Language as a Cognitively-Motivated System: A Window into Human Cognition


  • Renata Geld University of Zagreb


Language is a cognitively-motivated system that provides a window into human cognition. It is intimately related to our experience of the world and general cognitive processes, being grounded in sensory and motor experiences that reflect how our bodies interact with the world. Language demonstrates how we perceive, categorize, and conceptualize our environment. In cognitive linguistics, grammar is viewed as conceptualization, with general cognitive processes seen as aspects of construal—dynamic and subjective meaning construction that results from our capacity to perceive and describe the same situation in different ways.

This workshop aims to explore the intricate relationship between language and cognitive processes, providing students with insights into how language serves as a window into the workings of the human mind. Students will investigate cognitive motivation, instances of general cognitive processes encoded in language (as aspects of construal), embodiment, conceptual metaphor theory, conceptual blending theory (CBT), and several other concepts and constructs from cognitive linguistics and cognitive science.