Series:

Iwona Kraska-Szlenk

Abstract

This chapter focuses on cross-linguistic patterning of metonymies and metonymic-metaphoric chains involved in mapping from the body part ‘head’ onto mental and social activity domains which particularly favor such conceptualizations due to high expressiveness of figurative “embodied” language. It will be demonstrated that certain metonymies are cross-linguistically very common, e.g. HEAD FOR PERSON, HEAD FOR RULER/IMPORTANT PERSON, HEAD FOR REASON/INTELLIGENCE, while others are encountered only in specific cultural settings, e. g. HEAD FOR A KIN, HEAD FOR LANGUAGE. In addition, many conceptualizations are based on a common general schema which is modified in a culture-specific way. In general terms, the findings contribute to research on metonymy and shed light on the interplay of embodiment, cognitive universals and specific cultural models.

Series:

Abinet Sime

Abstract

Amharic (a Semitic language spoken in Ethiopia) has two words for ‘head’: ras and qəl. Through Intra-field metonymic transfer, ras has come to refer to the HAIR and BRAIN of humans. It also refers to a PILLOW (or headrest) through Inter-field metonymic transfer. Compound words for headteacher, headwaters, headlines, and head of state are formed with ras as a first member. In əndä-ras-e (like-self-my) ‘regent’ ras is a second member. Ras on its own (as the highest military and civil rank below the crown) was used to refer to the head of an army. This word has also found its way into the English language through Rastafarianism. In some Amharic idioms and proverbs that involve ras, the HEAD is conceived as a servant who thinks rationally and leads carefully. The rest of the BODY (below the HEAD), in turn, is considered as a master (and owner) who supports and controls the HEAD. Moreover, ras has grammaticalized into intensive genitive, intensive reflexive, reflexive, reciprocal, independent and demonstrative pronouns. First through an Inter-field metaphoric transfer (GOURD > SKULL) and then through an Intra-field metonymic transfer (SKULL > HEAD), qəl has come to refer to an individual person (HEAD > PERSON). Moreover, qəl has further grammaticalized into intensive reflexive, concessive, adversative and focus markers.

Series:

Zygmunt Frajzyngier

Abstract

The study examines the grammaticalization of the noun ‘head’ in four Chadic languages: Pero (West Chadic), Mina, Wandala, (Central Chadic) and Lele (East Chadic). The study examines the grammaticalization of the following functions: spatial relation ‘on’; coreferentiality; and the point of view of the affected subject, whose manifestations are sometimes referred to as ‘middle’. The study addresses the question of motivation for grammaticalization, and in particular the fundamental question of why some functions are grammaticalized in some languages but not in others. The study rejects general cognitive processes and creativity as motivations for cross-linguistic differences in grammaticalization. The study also shows that cultural characteristics cannot explain differences in grammaticalization of the point of view of affected subject, as such differences are found among speakers who share the same culture and live in the same geographical area. Instead, the study demonstrates that language-internal factors are the motivation for the grammaticalization of the point of view of the affected subject: If the point of view of the affected subject is the inherent characteristic of some verbs in a language, the language does not grammaticalize additional means of marking this function.

Series:

Edited by Manuela E. B. Giolfo and Kees Versteegh

This volume contains sixteen contributions from the fourth conference on the Foundations of Arabic linguistics (Genova, 2016), all having to do with the development of linguistic theory in the Arabic grammatical tradition, starting from Sībawayhi's Kitāb (end of the 8th century C.E.) and its continuing evolution in later grammarians up till the 14th century C.E. The scope of this volume includes the links between grammar and other disciplines, such as lexicography and logic, and the reception of Arabic grammar in the Persian and Malay linguistic tradition.

Questions in Discourse

Volume 1: Semantics

Series:

Edited by Klaus von Heusinger, V.Edgar Onea Gaspar and Malte Zimmermann

The volume Questions in Discourse - Vol. 1 Semantics contains a comprehensive overview of the semantic analysis of questions and their role in structuring discourse, next to a series of in-depth contributions on individual aspects of question meanings. The expert contributions offer novel accounts of semantic phenomena such as negation and biased questions, question embedding, exhaustivity, disjunction in alternative questions, and superlative quantification particles in questions. Some accounts are modelled in the framework of inquisitive semantics, whereas others employ alternative semantics, and yet others point to the discourse-structuring potential of marked questions. All contributions are easily accessible against the background of the general introduction. Together, they give an excellent overview of current trends in question semantics.

Questions in Discourse

Volume 2: Pragmatics

Series:

Edited by Klaus von Heusinger, V.Edgar Onea Gaspar and Malte Zimmermann

The volume Questions in Discourse - Vol. 2 Pragmatics collects original research on the role of questions in understanding text structure and discourse pragmatics. The in-depth studies discuss the effects of focus, questions and givenness in unalternative semantics, as well as the role of scalar particles, question-answer pairs and prosody from the perspective of Questions under Discussion. Two contributions compare the discourse-structuring potential of Questions under Discussion and rhetorical relations, whereas another adds a perspective from inquisitive semantics. Some contributions also look at understudied languages. Together, the contributions allow for a better understanding of question-related pragmatic and discourse-semantic phenomena, and they offer new perspectives on the structure of texts and discourses.