Language, Culture and Cognition: An Introduction

By Prof. Bidisha Som   |   IIT Guwahati
Learners enrolled: 774
The course approaches language studies from the cognitive science perspective. Language does not work in a vacuum and is related to other mental faculty. Together they help us humans make sense of our experiences. Again, experiences can be different from one culture to another, thus bringing in another angle to the mind and cognition relationship: culture. This course gives a brief overview of the relation between language, cognition and culture, discussed through three different angles of Cognitive Linguistics, cognitive neuroscience of language and language processing. Each of these domains will be discussed in terms of theoretical underpinning as well as the latest state of the art research. The lectures will connect language structure, brain areas responsible for various linguistic functions, relationship of language with attention, executive control and so on, embedding them in the cultural backdrop wherever applicable. The interaction between the inner and outer world of humans through language is the main focus of this course.

INTENDED AUDIENCE: Undergraduates, Postgraduates, PhD students, Faculty Development Programme


Course Status : Ongoing
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 8 weeks
Start Date : 21 Feb 2022
End Date : 15 Apr 2022
Exam Date : 24 Apr 2022 IST
Enrollment Ends : 21 Feb 2022
Category :
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit Points : 2
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1: Introduction to cognition, mind, culture and language
Week 2: Categorization its relationship with language; cultural variation.
Week 3: Frames and their use, Frame analysis of culture, metonymy and metaphor
Week 4: Language and embodied mind: image schema, social cognition
Week 5: Language acquisition and social cognition
Week 6: Language in the brain: Cognitive neuroscience of language
Week 7: Language processing and attention
Week 8: Language, executive control, simulation semantics

Books and references

1.Kovecses, Zoltan. 2006. Language, Mind and Culture. Oxford University Press.
2.Kemmerer, David. 2014. Cognitive Neuroscience of Language. Psychology Press.
3.Pishwa, Hannah (ed). 2009. Language and Social Cognition. Mouton de Gruyter.
4.Feldman, Jerome. 2008. From Molecule to metaphor: A neural theory of language
5.Gomila, Antoni. 2012. Verbal Minds: language and architecture of cognition.
6.Mishra, Ramesh. 2015. Interaction between attention and language systems in humans. Springer

Instructor bio

Prof. Bidisha Som

IIT Guwahati
Bidisha Som is a teacher-researcher in Linguistics. She received her Masters to PhD degrees from JNU, New Delhi. She is currently working as an Associate professor of Linguistics in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Guwahati. She has taught courses on bilingualism, language-cognition, and sociolinguistics as B Tech electives. Her research work is focused on language processing among bilinguals, language and culture interaction, cognitive linguistics. She has thirteen years of teaching experience at IITG.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 24 April 2022  Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 6 assignments out of the total 8 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup. It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Guwahati. It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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