Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses

Blending versus conceptual interaction in the construction of illocutionary meaning: counterfactual pieces of advice

Lorena Pérez Hernández



The cognitive operation of conceptual integration or blending as described by Fauconnier and Turner (1994,1996) includes the notion of emergent structure, that is to say, conceptual structure, which is part of the blend and which is independent and/or inconsistent with that of the input spaces. Emergent structure is especially noticeable in counter factual pieces of advice of the type If I were you, I would..., which involve the construction of a mental space which is contrary-to-fact with respect to both input spaces. Nevertheless, as argued by Ruiz de Mendoza (1998), this type of blend-internal asymmetries and inconsistencies are little desirable from the point of view of cognitive economy. In connection with this observation, this paper attempts to reanalyse and explain the performance of conterfactual advising by adequately combining data from as many input spaces as necessary to yield implicated information. In doing so, our account is free from the cognitive cost which may derive from the need of making sense of independent (and contradictory) emergent structure.


Estructura conceptual; Acto ilocutivo; Actos de habla; Cognitivismo; Interacción comunicativa


Copyright (c) 2002 Lorena Pérez Hernández

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