Boundary Assignment: A Cognitive Motivation for Lexicalization
International Journal of Language and Linguistics
Volume 6, Issue 4, July 2018, Pages: 110-117
Received: Jun. 26, 2018; Accepted: Jul. 9, 2018; Published: Aug. 4, 2018
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Liu Chendan, Foreign Languages School, Henan University, Kaifeng, China
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Lexicalization is a process of structural innovation in language change, which is motivated by a human cognitive ability of structural boundary assignment in the construction of linguistic structures. In this process, the first innovative form may be a result of a language user’s intentional violation of a structural organization rule for a certain communicative purpose. The receiver, trying to correctly understand what the producer means, will have to make cognitive efforts to establish a structural gestalt by way of assigning structural boundaries. If the receiver’s boundary assignment comes to an agreement with the producer’s and accords with Gestalt Laws in human cognition, the innovative form will be accepted and spread in the language community and then finally entrench itself as new grammatical convention. That is the general process of lexicalization. The boundary assigning tendency manifested in the process of linguistic structure construal is a cognitive ability dominated by Gestalt Laws in human cognition of the world and world relations, which is actually a driving force for linguistic structural organization, and therefore an important motivation for lexicalization.
Lexicalization, Gestalt Establishment, Boundary Assignment, Cognitive Motivation
To cite this article
Liu Chendan, Boundary Assignment: A Cognitive Motivation for Lexicalization, International Journal of Language and Linguistics. Vol. 6, No. 4, 2018, pp. 110-117. doi: 10.11648/j.ijll.20180604.12
Copyright © 2018 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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