Communication, mind, and culture : a model of conversation meaning
This dissertation is a theoretical study of conversation meaning. The aim was to build a comprehensive theory of conversation meaning on the basis of the theories of cultural schemas, distributed cognition, and neural networks. The philosophical tradition of transcendental realism was introduced, and a metaphysical analysis of culture was presented. It was concluded that culture belongs to the realm of mind, and culture and society were strictly distinguished. By acknowledging the importance of culture in mind, rarious traditions of conversation research were critically reviewed. It was proposed that conversation is a distributed cognitive system, and the nature of conversation meaning was explored from that perspective. It rvas then concluded that conversation meaning was part of cultural meaning. The concept of conversation meaning as distributed and cultural is further investigated by situating it in the theory of neural networks. The theory advanced in this dissertation should be seen as the beginning of the formalization of conversation meaning. This theory has potential applications in second language education, one of the goals of which is enabling learners conduct conversation fluently in a second language. It was argued that cultural knowledge is a necessary resource in the process of language comprehension, and thus the theory supports educators' efforts to integrate culture into second language education. ...
PublisherUniversity of Jyväskylä
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