A Cognitive Grammar Approach to Rhetoric: Schemas and Categories in I Have a Dream

Investor logo


This publication doesn't include Faculty of Medicine. It includes Language Centre. Official publication website can be found on muni.cz.

LU Wei-lun

Year of publication 2018
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Language Centre

Description The present paper proposes to investigate Martin Luther King Jr.’s rhetorical masterpiece I Have a Dream from a Cognitive Grammar (CG) viewpoint. In literature, the speech has been well-recognized as one with strong rhetorical effect. However, so far no attempt has been made to discuss the possible relation between the structural aspect of the speech and the cognitive effect that the structure gives rise to, which is what I will pick up in the analysis. The result shows that in addition to exact repetitions of word chunks, King also extensively recycles schematic linguistic structures. Following that, once we identify the shared schematic patterns, this allows us to partially account for the rhetorical effect—the fact that the bits which get recycled actually form a family of rhetorical chunks that share criss-crossing similarities. I conclude that CG provides high descriptive adequacy to rhetoric research and suggest due attention be paid to constructs in CG in the study of cognitive rhetoric, including schematization, categorization, extension, instantiation and unipolarity.
Related projects:

You are running an old browser version. We recommend updating your browser to its latest version.

More info