Research article
Issue: № 3 (3), 2015


The article is devoted to the cognitive theory which was created by R. Langacker is described as the example of linguistic theory which is adapted to the needs of post-industrial design, relies on a mathematical variant of the design knowledge.

In the middle of the 70s of the last century N. Cross highlights one of the features of society that are included in the post-industrial era: relevant is the notion of design, gradually separated from the production process and referred to as "post-industrial design process" [Cross 1982]. Adaptation to the needs of post-industrial design assumed a new look at the ability to design, which was defined as "designer ways of knowing".

The ability to design, or the ability to designing, is recognized as more important than before, more like the ability to "think" that includes the talent of knowledge to realize “how understand", "how to imagine" any object, appearance, phenomenon. Design knowledge was also recognized as a strategic form of knowledge that supports problem solving methods based on previous decisions. Design in its new understanding is proposed to classify three categories: image, problem solving and the search for the ideal.

The change in the socio-interpretative status of design in post-industrial society meant a change in the strategic approach to the description of "state of Affairs" in academic discourse and, as a consequence, the change of state of science, involving the actual change of the content of science. It is at this point J. Freeman and G. Skolimowski, discussing the concepts, which the mind must possess to develop the science, and by which it can comprehend the content of science [Freeman, Skolimowski 2006]. In the works for Them. Kant such basic concepts that contribute to the perception of knowledge was defined as "schemes of the mind" ("the schemata view of the mind") [Kant 1994].

In the process of knowledge acquiring the mind, as suggested by H. Skolimowski, follows a certain, predetermined structural template pattern, or acts in accordance with certain thought patterns [Freeman, Skolimowski 2006]. The patterns of thinking are the organizing units of knowledge that allow to structure knowledge into intelligible forms. R. Langacker’s  cognitive grammar should be considered, as we believe, as a pattern of thinking that represents the specificity of the linguistic theory of post-industrial society, characterized by "designer ways of knowing" and systematization of design knowledge.

Any new hypothesis, argue J. Freeman and G. Skolimowski [Freeman, Skolimowski 2006] is a new invention of a possible world, or, in the terminology of G. Fauconnier , mental space [Fauconnier 1985].

Mental space of R. Langacker  is based on the theory of  Fauconnier’s cognitive models, which includes provisions relating to mental spaces and cognitive models that structure these spaces. Mental space of R. Langacker, like any other mental space, is the environment of conceptualization and thinking, appropriate to any ‘state of affairs’  in its infancy.

Conceptualization in the mental space, based on the provisions of the post-industrial design process, primarily represented by the category "portraying". Portraying process, according to N. Cross, can't really create new products, because the portraying process  itself is a process which involves only the transformation of the design image (projective image, imaginary or abstract imaginary concept in the mind of the designer) in a specific shape or form. Thus, the portraying process is creative  only  that invests in a non-existent imaginary shapes and forms. Moreover, the essential nature of creativity of this process lies in the design image which shape, or form then submit.

One of the active forms of Langacker’s  representation [Langacker 2008] the content of the new format of language theory are schematic drawings that, on the one hand, are representante  organizing pieces of knowledge that allows you to structure knowledge into intelligible forms, or patterns of thinking, on the other hand, represent a projective transformation of the image (design image), or abstract imaginary concept in the mind of the designer-scientist into some particular shape, more understandable to “the reader" of theory.

Thus, reasoning about the features of the organization's meanings  include the elements of design knowledge, which, in accordance with the theory of R. Langacker, consists of conceptual content and special construction methods of this content. The term design refers to the theory of R. Langacker with a person's ability to understand and reproduce similar situation alternative ways. As an illustration of the described ability  R. Langacker leads the following illustration diagram:


Fig. 1

Conceptual content lies in the question: does the concept of a glass the water, which occupies half of its volume. At the conceptual level, probably we can intensify this content in a neutral manner, as R. Langacker suggests. But as soon as we decode the content linguistically, with the necessity we ascribed to this substance some interpretation, explanation – construal. Figure-diagram shows four options of interpretation due to the difference designata. Each element implies the existence of some content, in turn, each content is constructed through some form.

Thinking about the peculiarities of the lexical meaning involves the search for an answer to a question what includes a lexical meaning. R. Langacker, answering the question about the content of the lexical meaning, begins with consideration of the traditional view. Traditionally, it is recognized that lexical meaning consists of multiple correlated semantic features or descriptive units (establishments), specifically linguistic in nature, really different from the basic knowledge concerning the type of objectivity that it belongs to.

So the basic properties of a bull, for example, are described by the semantic features [MALE], [ADULT] and [BOVINE]. In such a case, the lexical meaning is more like the dictionary entry, than an article in the encyclopedia. Such an approach is metaphorically described as a dictionary view on linguistic semantics (Fig. 2). The circle represents the whole body of knowledge that the speaker has about the issue under discussion. Discrete set of specifications that constitute the lexical problems of meaning represented by a small rectangle inside the circle


Fig. 2

An alternative view, metaphorically correlated with an encyclopedic semantics, mainly used in cognitive linguistics. In this approach, lexical meaning is represented in a special way as an open body of knowledge related to a certain type of reality. This knowledge is represented in the figure by a set of concentric circles, showing that the components of knowledge have varying degrees of centrality.

Ranking relative to the center is one of the dimensions of a conventional set of values of lexical meaning. With an encyclopedic point of view the lexical meaning can never be absolutely free or absolutely fixed. Absolutely free it can't be, because the expression involves the use of a certain grade of knowledge and specifies the particular way of its introduction. The path cannot be absolutely fixed, because centrality is the question and the subject determined by contextual factors.

Theory of language by R. Langacker demonstrates the possibilities of the application of design method of cognition within analytic philosophy, in which, according to V. Ya. Shramko [Shramko 2007] logical analysis as a kind of so-called transformative (or interpretive) analysis, takes the first place. A prerequisite of the latter is the expression of an adequate logical form a parsed entity through its transformation in some suitable formal logical language.

When placing the concept of R. Langacker in the context of analytical philosophy of W. V. O. Quine [Quine 1968], we can conclude that the graphical representation of the theory of R. Langacker may be interpreted as ways of cognitive theory portraying, descriptive marks, which are singular terms. These singular terms belong to a new universe, "running" quantified variables of the theory logical form. Subsets of the new universe are selected as extensional of single predicates, being the basis of interpretation.

Each interpretation of the theoretical forms of R. Langacker in the context of ontological relativity of W. V. O. Quine will be referred to as a model, if this form is true in the interpretation. In this case, in the theory of R. Langacker as model may be recognized  only the component of the theory, which is accompanied by a graphic representation and translates the linguistic mind from a mental space, defined by linguistic competence to mental space of a system of pairwise mutually exclusive events, or the space of the system entropy. The entropy is taken in its understanding in applied combinatorics [Kofman 1975] as the mathematical expectation of some random variable, which is able to detect itself if there is a certain probability, contribute to the occurrence of the event, which will become the material carrier of magnitude.

Cognitive theory R. Langacker is described as  the  example of linguistic theory which is adapted to the needs of post-industrial design, relies on a mathematical variant of the design knowledge that discovers the identity at the level of the inner form of the philosophy of language "generative grammar" and theory of language "cognitive grammar". In this case, from the point of view of ontological relativity W. V. O. Quine the definition of the universe of cognitive grammar is meaningful only relative to prior theory – generative grammar −  and some choice of the transfer of transformational theory into cognitive theory. As  the transfer method, in our opinion, the design knowledge is selected what allows in the designing metal space pairwise mutually exclusive events to replace linguistic competence by the ability to design, defined as "designery ways of knowing", and thus, to make next  theoretical transformation of everyday reality.


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