George Lakoff

LSA 127: Semantics, grammar, and political linguistics in NTL

George Lakoff has been active in linguistic theory for more than 45 years. His early work on generative semantics (1963-1975) showed how meaning affects grammar and resulted in integrating logic into generative linguistics. His research produced basic results on lexical decomposition, causative constructions, anaphora, speech act constructions, and the role of pragmatics in grammar. His research in cognitive linguistics began in 1975, and he went on to pioneer work on embodied meaning, construction grammar, conceptual metaphor theory, prototype theory, and image schemas. Since 1988, he has been collaborating with Jerome Feldman on a neural theory of language and thought. He has taught at Berkeley since 1972.

Lakoff's applied cognitive linguistic research has spanned poetics (More than Cool Reason, with Mark Turner), philosophy (Philosophy in the Flesh, with Mark Johnson), mathematics (Where Mathematics Comes From, with Rafael Núñez), and politics (Moral Politics, Don't Think of an Elephant, Thinking Points, Whose Freedom, and The Political Mind). His political linguistics books have had a considerable effect on contemporary political discourse.

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