Between Language and Consciousness: Linguistic Qualia, Awareness, and Cognitive Models

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The main goal of the paper is to present a putative role of consciousness in language capacity. The paper contrasts the two approaches characteristic for cognitive semiotics and cognitive science. Language is treated as a mental phenomenon and a cognitive faculty. The analysis of language activity is based on the Chalmers’ distinction between the two forms of consciousness: phenomenal and psychological. The approach is seen as an alternative to phenomenological analyses typical for cognitive semiotics. Further, a cognitive model of the language faculty is described. The model is implemented in SNePS/GLAIR architecture and based on GATN grammar and semantic networks as a representation formalism. The model - reflecting traditionally distinguished linguistic structures - consists of phonological, syntactic, and semantic modules. I claim that the most important role in the phenomenon of language is played by psychological consciousness. Phenomenal consciousness accompanies various stages of language functioning, but is not indispensable in explanations of the language faculty.
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Archival date: 2021-03-27
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