Some Helpful Works on Cognitive Linguistics

Brief Introductions :

  • Evans, Vyvyan, Benjamin K. Bergen and Jörg Zinken (2007) “The Cognitive Linguistics Enterprise: An Overview” in Vyvyan Evans, Benjamin K. Bergen and Jörg Zinken (Eds). The Cognitive Linguistics Reader. Equinox Publishing Co. [very helpful. available pdf online]
  • Dirk Geeraerts, “Introduction: A Rough Guide to Cognitive Linguistics,” in Dirk Geeraerts ed., Cognitive Linguistics: Basic Readings (New York: Mouton, 2006), 1-28.Geeraerts, Dirk. 2006 Cognitive Linguistics: Basic Readings New York: Mouton. 485pp. The book contains 12 important readings from cognitive linguistics.

How human embodiment influences the way we think:

  • Johnson, Mark. The Meaning of the Body: Aesthetics of Human Understanding. University of        Chicago Press, 2008.
  • Lakoff, George and Johnson, Mark. Philosophy in the Flesh: the Embodied Mind and Its Challenge to Western Thought. Basic Books, 1999. Introduces cognitive linguistics in a readable way and then engages many philosophical issues.

Image schemas:

  • Mark Johnson, The Body in the Mind: the Bodily Basis of Meaning, Imagination and Reason. University of Chicago Press, 1990). The seminal work.
  • Jean M Mandler, “How to Build a Baby II: Conceptual Primitives.,” Psychological Review 99, no. 4 (1992): 587–604

On the varieties of figurative language this is a super introduction from a cognitive linguistic perspective.

  • Barbara Dancygier and Eve Sweetser, Figurative Language (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014). Very helpful

Conceptual metaphor theory:

  • George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, Metaphors We Live By (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1980). The initial ground-breaking work.
  • Kövecses, Zoltan. Metaphor: a Practical Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2002. A very accessible and extremely well informed work.
  • Kövecses, Zoltan. Metaphor in Culture: Universality and Variation. Cambridge University Press, 2006. Excellent study of the diversity and potential universality of conceptual metaphors.
  • Gibbs, Ray ed. The Cambridge Handbook of Metaphor and Thought. Cambridge   University Press, 2008. Survey of the state of field.

Category formation:

  • Lakoff, George. Women, Fire and Dangerous Things: What Categories Reveal About the Mind.    University of Chicago Press, 1987. A very important work.


  • Charles Fillmore, “Frame Semantics,” in Linguistics in the Morning Calm (Seoul: Hanshin Publishing, 1982), 111-138
  • Fillmore, “Frames and the Semantics of Understanding,” Quarderni di Semantica2 (December, 1985): 222-254.

Conceptual blending:

  • Fauconnier, Gilles and Turner, Mark. The Way we Think: Conceptual Blending and the Mind’s Hidden Complexities. Basic Books, 2002
  • Seana Coulson and Todd Oakley, “Blending Basics” Cognitive Linguistics3-4 (2000): 175-196
  • The website Mark has lots of information on blending.

John Sanders

John E. Sanders is an American theologian who is a professor of religious studies at Hendrix College. He has published on four main topics: (1) open theism, (2) Christian views on the salvation of non-Christians, (3) Christian views on the nature of hell, and (4) applying cognitive linguistics to theology.

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