What have labels ever done for us? : The linguistic shortcut in conceptual processing

Connell, Louise Mary (2018) What have labels ever done for us? : The linguistic shortcut in conceptual processing. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience. ISSN 2327-3798

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How does language affect cognition? Is it important that most of our concepts come with linguistic labels, such as car or number? The statistical distributions of how such labels co-occur in language offers a rich medium of associative information that can support conceptual processing in a number of ways. In this article, I argue that the role of language in conceptual processing goes far beyond mere support, and that language is as fundamental and intrinsic a part of conceptual processing as sensorimotor-affective simulations. In particular, because linguistic association tends to be computationally cheaper than simulation (i.e. faster, less effortful, but still information-rich), it enables an heuristic mechanism that can provide adequate conceptual representation without the need to develop a detailed simulation. I review the evidence for this key mechanism – the linguistic shortcut – and propose that it allows labels to sometimes carry the burden of conceptual processing by acting in place of simulated referent meanings, according to context, available resources, and processing goals.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? cognitive neurosciencelinguistics and languageexperimental and cognitive psychologylanguage and linguistics ??
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Deposited On:
17 May 2018 10:52
Last Modified:
12 Jun 2024 00:28