Concept (in neurocognitive linguistics)

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In neurocognitive linguistics, concepts are mental entities, syntactic relations in the conceptual syntax of the sememic stratum.


A concept is nothing else than a location in a network of relationships, this network being the sememic stratum or conceptual system.

A concept has for the most part been arrived at as a result of the person's experience in the world.

Take the case of the concept "carnivore". No human being raised in isolation from a society in which carnivores were experienced and talked about would ever arrive at the concept "carnivore". One arrives at the concept, with its properties, because one has learned it. On the other hand, it would have been impossible for an individual to arrive at the concept unless he had certain structures given him as a result of his heredity. But those same basic structures are so fundamental that they could just as well have made it possible for him to learn other concepts that he might have had to learn if he had been raised on another planet.


See concept.


  • Lamb, Sydney M.. 2004. Language and Reality: Selected Writings of Sydney Lamb. London: Continuum.