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Image Schema Verbs in Japanese. A Cognitive Linguistic Analysis

Wittfeld, Aron

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The present study examines the semantic structure of a specific class of Japanese verbs within the framework of Cognitive Linguistics. The verbs in question are highly polysemous and assumed to be centered around a particular spatial or force-dynamic schema – hence the name image schema verbs. Further, they partake in verb-verb compounding as grammatical “auxiliaries” (V2s) which functionally resemble the particles of English and German verb particle constructions (VPCs). Over the course of five case studies it is shown that the respective V2s are inherently meaningful and that their senses are motivated by the same image schematic structures that motivate the senses of the simplex. Thus, simplex and V2 are entangled in a complex network of family resemblences. Mechanisms of meaning extension such as metaphor, metonymy, and image schema transformation are examined in some detail and often from a cross-linguistic point of view. Rejecting a principled division between lexicon and grammar in favor of the symbolic continuum hypothesis, argument structure phenomena are then reexamined and reframed as issues of cognitive prominence. In the same spirit, the traditional dichotomy of “lexical” vs “grammatical” V-V compounds, a staple of Japanese linguistics, is challenged from a usage-based perspective. Based on the results of the case studies, the thesis closes with a brief cross-cultural inquiry into embodied cognition, showing that directly embodied source domains tend to have similar metaphorical scope in Japanese and German.

Item Type: Dissertation
Supervisor: Árokay, Prof. Dr. Judit
Date of thesis defense: 19 July 2017
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2017 08:43
Date: 2017
Faculties / Institutes: Philosophische Fakultät > Institut für Japanologie
Subjects: 100 Philosophy
400 Linguistics
490 Other languages
Uncontrolled Keywords: Japanese, cognitive semantics, image schemas, polysemy, V-V compounds, lexicon-grammar continuum
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