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Курсовик One of the long-established misconceptions about the lexicon is that it is neatly and rigidly divided into semantically related sets of words. In contrast, we claim that word meanings do not have clear boundaries.

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Тип работы: Курсовик. Предмет: Ин. языки. Добавлен: 30.11.2002. Сдан: 2002. Уникальность по antiplagiat.ru: --.

Описание (план):


Miscelбnea: A Journal of English and American Studies 21 (2000): 205-224.
Polysemy in the semantic field of movement in the english language
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Introduction
One of the long-established misconceptions about the lexicon is that it is neatly and rigidly divided into semantically related sets of words. In contrast, we claim that word meanings do not have clear boundaries.1 In this paper we will give proof of the fuzziness of meaning through an analysis of the semantic field of MOVEMENT in the English language. We will show that many MOVEMENT verbs belong not only to several subdomains within the field of MOVEMENT, but also to various semantic domains through metaphorical extension.
Before dealing with the double or even triple membership of MOVEMENT verbs, let us first present the model on which our description of the lexicon is based, the Functional-Lexematic Model (Martнn Mingorance, 1984, 1985a,b; 1987a,b,c; 1990a,b).
1. The Functional-Lexematic Model
The FLM integrates Coseriu's Lexematics (1977), Dik's Functional Grammar (1997a) and some fundamental principles of cognitive linguistics. Following Faber and Mairal (1998: 4-5), the two main objectives of this model are, on the one hand, the construction of the linguistic architecture of the lexicon of a language, and on the other hand, the representation of knowledge based on the linguistic coding of dictionary entries.
The FLM establishes three axes of analysis: the paradigmatic, syntagmatic and cognitive axes. The elaboration of the paradigmatic axis entails the structuring of the lexicon in semantic domains --each corresponding to a basic area of meaning,2 and the organization of lexical domains into hierarchically constructed subdomains elaborated on the basis of shared meaning components A subdomain is “a subdivision of semantic space derived from the factorisation of the meaning definition of its members”3 (Faber and Mairal 1998: 6). Word definitions are built according to Dik's method of Stepwise Lexical Decomposition. This means that the definition structure of each lexeme consists of the nuclear word --the archilexeme-- and a series of semantic features which mark its distance from the preceding members of the subdomain.
Following Faber and Mairal (1999), the domain of MOVEMENT is organised into four subdomains. The first subdomain describes generic movement, while the other subdomains subsume lexemes which denote movement in a number of contexts: liquid, atmosphere and land. Cutting across this major configuration of the domain, the parameters of manner and direction introduce further divisions within each subdomain.4 For instance, these parameters traverse the following subdomains within the subdomain lexicalizing generic movement:
1. Direction:
To move towards a place/person/thing
To move back
To move up
To move down
2. Manner:
To move quickly
To move slowly
To move smoothly
To move in a circular manner
As an example of a subdomain structured paradigmatically, we have selected the subdomain To move down:
fall: to move down from a high position/the sky/a tree.
plunge: to fall suddenly a long way from a high position.
plummet: to fall very quickly from a high position.
come down: to fall (rain/snow) heavily.
descend: to move down a slope/stairs (fml).
The verbs indented to the right (plunge, plummet, come down) are defined in terms of the verb immediate above them (fall), which thus becomes their definiens. They are basically differentiated from one another in terms of manner. The other archilexeme of this subdomain is descend.
The construction of the syntagmatic axis implies the analysis of the complementation patterns of each lexeme using predicate frames as integrated formulae.
The following types of information are captured in predicate frames:
(i) the form of the predicate
(ii) the syntactic category to which it belongs
(iii) its quantitative valency, i.e. the number of arguments that the predicate requires
(iv) its qualitative valency, i.e. the semantic functions of the arguments and the pertinent selection restrictions
(v) the meaning definition
Predicate frames describe a state of affairs and specify the relationship between the predicate arguments (represented by the variable x). Each argument is characterized by a selection restriction --described in terms of binary semantic features-- and fulfills a semantic function (Agent, Experiencer, Goal, Recipient, etc.).
Consider the predicate frame of the verb bow:
[ (x1: prototyp. human)Ag (x2: prototyp. part of the body)Go ]Action
DEF = to bend your head and upper body as a greeting or as a sign of respect.
This frame describes an Action and specifies the relationship between a human argument, performing the function of Agent, and an argument fulfilling the function of Goal and semantically marked as part of the body (head).
The elaboration of the cognitive axis entails the formulation of the predicate conceptual schemata, which are cognitive constructs encoding semantic, syntactic and pragmatic information and representing our knowledge about the lexical unit in question. Conceptual schemata are codified at three levels: lexeme, subdomain and domain.
2. Polysemy of MOVEMENT verbs
Many MOVEMENT verbs fall within several subdomains. This double/multiple membership may be accounted for on the following grounds:
a) The meaning component focalised
b) The genus of the lexeme
c) The metaphorical extension of the verb
Let us examine each of these factors.
2.1. Focalization of a meaning component
We have used Dik's (1997a) pragmatic functions of Focus and Topic to account for some instances of polysemy in the semantic field of MOVEMENT. These functions specify the information status of the constituents of the predicate within the communicative setting in which they occur, and they are assigned to the constituents after the assigning of semantic and syntactic functions. The Topic is the entity about which the predication predicates something in the setting in question, whereas the Focus refers to the most relevant information in the setting:
(1) As for Mary (Focus), I don't care for her (Topic).
The application of such functions to the paradigmatic description of the lexicon is based on the organization of the lexicon at three levels: domain, subdomain and lexeme. In consonance with this idea, we may formulate various levels of focalization:
Level of focalization 1: Domain
Level of focalization 2: Subdomain
Levels of focalization 3, 4, ... : Lexeme
A domain stands for the level of focalization number 1. It performs the function of Focus in that it represents one of the basic areas of meaning.
A subdomain represents the level of focalization number 2 in that it focuses on an area of meaning within a domain.
The following levels of focalization are formulated at lexeme-level. This means that the lexemes of a subdomain represent different levels of focalization based on the meaning hierarchies within the subdomain.
What is most relevant is that what is Focus on a level becomes Topic on the level below. Then a domain, which performs the function of Focus on the level of focalization number 1, becomes topic at subdomain-level in that it presents the given information, since all the subdomains of MOVEMENT lexicalize the concept of movement. Therefore, the archilexeme of the lexical field, move, which performs the function of Focus at domain-level in that it codifies the nuclear meaning of the domain, becomes Topic at subdomain-level, since it is the definiens of the archilexeme of each subdomain.
Similarly, a subdomain, which acts as Focus on the level of focalization number 2, becomes Topic at lexeme-level, since all the lexemes in the subdomain share the nuclear information formalised by the subdomain. Then, as we move down in the semantic hierarchy which characterizes the internal structure of each subdomain, what is Focus in the meaning definition of the archilexeme (level of focalization number 3) becomes Topic in the meaning definition of its hyponyms (level of focalization number 4). For example, if we take the subdomain analysed above, To move down, the definiens “to move down” acts as Focus in the definition of fall (the archilexeme), and as Topic in the definition of plunge, plummet and come down, the function of Focus being performed by the semantic parameters of manner and place in that they individuate the members of the subdomain.
Let us now consider the functions of Topic and Focus in the case of lexemes belonging to several subdomains. Here the function of Focus applies to a particular meaning component, which thus becomes especially relevant. The verbs whizz and zoom involve quick movement, thus belonging to the subdomain To move quickly. But they can also denote movement through the air:
(2) The bullets whizzed past.
Then, these verbs belong to the subdomain To move quickly or To move through the air depending on which parameter is highlighted, whether manner or medium.
Similarly, the verbs circle and whirl refer to circular movement in the air. If the manner component is focalized, then the verbs fall in the subdomain To move in a circular manner. If the focus is on the medium, then the verbs belong to the subdomain To move through the air.
The table below shows the double membership of these verbs.
VERB
FOCUS
DIMENSION
MEANING
whizz
zoom
circle
whirl
Manner
To move quickly
To move in a circular manner
To move (an engine/device) very quickly with a loud whistling noise
To move (a vehicle/an aircraft) very quickly with a loud buzzing/humming noise
To move in a circular manner in the air
To turn round in the air very quickly
whizz
zoom
circle
whirl
Medium
To move through the air
To move very quickly through the air with a loud whistling noise
To move very quickly through the air with a loud noise
To fly around in circles
To move very quickly in a circular manner through the air
2.2. Genus of the lexeme
Many verbs describe generic movement. Verb membership is then determined by the semantic parameter of medium or direction, or by the parameter specifying the nature of the subject/object.
The table below presents the verbs whose membership is influenced by the medium parameter.
VERB
MEDIUM
DIMENSION
MEANING
dart
Air
Land
To move through the air
To move quickly using one's feet
To fly suddenly and quickly (insects)
To run suddenly
dive
plunge
Air
To move down through air
To move down through air
To move downwards
To move down through air quickly and steeply
To move down through air suddenly a long way
To fall suddenly a long way from a high position
dive
plunge
Water
To move in/down below the surface of a liquid
To cause sb/sth to move in/down below the surface of a liquid
To move head-first down into water
To cause sth to move down into water quickly and violently
sink
Air
Water/
Liquid/
Substance
To move down through air
To move in/down below the surface of a liquid
To move down through air
To move down below the surface of a liquid/ soft substance
glide
Water
Air
Land
To move over liquid
To move through the air
To move smoothly
To move (boat) quietly and smoothly across water
To fly quietly
To move quietly and smoothly in an effortless way
The verb dart describes sudden movement in air and on land:
(3) He darted across the room.
(4) Bees were darting from one flower to another.
The verbs dive, plunge and sink designate downward movement in air and water:
(5) She plunged into the swimming-pool.
(6) The falcon plunged towards its prey.
Sink, as the general term, denotes movement in a wider variety of contexts:
(7) Helen sank into water/mud/an armchair.
However, we postulate that the verbs dart, dive and sink prototypically describe movement in a given medium: dart is prototypically associated with air, and dive and sink with water. Our claim is supported by the fact that the medium parameter need not be syntactically present:
(8) She dived from the bridge and rescued the drowning child.
(9) The aircraft-carrier, hit by a torpedo, sank at once.
Further, as we will show below, sink has a metaphorical projection onto FEELING, which codifies the metaphor Emotion = Liquid (Goatly 1997):
(10) When he crashed, his heart sank at the thought that he might die.
Finally, glide refers to quiet/smooth movement in a wide range of contexts (water, air, land):
(11) The cruiser glided across the sea.
(12) An owl glided over the fields.
(13) The snake glided towards its prey.
As mentioned above, the domain of MOVEMENT is marked by the semantic parameter of direction, which can determine verb membership. The lexemes jump, vault, leap, hop and spring are subsumed under various subdomains depending on whether they denote forward or upward/downward movement over an obstacle:
VERB
DIRECTION
DIMENSION
MEANING
Jump
Vault
Leap
Hop
Spring

Forwards
To move forwards quickly/suddenly
To move forwards quickly using your legs
To jump onto sth with your hands on it
To jump energetically a long distance
To jump on one foot (sb)/with both feet (birds/small animals)
To jump suddenly
Jump
Vault
Leap
Over sth
To move across/over/
through
To move over sth quickly using your legs
To jump over sth with your hands on it
To jump over sth energetically
Jump
Spring
Hop
Up/Down
To move up/down using one's feet
To move up/down quickly using one's feet
To jump suddenly
To jump on one leg
(14) Robert jumped one metre/over the fence/out of the shadow.
(15) Carol sprang at him/to her feet.
Finally, as shown below, verb membership can also be determined by the parameter describing the nature of the subject or object.
ARGUMENT
SEMANTIC SCOPE
VERB
DIMENSION
MEANING
Human/
Object
shake
tremble
quiver
To move from side to side/back and forth/up and down repeatedly
To move quickly from side to side/ up and down
To shake un-controllably/ slightly
To shake slightly
Part of the body
shake
tremble
quiver
To move one's body
To move one's body quickly from side to side/up and down
To shake un-controllably/slightly
To shake slightly
Subject
Human
Boat
sail
To move towards a place
To move over liquid
To travel to a place by ship
To move (boat) over the sea
Object
rise
fall
To move upwards
To move downwards
To move upwards through air
To move down from a high position/the sky/a tree
Vehicle/
aircraft
plunge
plummet
To move in/downwards below the surface of a liquid
To move downwards through air
To move (vehicle) below the surface of water
To move down through air very quickly
Human
rise
fall
plunge
plummet
To move one's body by raising it
To move to the ground
To stand up (fml)
To move to the ground from force of weight / loss of balance
To fall suddenly a long way from a high position
To fall very quickly from a high position
Object
Object
swing

lift
raise
bend
To move from side to side/back and forth/up and down repeatedly
To cause stb/sth to move up
To move in a different direction
To move regularly from side to side/back and forth
To cause sb/sth to move up
To lift sth
To turn in a curve/angle
Part of the body
swing
lift
raise
bend
To move a part of one's body
To move regularly from side to side/back and forth
To move a part of one's body upwards (esp. head/arm/leg/foot)
To move a part of one's body upwards
To move a part of one's body downwards
The verbs shake, tremble and quiver may be found with a subject argument semantically characterized as human or as concrete. But they can also take an object denoting a part of the body via the metaphor Body part = Human (Goatly 1997):
(16) Mark was so nervous that his knees were shaking.
Sail typically occurs with a subject semantically characterized as boat. Its use wit и т.д.................


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