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Journal Article

Action representation: Crosstalk between semantics and pragmatics


Prinz,  Wolfgang
Department Psychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Prinz, W. (2014). Action representation: Crosstalk between semantics and pragmatics. Neuropsychologia, 55, 51-56. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2013.08.015.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0014-4823-E
Marc Jeannerod pioneered a representational approach to movement and action. In his approach, motor representations provide both, declarative knowledge about action and procedural knowledge for action (action semantics and action pragmatics, respectively). Recent evidence from language comprehension and action simulation supports the claim that action pragmatics and action semantics draw on common representational resources, thus challenging the traditional divide between declarative and procedural action knowledge. To account for these observations, three kinds of theoretical frameworks are discussed: (i) semantics is grounded in pragmatics, (ii) pragmatics is anchored in semantics, and (iii) pragmatics is part and parcel of semantics.