Salience in Metonymy-motivated Constructional Abbreviated Form with Particular Attention to English Clippings

In: Cognitive Semantics
View More View Less
  • 1 Universidad de Córdoba

I have claimed in some of my earlier publications that abbreviated constructional forms (at any level from lexemes upwards) are motivated by a part-for-whole metonymy (salient part of form for whole form). But what exactly is meant by “salient part of form”? In this paper I report on unpublished research on the topic, with particular attention to clipped lexical forms. In that research, I propose a salience factor grid determining the saliency of a “natural” segment in a lexical form and showing that salience is relative, scalar, and multi-factorial.

The paper illustrates how the application of the factor grid to two clippings (gas for gasoline and prof for professor) and other non-conventional segments of the same words (e.g. -line, -soline, and -essor) explains the motivated nature of the conventional clippings. Five tables sum up the application of the grid to these and other examples.

  • Barcelona Antonio. 2000. On the plausibility of claiming a metonymic motivation for conceptual metaphor. In A. Barcelona (ed.), Metaphor and Metonymy at the Crossroads. A Cognitive Perspective, 31–58. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. ———. 2002. On the ubiquity and multiple-level operation of metonymy. In B. Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk, and K. Turewicz (eds.), Cognitive Linguistics Today, 207–24. (Łódź Studies in Language.). Frankfurt/Main: Peter Lang.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ———. 2005. The multilevel operation of metonymy in grammar and discourse with particular attention to metonymic chains. In F. Ruiz de Mendoza Ibáñez and S. Peña Cervel (eds.), Cognitive Linguistics: Internal Dynamics and Interdisciplinary Interaction, 313 –52. Cognitive Linguistics Research. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ———. 2009. Motivation of construction meaning and form: The roles of metonymy and inference. In K-U. Panther, L. Thornburg & A. Barcelona, eds. Metonymy and Metaphor in Grammar, 363401. Human Cognitive Processing 25. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ———. In preparation (provisional title). On the Pervasive Role of Metonymy in Constructional Meaning and Structure in Discourse Comprehension.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bauer Laurie. 1983. English Word-formation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Bierwiaczwonek Boguslaw. 2007. On formal metonymy. In K. Kosecki (ed.) Perspectives on Metonymy. Proceedings of the International Conference “Perspectives on Metonymy”. Held in Łódź, Poland, May 6 –7, 2005. 4367. Berlin: Peter Lang.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ———. 2013. Metonymy in Language, Thought and Brain. Sheffield: Equinox.

  • Gimson Alfred C.1970. An Introduction to the Pronunciation of English. London: Edward Arnold.

  • Goldberg Adele. 2006. Constructions at Work. The Nature of Generalization in Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Jamet Denis. 2009. A morphophonological approach to clipping in English. Can the study of clipping be formalized? Lexis: E-Journal in English Lexicology. Special Issue 1: Lexicology and Phonology (15–31). Website: http://lexis.univlyon3.fr/spip.php?rubrique17(last accessed October 29, 2015).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jerspersen Otto. 1909–1949. A Modern English Grammar on Historical Principles. Volume VI. London: Allen & Unwin.

  • Jones Daniel. 1969 [1918]. An Outline of English Phonetics. (9th edition.) Cambridge: A. Heffer and Sons, Ltd.

  • Katamba Francis. 2005. English Words. Structure, History, Usage. London: Routledge.

  • Kövecses Zoltán, & Radden Günter. 1998. Metonymy: Developing a cognitive linguistic view. Cognitive Linguistics 9(1): 3777.

  • Lakoff George. 1987. Women, Fire and Dangerous Things. What Categories Reveal About the Mind. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • Lampert Martina. 2009. Attention and Recombinance. A Cognitive-Semantic Investigation into Morphological Compositionality in English. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lampert Martina, and Lampert Günther. 2013. …the ball seemed to keep rolling … : Linking up Cognitive Systems in Language: Attention and Force Dynamics. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Langacker Ronald. 1987. Foundations of Cognitive Grammar. Vol. 1: Theoretical Prerequisites. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

  • ———. 1991. Foundations of Cognitive Grammar. Vol. ii: Descriptive Applications. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

  • Panther Klaus-Uwe, and Radden Günter, . 2004. Reflections on motivation. In Panther K.-U., & Radden G. (eds.), Studies in Linguistic Motivation, 246. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ingo Plag. 2003. Word-Formation in English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Radden Günter. 2005. The ubiquity of metonymy. In J.L. Otal Campo; I. Navarro i Ferrando; and B. Bellés Fortuño (eds.), Cognitive and Discourse Approaches to Metaphor and Metonymy, 1128. Castelló (Spain): Universitat Jaume I.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tournier Jean. 1985. Introduction Descriptive à la Lexicogénétique de L’anglais Contemporain. Paris-Genève, Champion-Slatkine.

  • Talmy Leonard, . 2007. Attention phenomena. In Geeraerts Dirk, and Cuyckens Hubert (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics, 26493. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7

    Bauer (1983) notes that clipping, as in this case, may lead to changes in spelling without any change in pronunciation, as in mike < microphone and in such clippings as coke < Coca-Cola or trank < tranquilizer. These written clipped forms would be less natural than their corresponding spoken forms. Plag (2003: 13, 117) and Katamba (2005: 181) regard clippings like Mandy < Amanda, or Aussie < Australian as being close to diminutives (see also undies > underclothes). These modified clippings score even lower on naturalness. Jespersen (1909–1949) also offers many more instances of modified clippings, in his section on shortenings.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 113 46 1
Full Text Views 134 3 0
PDF Downloads 11 0 0