains into an integrated whole, Talmy shows, we advance our understanding of the overall conceptual and semantic structure of natural language. Volume one examines the fundamental systems by which language shapes concepts.

    • Hardcover $92.50
    • Paperback $60.00
  • Toward a Cognitive Semantics, Volume 2

    Toward a Cognitive Semantics, Volume 2

    Typology and Process in Concept Structuring

    Leonard Talmy

    In this two-volume set, Talmy approaches the question of how language organizes conceptual material both at a general level and by analyzing a crucial set of particular conceptual domains: space and time, motion and location, causation and force interaction, and attention and viewpoint.

    One of a two-volume set defining the field of cognitive semantics. Leonard Talmy approaches the question of how language organizes conceptual material both at a general level and by analyzing a crucial set of particular conceptual domains: space and time, motion and location, causation and force interaction, and attention and viewpoint. Talmy maintains that these are among the most fundamental parameters by which language structures conception. By combining these conceptual domains into an integrated whole, Talmy shows, we advance our understanding of the overall conceptual and semantic structure of natural language. Volume one examines the fundamental systems by which language shapes concepts.

    • Hardcover $19.75
    • Paperback $50.00