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Language comprehension as guided experience

By Rolf Zwaan, Barbara Kaup, Robert Stanfield and Carol Madden

Abstract

Language comprehension is best viewed as guided experience. The linguistic input provides cues to the human brain as to how to construct experiential simulations of the state of affairs it denotes. We show that this view of language comprehension is consistent with a range of extant evidence in a variety of fields, ranging from historical linguistics to cognitive neuroscience. We furthermore discuss new evidence that directly supports the experience-based view. We argue that the prevailing amodal view of language comprehension is unable to coherently account for this evidence

Topics: Brain Imaging, Cognitive Psychology, Evolutionary Psychology, Historical Linguistics, Semantics, Neurolinguistics, Perceptual Cognitive Psychology, Psycholinguistics
Year: 2000
OAI identifier: oai:cogprints.org:949
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