DonnaM » Cognitive Linguistics

Cognitive Linguistics

Lakoff’s Women, Fire & Dangerous Things – my Oz-IA talk

Thursday, October 26th, 2006

Just below these words are the slides from my Oz-IA talk called ‘Lakoff’s Women, Fire & Dangerous Things: What every IA should know’ (I don’t think the slides appear in my feed – you have to visit my site).

I think this was the best presentation I have ever given. This is a quite hard topic and somehow it ended up quite hilarious – no doubt helped by Alex and his ‘boobies’ comments.

Download the audio and listen along

(read my review of the book)

David Weinberger – Messiness is a virtue

Wednesday, May 17th, 2006

If you, like me (and like David Weinberger, I was glad to learn) have had trouble understanding Lakoff’s Women, Fire & Dangerous Things, I suggest you listen to David’s podcast called Messiness is a virtue.

There is a terrific section in the middle about cognitive linguistics, aristotelian classification theory, prototype theory and basic level categories, all things I think are deeply important for IAs to know about.

And if you are insanely interested in this topic, get a copy of ‘Concepts: Core Readings‘. Dan Brown told me about it. It is a bit pricy, but it is a truly excellent book about cognitive linguistics and concepts. Still a hard-ish read, but very well-structured, with a great intro and the key works in the field.

I read an entire Plato essay at breakfast one day, which must be one of the oddest things I can say I have ever done.

On prototype theory and quiz shows

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

I’ve figured out quiz shows – all based on prototype theory.

Easy questions (where competitors can guess right) are those where the answers are prototypical for a category. Hard questions (where competitors guess and get it wrong) are those where there is a prototypical item, but the answer is not the prototype.

Go watch – most of the answers are guesses, and most of the correct answers are prototypical.