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This paper establishes and explores the lexical field of astromotion (motion in outer space) from a Cognitive Linguistic perspective by investigating verb collocates of space, outer space and deep space from the Corpus of Contemporary American English (coca). The primary focus is on the moving figure and the manner of motion involved. The paper accounts for prototypical uses of the verbs and puts the results in dialogue with previous research into motion events on earth. The main findings are that (1) astromotion is primarily lexicalized by general motion verbs or relexicalizations from other domains of motion; (2) transitive verb constructions are more common than in previously studied domains of motion and; (3) control and speed are important disambiguating properties. The paper also illustrates how the lexical field has been influenced by our empirical knowledge, imagination, and embodied experiences.

Open Access
In: Cognitive Semantics
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Abstract

The term “Eucharistic miracles” refers to some seemingly inexplicable phenomena which have been observed at many times in Catholic churches in various countries. (“Eucharist” is the central element of Christian worship in general and Catholic worship in particular). According to Wikipedia, “reported Eucharistic miracles usually consist of unexplainable phenomena such as consecrated hosts visibly transforming into myocardium [heart] tissue”.

From a believer’s point of view, a “Eucharistic miracle” can be read as a message – a message which doesn’t force belief but which does “want to be believed”; and which, first of all, “wants to be understood”. As such, these phenomena present a task for a semanticist: what meaning can be plausibly attributed to them by people open to faith and how can this message be best articulated?

In this paper, the author, a semanticist with a special interest in the semantics of religion (, 2019) takes a look at “Eucharistic miracles” from a semantic point of view. Her goal is to explore these phenomena through Minimal English anchored in universal human concepts (, 2014; ; , ).

Open Access
In: Cognitive Semantics
Author:

Abstract

The fact that an increasing number of scholars are approaching linguistic analysis from a multimodal perspective raises theoretical and methodological questions for the study of semantics. Taking a usage-based perspective, and the position that semantics is based in conceptual structures and processes, we see that gesture use relates to some key notions in cognitive linguistics. Gesture provides cues of possible mental simulation of concepts, it inherently involves spatial imagery, and gestures frequently objectify abstract concepts (through metonymy and metaphor). Both spoken language and gesture are dynamic phenomena, but gesture use relates to the accompanying speech on several time scales at once—concerning the level of words, of phrases, and of larger discourse units. Taking gesture into consideration in semantic analysis calls for rethinking the theoretical models for cognitive semantics, the methods of analysis we use, and the means of presenting those analyses. Currently this rethinking is still in its infancy.

Open Access
In: Cognitive Semantics

Abstract

Over the past decades, several procedures have been developed to identify metaphors at the lexical level. However, because language is complex, there may not be one superior metaphor identification procedure that applies to all data. Moreover, metaphor identification inevitably involves decisions on linguistic form that may not work equally well with all linguistic frameworks. We introduce a Procedure for Identifying Metaphorical Scenes (pims) reflected and evoked by linguistic expressions in discourse. The procedure is a prerequisite for the identification of metaphorical meaning that extends over phrases or longer stretches of text other than those defined as lexical units in current metaphor identification procedures and better reflects the Cognitive Linguistic (cl) view that linguistic meaning is equal to complex conceptualizations (, ), embodied (), and simulation-based (). It takes the scenes evoked by the context into account and focuses on the experiences that are coded by the linguistic constructions.

Open Access
In: Cognitive Semantics
Author:

Abstract

The article explores sensations’ role in cognition through analyzing expressions in natural language in search of a sensory schema. I argue that if it exists, the schema originates from the universal need to differentiate between patterns by increasing contrasts, which is linguistically manifested in the practice of grading adjectives and adverbs in the context of antonyms.

Open Access
In: Cognitive Semantics

Abstract

This paper adopts a construction-grammar approach to multimodal meaning. We provide a detailed analysis of the Before-After-construction used frequently in advertisements, cartoons and Internet memes. We demonstrate that parts of its generic ‘caused-change’ meaning is compositional, and rendered independently from what is overtly expressed by concrete instances of the pattern. The latter hence build on an abstract multimodal construction whose form elements are paired idiosyncratically with meaning, just like linguistic constructions proper. We show that non-standard instances of the Before-After-construction represent deviations based on a systematized standard Before-After-construction. Finally, we argue that the Before-After-construction belongs to a broader inheritance hierarchy of two-image multimodal construction types, while also providing one amongst several options to convey caused-change. Altogether, we demonstrate that multimodal expressions instantiate similar properties as unimodal expressions both across form and meaning.

Open Access
In: Cognitive Semantics

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to examine layperson perceptions of creativity associated with figurative language and language play. To do so, participants wrote attention-grabbing responses for two news stories and rated whether their responses were less, equally, or more creative when compared to preconstructed responses containing different combinations of metaphor and sarcasm. Participants’ answers were also analyzed for the presence of figurative language or language play. Results demonstrated participants were less likely to self-rate their answers as more creative when compared to preconstructed responses containing figurative language, but only for specific instances of metaphor and sarcasm. Moreover, participants who included figurative language or language play in their responses were significantly more likely to self-rate their answers as more creative. These results suggest layperson perceptions of creativity are influenced by figurative language and language play in a manner which supports scholarly understandings of the relationship between language and creativity.

Open Access
In: Cognitive Semantics
In: Determiners and Quantifiers
Author:
In this book, Martin Hilpert lays out how Construction Grammar can be applied to the study of language change. In a series of ten lectures on Diachronic Construction Grammar, the book presents the theoretical foundations, open questions, and methodological approaches that inform the constructional analysis of diachronic processes in language. The lectures address issues such as constructional networks, competition between constructions, shifts in collocational preferences, and differentiation and attraction in constructional change. The book features analyses that utilize modern corpus-linguistic methodologies and that draw on current theoretical discussions in usage-based linguistics. It is relevant for researchers and students in cognitive linguistics, corpus linguistics, and historical linguistics.