Semantics and Cognition: an interview with Gilles Fauconnier


  • Gilles Fauconnier
  • Maria Lúcia Leitão de Almeida Faculdade de Letras da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro.
  • Jorge Luiz Ferreira Lisboa Junior Faculdade de Letras da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro.



Linguistics, Semantics, Cognition.


Gilles Fauconnier is a linguist and cognitive scientist internationally known for his work on the theory of Mental Spaces and on the theory of Conceptual Integration or “Blending”, in partnership with Mark Turner. His contribution to Cognitive Semantics in particular and Semantic Theory in general is invaluable. The theory of mental spaces allows refined treatment to a series of semantic phenomena that have always challenged semanticists such as referential opacity, conditionality, counterfactuality, presuppositional projection, among others. The theory of conceptual blending also enables the advanced treatment of the complex cognitive construction of the linguistic meaning underspecified in grammatical constructions, which offer clues or means of activating the cognitive process of blending, as the XYZ grammatical construction prototypically illustrates. Another central topic concerns the relationship between the semantic-cognitive processes of blending, metaphor and metonymy, their typological limits and their intersections. Consequently, the high explanatory power of blending invites us to reflect on its centrality in cognition and grammar for the construction of linguistic meaning, as well as on its economy, which includes its restrictions.

Biografia do Autor

Gilles Fauconnier

University of California San Diego.

Maria Lúcia Leitão de Almeida, Faculdade de Letras da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro.

Professora Titular do Departamento de Letras Vernáculas (aposentada) e membro permanente do Programa de Pós-graduação em Letras Vernáculas (Língua Portuguesa) da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). Líder do Grupo de Estudos Semânticos do Português (GESP/UFRJ/CNPq) junto com a Profª Drª Ana Paula Quadros Gomes. Membro do grupo de pesquisa Investigações (In)Formais em Língua(gem) e Cognição (InFoLinC/UNIFESP/CNPq). Colaboradora do projeto Estudos da Gramática da linha de pesquisa Linguagem e Cognição do Programa de Pós-graduação em Letras da Universidade Federal de São Paulo. Doutorado e Mestrado em Linguística pela Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). Pós-doutorado em Semântica, sob a supervisão do Prof. Dr. Rodolfo Ilari (UNICAMP/CNPq). Assessora do projeto Caipira (USP). Áreas de interesse: Linguística Cognitiva, Semântica, Morfologia, Léxico.

Jorge Luiz Ferreira Lisboa Junior, Faculdade de Letras da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro.

Doutorando em Letras Vernáculas (Língua Portuguesa) pela Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). Mestre em Letras Vernáculas (Língua Portuguesa) pela Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). Membro do GESP/UFRJ/CNPq (Grupo de Estudos Semânticos do Português). Áreas de interesse: Linguística Cognitiva; Semântica e Pragmática de Construções Gramaticais.


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