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Cognitive linguistic critical discourse studies

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter (peer-reviewed)

Publication date1/08/2017
Host publicationThe Routledge handbook of critical discourse analysis
EditorsJohn Richardson, John Flowerdew
Place of PublicationLondon
ISBN (Print)9781138826403
<mark>Original language</mark>English


One of the more recent developments on the Critical Discourse Studies (CDS) landscape lies in critical applications of Cognitive Linguistics (e.g. Chilton 2004; Koller 2004; Hart 2010, 2011a, 2014a; Hart and Lukeš 2007). Critical Linguistic CDS (CL-CDS) is characterised by a shift in focus to the interpretation-stage of analysis (O’Halloran 2003; Hart 2010). That is, CL-CDS addresses the cognitive-semiotic processes involved in understanding discourse and the fundamental role that these processes play in the construction of knowledge and the legitimation of action. Cognitive Linguistic approaches to CDS thus typically present detailed semantic analyses of language usages. In particular, CL-CDS emphasises the conceptual nature of meaning construction and is concerned with modelling the conceptual structures and processes which, invoked by text in the course of discourse, constitute an ideologised understanding of the situations and events being described. Cognitive Linguistics itself is not a specific theory but a paradigm within linguistics comprised of several related theories. Accordingly, Cognitive Linguistics makes available to CDS a set of alternative ‘tools’ as different theories may be operationalised as methodologies in critical analyses of discourse. Theories in Cognitive Linguistics, however, share a common set of assumptions about the nature of language. These assumptions are naturally shared by Cognitive Linguistic studies in CDS and thus provide the common thread and theoretical backdrop that defines a more general Cognitive Linguistic school of CDS (cf. Hart 2011b, 2015b). In this chapter, then, I begin, in Section 2, by introducing the Cognitive Linguistic perspective, reviewing the common aims and commitments of Cognitive Linguistic approaches. In section 3, I introduce some of the methods employed in Cog Linguistic approaches. And finally in Section 4, I provide an example analysis using data sourced from three online newspaper articles reporting on the 2014 Million Mask March in London.