Some thoughts on lexemes, the dome, and inner speech

William Benzon


Sydney Lamb’s model focuses our attention on the physicality of language, of the signs themselves as objects in the external world and the neural systems the support them. By means of the metaphor of a cognitive dome, he demonstrates that there is no firm line between linguistic and cognitive structure. In this context, I offer physically grounded accounts of Jakobson’s metalingual and emotive functions. Drawing on Vygotsky’s account of language development, I point out that inner speech, corresponding to the common sense notion of thought, originates in a circuit that goes through the external world and is then internalized.


Lev Vygotsky; Roman Jakobson; Sydney Lamb; inner speech; relational networks; language; linguistics; psycholinguistics; neurolinguistics; thought

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