Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 11

Cognitive Linguistics Related Abstracts

11 An Experimental Study of Scalar Implicature Processing in Chinese

Authors: Liu Si, Wang Chunmei, Liu Huangmei


A prominent component of the semantic versus pragmatic debate, scalar implicature (SI) has been gaining great attention ever since it was proposed by Horn. The constant debate is between the structural and pragmatic approach. The former claims that generation of SI is costless, automatic, and dependent mostly on the structural properties of sentences, whereas the latter advocates both that such generation is largely dependent upon context, and that the process is costly. Many experiments, among which Katsos’s text comprehension experiments are influential, have been designed and conducted in order to verify their views, but the results are not conclusive. Besides, most of the experiments were conducted in English language materials. Katsos conducted one off-line and three on-line text comprehension experiments, in which the previous shortcomings were addressed on a certain extent and the conclusion was in favor of the pragmatic approach. We intend to test the results of Katsos’s experiment in Chinese scalar implicature. Four experiments in both off-line and on-line conditions to examine the generation and response time of SI in Chinese "yixie" (some) and "quanbu (dou)" (all) will be conducted in order to find out whether the structural or the pragmatic approach could be sustained. The study mainly aims to answer the following questions: (1) Can SI be generated in the upper- and lower-bound contexts as Katsos confirmed when Chinese language materials are used in the experiment? (2) Can SI be first generated, then cancelled as default view claimed or can it not be generated in a neutral context when Chinese language materials are used in the experiment? (3) Is SI generation costless or costly in terms of processing resources? (4) In line with the SI generation process, what conclusion can be made about the cognitive processing model of language meaning? Is it a parallel model or a linear model? Or is it a dynamic and hierarchical model? According to previous theoretical debates and experimental conflicts, presumptions could be made that SI, in Chinese language, might be generated in the upper-bound contexts. Besides, the response time might be faster in upper-bound than that found in lower-bound context. SI generation in neutral context might be the slowest. At last, a conclusion would be made that the processing model of SI could not be verified by either absolute structural or pragmatic approaches. It is, rather, a dynamic and complex processing mechanism, in which the interaction of language forms, ad hoc context, mental context, background knowledge, speakers’ interaction, etc. are involved.

Keywords: Cognitive Linguistics, Pragmatics, Chinese Language, experimental study, scalar implicture

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10 The Image as an Initial Element of the Cognitive Understanding of Words

Authors: T. Solonchak, S. Pesina


An analysis of word semantics focusing on the invariance of advanced imagery in several pressing problems. Interest in the language of imagery is caused by the introduction, in the linguistics sphere, of a new paradigm, the center of which is the personality of the speaker (the subject of the language). Particularly noteworthy is the question of the place of the image when discussing the lexical, phraseological values and the relationship of imagery and metaphors. In part, the formation of a metaphor, as an interaction between two intellective entities, occurs at a cognitive level, and it is the category of the image, having cognitive roots, which aides in the correct interpretation of the results of this process on the lexical-semantic level.

Keywords: Cognitive Linguistics, Image, Metaphor, concept, creation of a metaphor, erased image, vivid image

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9 New Ways of Vocabulary Enlargement

Authors: T. Solonchak, S. Pesina


Lexical invariants, being a sort of stereotypes within the frames of ordinary consciousness, are created by the members of a language community as a result of uniform division of reality. The invariant meaning is formed in person’s mind gradually in the course of different actualizations of secondary meanings in various contexts. We understand lexical the invariant as abstract language essence containing a set of semantic components. In one of its configurations it is the basis or all or a number of the meanings making up the semantic structure of the word.

Keywords: Cognitive Linguistics, polysemantic word, lexical invariant, invariant theories

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8 Swahili Codification of Emotions: A Cognitive Linguistic Analysis

Authors: Rosanna Tramutoli


Studies on several languages have demonstrated how different emotions are categorized in various linguistic constructions. It exists in several writings on the codification of emotions in Western African languages. A recent study on the semantic description of Swahili body terminology has demonstrated that body part terms, such as moyo (heart), uso (face) and jicho (eye) are involved in several metaphorical expressions describing emotions. However, so far hardly anything has been written on the linguistic description of emotions in Swahili. Thus, this study describes how emotional concepts, such as ‘love’ and ‘anger’ are codified in Swahili, in order to highlight common semantic and syntactic patterns, etymological sources and metaphorical expressions. The research seeks to answer a number of questions, such as which are the Swahili terms for ‘emotions’? Is there a distinction between ‘emotions’ and ‘feelings’? Which emotional lexical items have Bantu origin and which come from Arabic? Which metaphorical expressions/cognitive schemas are used to codify emotions? (e.g. kumpanda mtu kichwani, lit. ‘to climb on somebody’s head’, to make somebody feel angry, kushuka moyo, lit. ‘to be down the heart’, to feel discouraged, kumpa mtu moyo lit. ‘to give someone heart’, to encourage someone). Which body terms are involved as ‘containers/locus of emotions’? For instance, it has been shown that moyo (‘heart’) occurs as container of ‘love’ (e.g. kumtia mtu moyoni, lit. ‘to put somebody in the heart’, to love somebody very much) and ‘kindness’ (moyo wake ulijaa hisani, ‘his heart was filled with kindness’). The study also takes into account the syntactic patterns used to code emotions. For instance, when does the experiencer occur in subject position? (e.g. nina furaha, nimefurahi, ‘I am happy’) and when in object position (e.g. Huruma iliniingia moyoni, lit. ‘Pity entered me inside my heart’, ‘I felt pity’)? Data have been collected mostly through the analysis of Swahili digital corpora, containing different kinds of Swahili texts (e.g. novels, drama, political essays).

Keywords: Cognitive Linguistics, Metaphors, Emotions, Swahili

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7 Creative Application of Cognitive Linguistics and Communicative Methods to Eliminate Common Learners' Mistakes in Academic Essay Writing

Authors: Ekaterina Lukianchenko


This article sums up a six-year experience of teaching English as a foreign language to over 900 university students at MGIMO (Moscow University of International Relations, Russia), all of them native speakers of Russian aged 16 to 23. By combining modern communicative approach to teaching with cognitive linguistics theories, one can deal more effectively with deeply rooted mistakes which particular students have of which conventional methods have failed to eliminate. If language items are understood as concepts and frames, and classroom activities as meaningful parts of language competence development, this might help to solve such problems as incorrect use of words, unsuitable register, and confused tenses - as well as logical or structural mistakes, and even certain psychological issues concerning essay writing. Along with classic teaching methods, such classroom practice includes plenty of interaction between students - playing special classroom games aimed at eliminating particular mistakes, working in pairs and groups, integrating all skills in one class. The main conclusions that the author of the experiment makes consist in an assumption that academic essay writing classes demand a balanced plan. This should not only include writing as such, but additionally feature elements of listening, reading, speaking activities specifically chosen according to the skills and language students will need to write the particular type of essay.

Keywords: Cognitive Linguistics, Creative Teaching, concept, frame, communicative language teaching, academic essay writing, competency-based approach

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6 The Application of Cognitive Linguistics to Teaching EFL Students to Understand Spoken Coinages: Based on an Experiment with Speakers of Russian

Authors: Ekaterina Lukianchenko


The present article addresses the nuances of teaching English vocabulary to Russian-speaking students. The experiment involving 39 participants aged 17 to 21 proves that the key to understanding spoken coinages is not only the knowledge of their constituents, but rather the understanding of the context and co-text. The volunteers who took part knew the constituents, but did not know the meaning of the words. The assumption of the authors consists in the fact that the structure of the concept has a direct relation with the form of the particular vocabulary unit, but its form is secondary to its meaning, if the word is a spoken coinage, which is partly proved by the fact that in modern slang words have multiple meanings, as well as one notion can have various embodiments that have virtually nothing in common. The choice of vocabulary items that youngsters use is not exactly arbitrary, but, even if complex nominals are taken into consideration, whose meaning seems clear, as it looks like a sum of their constituents’ meanings, they are still impossible to understand without any context or co-text, as a lot of them are idiomatic, non-transparent. It is further explained what methods might be effective in teaching students how to deal with new words they encounter in real-life situations and how student’s knowledge of vocabulary might be enhanced.

Keywords: Cognitive Linguistics, concept, EFL, communicative language teaching, spoken language, complex nominals, nominals with the incorporated object

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5 A Comparative Analysis of Body Idioms in Two Romance Languages and in English Aiming at Vocabulary Teaching and Learning

Authors: Marilei Amadeu Sabino


Before the advent of Cognitive Linguistics, metaphor was considered a stylistic issue, but now it is viewed as a critical component of everyday language and a fundamental mechanism of human conceptualizations of the world. It means that human beings' conceptual system (the way we think and act) is metaphorical in nature. Another interesting hypothesis in Cognitive Linguistics is that cognition is embodied, that is, our cognition is influenced by our experiences in the physical world: the mind is connected to the body and the body influences the mind. In this sense, it is believed that many conceptual metaphors appear to be potentially universal or near-universal, because people across the world share certain bodily experiences. In these terms, many metaphors may be identical or very similar in several languages. Thus, in this study, we analyzed some somatic (also called body) idioms of Italian and Portuguese languages, in order to investigate the proportion in which their metaphors are the same, similar or different in both languages. It was selected hundreds of Italian idioms in dictionaries and indicated their corresponding idioms in Portuguese. The analysis allowed to conclude that much of the studied expressions are really structurally, semantically and metaphorically identical or similar in both languages. We also contrasted some Portuguese and Italian somatic expressions to their corresponding English idioms to have a multilingual perspective of the issue, and it also led to the conclusion that the most common idioms based on metaphors are probably those that have to do with the human body. Although this is mere speculation and needs more study, the results found incite relevant discussions on issues that matter Foreign and Second Language Teaching and Learning, including the retention of vocabulary. The teaching of the metaphorically different body idioms also plays an important role in language learning and teaching as it will be shown in this paper. Acknowledgments: FAPESP – São Paulo State Research Support Foundation –the financial support offered (proc. n° 2017/02064-7).

Keywords: Cognitive Linguistics, Metaphor, body idioms, vocabulary teaching and learning

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4 Occasional Word-Formation in Postfeminist Fiction: Cognitive Approach

Authors: Kateryna Nykytchenko


Modern fiction and non-fiction writers commonly use their own lexical and stylistic devices to capture a reader’s attention and bring certain thoughts and feelings to his reader. Among such devices is the appearance of one of the neologic notions – individual author’s formations: occasionalisms or nonce words. To a significant extent, the host of examples of new words occurs in chick lit genre which has experienced exponential growth in recent years. Chick Lit is a new-millennial postfeminist fiction which focuses primarily on twenty- to thirtysomething middle-class women. It brings into focus the image of 'a new woman' of the 21st century who is always fallible, funny. This paper aims to investigate different types of occasional word-formation which reflect cognitive mechanisms of conveying women’s perception of the world. Chick lit novels of Irish author Marian Keyes present genuinely innovative mixture of forms, both literary and nonliterary which is displayed in different types of occasional word-formation processes such as blending, compounding, creative respelling, etc. Crossing existing mental and linguistic boundaries, adopting herself to new and overlapping linguistic spaces, chick lit author creates new words which demonstrate the result of development and progress of language and the relationship between language, thought and new reality, ultimately resulting in hybrid word-formation (e.g. affixation or pseudoborrowing). Moreover, this article attempts to present the main characteristics of chick-lit fiction genre with the help of the Marian Keyes’s novels and their influence on occasionalisms. There has been a lack of research concerning cognitive nature of occasionalisms. The current paper intends to account for occasional word-formation as a set of interconnected cognitive mechanisms, operations and procedures meld together to create a new word. The results of the generalized analysis solidify arguments that the kind of new knowledge an occasionalism manifests is inextricably linked with cognitive procedure underlying it, which results in corresponding type of word-formation processes. In addition, the findings of the study reveal that the necessity of creating occasionalisms in postmodern fiction novels arises from the need to write in a new way keeping up with a perpetually developing world, and thus the evolution of the speaker herself and her perception of the world.

Keywords: Cognitive Linguistics, occasionalism, Chick Lit, occasional word-formation

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3 A Cognitive Semantic Analysis of the Metaphorical Extensions of Come out and Take Over

Authors: Raquel Rossini, Edelvais Caldeira


The aim of this work is to investigate the motivation for the metaphorical uses of two verb combinations: come out and take over. Drawing from cognitive semantics theories, image schemas and metaphors, it was attempted to demonstrate that: a) the metaphorical senses of both 'come out' and 'take over' extend from both the verbs and the particles central (spatial) senses in such verb combinations; and b) the particles 'out' and 'over' also contribute to the whole meaning of the verb combinations. In order to do so, a random selection of 579 concordance lines for come out and 1,412 for take over was obtained from the Corpus of Contemporary American English – COCA. One of the main procedures adopted in the present work was the establishment of verb and particle central senses. As per the research questions addressed in this study, they are as follows: a) how does the identification of trajector and landmark help reveal patterns that contribute for the identification of the semantic network of these two verb combinations?; b) what is the relationship between the schematic structures attributed to the particles and the metaphorical uses found in empirical data?; and c) what conceptual metaphors underlie the mappings from the source to the target domains? The results demonstrated that not only the lexical verbs come and take, but also the particles out and over play an important whole in the different meanings of come out and take over. Besides, image schemas and conceptual metaphors were found to be helpful in order to establish the motivations for the metaphorical uses of these linguistic structures.

Keywords: Cognitive Linguistics, English syntax, multi-word verbs, prepositions

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2 Terrorism in German and Italian Press Headlines: A Cognitive Linguistic Analysis of Conceptual Metaphors

Authors: Silvia Sommella


Islamic terrorism has gained a lot of media attention in the last years also because of the striking increase of terror attacks since 2014. The main aim of this paper is to illustrate the phenomenon of Islamic terrorism by applying frame semantics and metaphor analysis to German and Italian press headlines of the two online weekly publications Der Spiegel and L’Espresso between 2014 and 2019. This study focuses on how media discourse – through the use of conceptual metaphors – let arise in people a particular reception of the phenomenon of Islamic terrorism and accept governmental strategies and policies, perceiving terrorists as evildoers, as the members of an uncivilised group ‘other’ opposed to the civilised group ‘we’: two groups that are perceived as opposed. The press headlines are analyzed on the basis of the cognitive linguistics, namely Lakoff and Johnson’s conceptualization of metaphor to distinguish between abstract conceptual metaphors and specific metaphorical expressions. The study focuses on the contexts, frames, and metaphors. The method adopted in this study is Konerding’s frame semantics (1993). Konerding carried out on the basis of dictionaries – in particular of the Duden Deutsches Universalwörterbuch (Duden Universal German Dictionary) – in a pilot study of a lexicological work hyperonym reduction of substantives, working exclusively with nouns because hyperonyms usually occur in the dictionary meaning explanations as for the main elements of nominal phrases. The results of Konerding’s hyperonym type reduction is a small set of German nouns and they correspond to the highest hyperonyms, the so-called categories, matrix frames: ‘object’, ‘organism’, ‘person/actant’, ‘event’, ‘action/interaction/communication’, ‘institution/social group’, ‘surroundings’, ‘part/piece’, ‘totality/whole’, ‘state/property’. The second step of Konerding’s pilot study consists in determining the potential reference points of each category so that conventionally expectable routinized predications arise as predictors. Konerding found out which predicators the ascertained noun types can be linked to. For the purpose of this study, metaphorical expressions will be listed and categorized in conceptual metaphors and under the matrix frames that correspond to the particular conceptual metaphor. All of the corpus analyses are carried out using Ant Conc corpus software. The research will verify some previously analyzed metaphors such as TERRORISM AS WAR, A CRIME, A NATURAL EVENT, A DISEASE and will identify new conceptualizations and metaphors about Islamic terrorism, especially in the Italian language like TERRORISM AS A GAME, WARES, A DRAMATIC PLAY. Through the identification of particular frames and their construction, the research seeks to understand the public reception and the way to handle the discourse about Islamic terrorism in the above mentioned online weekly publications under a contrastive analysis in the German and in the Italian language.

Keywords: Cognitive Linguistics, Media, frame semantics, Islamic terrorism

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1 An Exploratory Study into the Suggestive Impact of Alaa Al-Aswany's Political Essays

Authors: Valerii Dudin


With the continuous increase in quantity and importance of the information surrounding our daily lives, it has become crucial to understand what makes information stand out and affect our point of view, regardless of the accuracy of the facts involved. Alaa Al-Aswany’s numerous works have been an inspiration for millions of his readers in Egypt and all across the Arab World. While highly factual, the author’s political essays are both lexically and stylistically rich; they also implement descriptive allusions and proverbs to support the presented opinions. We have undertaken an effort to explore the impact on the individual perception through these political works of the author. In this study, we have overviewed previously made research on similar subjects and through contextual, intertextual, linguistic and corpus analyses we have come to realize the presence of suggestive themes in these works, capable of shaping the reader’s perception regarding a certain topic, specifically targeting the reader’s emotional bias. The findings presented in the study will reveal an overview of such examples of suggestive elements used in the author’s works, as well as various new insights on what can be considered suggestive in the context of modern Arabic printed press.

Keywords: Cognitive Linguistics, suggestion, Alaa al-Aswany, political essays

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