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Robert Alter's Narrative Theory Through A Cognitive Lens

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Chapter Summary

Contemporary cognitive linguists and scientists like Mark Turner agree with Robert Alter that a stable and sensitive reading is possible when one understands the cultural and linguistic rubrics of a text. Conscious conceptual models are well suited to analyze Alter's methodology; the categories that Alter has identified in biblical literature closely parallel what a contemporary cognitive linguist might say about the same texts. This chapter examines Alter's understanding of these rubrics and analyzes them using the findings of contemporary cognitive linguistics. By employing conceptual analysis on the phenomena identified by Alter, it shows how Alter's work either coheres with or differs from the findings of contemporary cognitive science, and just how literary events and categories can be understood as cognitive events and categories.

Keywords: contemporary cognitive linguists; Mark Turner; Robert Alter

10.1163/ej.9789004161795.i-368.15
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004161795.i-368.15
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