This paper explores the cognitive semantics of the typological category “possession” using the Natural Semantic Metalanguage (nsm) approach. At the macro level, we argue that “possession” is not a unitary cognitive category for speakers, but instead represents an aggregation of diverse semantic schemas which center around three distinct conceptual anchor points: ownership, body-parts, and kinship relations. It is shown how each of these conceptual anchor points can be clearly identified using the nsm metalanguage of semantic primes and molecules. At the micro level, the paper undertakes a close examination of the cognitive semantics of English s-genitives in the frame [THIS SOMEONE’S] SOMETHING, e.g. Mary’s ring, Mary’s shoes, Mary’s drawing, Mary’s plate, Mary’s train. It is argued that the wide range of use of the s-genitive can be captured in a set of five semantic schemas, which constitute a network of grammatical polysemy.
Cliff Goddard and Anna Wierzbicka
The article explores the cognitive semantics thesis that lexical expressions function as points of access to vast repositories of schematic concepts arising from embodied experience. By comparing various forms of communication, I find that expressions in art, science, and technology display a pattern in which expressions prompting the sense of intensity, magnitude and force are often combined into products with expressions that prompt the sense of extent, multitude and displacement. This pattern seems to be largely absent from natural language. I argue that lexical items activate the same pattern, though in a less direct way.
Robert D. Rupert
A theory of cognitive systems individuation is presented and defended. The approach has some affinity with Leonard Talmy’s Overlapping Systems Model of Cognitive Organization, and the paper’s first section explores aspects of Talmy’s view that are shared by the view developed herein. According to the view on offer – the conditional probability of co-contribution account (cpc) – a cognitive system is a collection of mechanisms that contribute, in overlapping subsets, to a wide variety of forms of intelligent behavior. Central to this approach is the idea of an integrated system. A formal characterization of integration is laid out in the form of a conditional-probability based measure of the clustering of causal contributors to the production of intelligent behavior. I relate the view to the debate over extended and embodied cognition and respond to objections that have been raised in print by Andy Clark, Colin Klein, and Felipe de Brigard.
Ryan Fisher and Patrick J. Duffley
This paper looks at the variation in Canadian English between to-infinitive and of + gerund-participle complements with six adjectives that have as part of their semantic makeup a notion of fear. Using data from the Strathy Corpus of Canadian English and the Canadian component of the Global Web-Based Corpus of English, it aims to explain the reasons underlying complement selection with these adjectives as well as temporal relations between the emotion expressed by the adjective and that expressed by the complement. The complementation patterns examined in this study are shown to be connected to certain of the conceptual metaphors that previous studies have observed to be utilized to conceptualize the emotion of fear.
On the basis of Goldberg’s (1995) Construction Grammar (CxG) and Östman’s (2005) Construction Discourse perspectives, and by incorporating the theories of genre, register and cohesion from Systemic Functional Grammar, this research attempts to set up a construction grammar framework for discourse analysis, namely the discourse construction grammar (dcg) model. With dcg, we see a discourse first as an overarching abstract discourse construction, which consists of and integrates a number of ever smaller schematic constructions. Moreover, in order to account for the nexion of clauses into sentences and sentences into cross-sentential discourse chunks from a dcg perspective, this paper also resorts to clause conjunct construction and inter-sentential conjunction construction conceptions. Alongside establishing our dcg model, we have analyzed a trendy microblog templatic parody as well as a piece of dialogic instant messaging to exemplify our multi-layered and multi-faceted construction treatment of a piece of discourse.
Esra’ M. Abdelzaher
This study adopts a lexicon-based approach to address violence on social media. It uses FrameNet 1.7 (fn) and WordNet 3.1 (wn) to build a hierarchical domain-specific language resource of violence. The proposed lexicon tethers fn’s innovative integration of linguistic and paralinguistic knowledge to wn’s hierarchically-organized database. This tether alleviates the need to gather all paralinguistic violence-associated scenes and organize their linguistic realizations hierarchically. The proposed methodology can be internationally applied, given the multilingual availability of fn and wn, to cognitively and quantitatively explore a concept or a phenomenon. The lexicon is applied, then, to a corpus representing posts and comments retrieved from Donald Trump’s Facebook public page. Results reveal that the proposed lexicon recalls 92.68 of the total violence-related words in the corpus with a 76.31 precision (F-score= 83.7). More important, relating wn to fn inspires the creation of new frames, suggests slight modifications to existing ones and advocates promising mapping between some frames and synsets.
Trying to situate Chinese into the typology of labile verbs (verbs that may be used transitively or intransitively), this paper analyzes Chinese labile verbals under the framework of cognitive construction grammar. By exhaustively looking at labile verbals in a small corpus, it is found that as an isolating language in which causative (transitive use) or anticausative (intransitive use) is not morphologically marked, Chinese is particularly rich in labile verbals. After estimating how often several target verbals are used transitively and intransitively, two factors grounded in human cognition are revealed determining verbal lability in Chinese: change of state and spontaneity of the event. Change-of-state events give way to two competing profiling strategies, realized as a transitive construction and an intransitive construction, respectively. The degree and direction (transitive-dominated or intransitive-dominated) of verbal lability are sensitive to the likelihood of spontaneous occurrence of the event.
Francisco José Ruiz de Mendoza Ibáñez and Inés Lozano-Palacio
This article argues for the need to strengthen the dialogue between linguistics and literary criticism to enhance existing accounts of irony in both camps. The analytical categories arising from this work allow for a more systematic study of the ins-and-outs of ironic discourse. Our proposal starts from the cognitive-linguistic view of irony, based on the activation of an echoed and an observable scenario, which are mutually exclusive. The clash between them gives rise to an attitudinal element. To this analysis, our proposal adds, on the basis of the more socio-cultural view of literary criticism, a consideration of felicity conditions and a distinction between two basic types of ironist and interpreter, together with a discussion of the communicative consequences of their possible ways of interaction. With these tools the article introduces a degree of homogeneity in the account of the relationship between irony and its socio-cultural context across different time periods.
Human beings often discuss their priorities in terms of spatial language (I put my needs ahead of yours). When describing order of importance, the Finnish language predominantly uses motion-implying front grams, that is, grammatical words that code spatial relations on front-region, and indicate in-tandem motion of Figure and Ground. In such scenarios, the mover ‘ahead’ on the so-called path of importance is regarded as more important than the mover ‘behind’. In this corpus-based cognitive-semantic study, I explore the ways Finnish uses motion-implying front grams and gram constructions in spatial metaphors of importance by conducting a grammatico-semantic analysis on my data. As a result, I present four grammatically and semantically distinctive but related spatial metaphors of importance: important moves ahead, important is placed ahead, unimportant is moved away from ahead of important and important leads movement; these all use the notion of ‘ahead’ to define the importance of an entity.