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Zeman, Sonja (2017): Confronting perspectives: Modeling perspectival complexity in language and cognition. In: Glossa-A Journal of General Linguistics, Vol. 2, No. 1, 6
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In search of a deeper understanding of perspective-taking, the paper aims at isolating the basic components of complex perspectivization tasks. Based on the assumption that perspective is a relational concept constituted by the dynamic relation between a conceptualizer's point of view and a conceptualized object and, as such, a concept which is shared by both language and cognition, the paper draws a comparison between the developmental stages of cognitive perspectival capabilities, grammatical perspectivization, and viewpoint comprehension in narrative discourse. This comparison leads to a multi-stage model of degrees of perspectival complexity, whereby the most complex tasks in both language and cognition are characterized by a three-point constellation that integrates contrasting internal vs. external perspectives under a superordinated monitoring viewpoint. As a result, the paper argues that a concept of perspective 'taking' is not sufficient to capture the specific aspects of L(anguage)-perspectivization, but has to be complemented by a concept of 'confronting' perspectives.