Language, Culture, and Knowledge in Context - A Functional-Cognitive Approach - Brian Nolan

Language, Culture, and Knowledge in Context - A Functional-Cognitive Approach - Brian Nolan

Culture and Language in Interaction

Language, Culture, and Knowledge in Context - A Functional-Cognitive Approach - Brian Nolan

Brian Nolan [+-]
Technological University Dublin (retired)
Dr. Brian Nolan is a retired Head of School of Informatics and Engineering at the Technological University Dublin, in Ireland. His research interests include linguistic theory at the morpho-syntactic semantic interface, argument structure and valence, constructions in grammar, event structure in language, the architecture of the lexicon and computational approaches to language processing, computational linguistics, speech act theory, context and common ground. His linguistic work has been in the functional linguistic model of Role and Reference Grammar and he has published extensively internationally. In 2012 Dr. Nolan published his book with Equinox on the linguistic structure of Irish in a Role and Reference Grammar account entitled The structure of Modern Irish: A functional account. In 2013, Benjamins published his co-edited volume Linking constructions into functional linguistics – The role of constructions in grammar in their Studies in Language Companion series. His co-edited Benjamin volume on computational linguistics and linguistic theory, Language processing and grammars: The role of functionally oriented computational models was published in 2014, also in their Studies in Language Companion series. He also co-edited a Benjamins book on ‘Causation, transfer and permission’ in linguistic theory, which appeared in early 2015. In January 2017, Benjamins published his co-edited book on complex predication entitled Argument realisation in complex predicates and complex events: Verb verb constructions at the syntax semantic interface. In 2019, Dr. Nolan co-edited a volume with Cambridge Scholars Publishing on the ‘Linguistic perspectives on the construction of meaning and knowledge: The linguistic, pragmatic, ontological and computational dimensions’.


Chapter 10 examines Culture and language in interaction. We look at language in culture, art and artefact, and find that there are several ways in which visual artists use words or text in visual art. Words can be used explicitly when they are included in, or on, the visual artwork. We are all familiar with this explicit use of words within medieval art where the words assume a core prominent position. In particular, medieval illuminated manuscripts are a key example of an art form that relies on the cohesive interdependence of graphics and language where words and image contribute equally to the overall reading. In visual art forms, the explicit words are easily recognised, and are widely accepted while generally understood in virtue of the contribution they make. Indeed, as a more contemporary example, we can consider pop art and MEMEs where words are used as a visual semiotic linguistic device that has a cohesive interdependence with the images displayed. We focus on an empirical analysis and characterisation of elements of the Irish cultural narrative. In this, we are again concerned with the relationship between culture and language, and how culture informs language usage. We posit that common ground mediates this relationship in important and complex ways. We examine the application of language in the service of culture, and how we relate to our world through language. Using authentic data (art, artefact, linguistic landscape, and language), we present empirical case studies of facets of culture as a systemic model whose dimensions encompass culture, worldview, common ground, and language. Specifically, as case studies, we examine and analyse: a) the conceptualisation of the cultural schema for the celebration of the Joycean Bloomsday in Dublin, as a language related ritual, and its connection with the linguistic landscape, and b) the cultural pragmatic schema and pragmeme of ‘offers and refusal’ relating to tea drinking in an Irish social interaction context. Overall, in the characterisation of elements of a particular cultural narrative, we apply a functional-cognitive approach sensitive to cultural issues.

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Nolan, Brian . Culture and Language in Interaction. Language, Culture, and Knowledge in Context - A Functional-Cognitive Approach. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 207-231 Mar 2022. ISBN 9781800501928. Date accessed: 17 Jun 2024 doi: 10.1558/equinox.43271. Mar 2022

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