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From Etymology to Pragmatics : Metaphorical and Cultural Aspects of Semantic Structure - Eve Sweetser

From Etymology to Pragmatics

Metaphorical and Cultural Aspects of Semantic Structure

Paperback Published: 4th November 1991
ISBN: 9780521424424
Number Of Pages: 188

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This book offers a new approach to the analysis of the multiple meanings of English modals, conjunctions, conditionals, and perception verbs. Although such ambiguities cannot easily be accounted for by feature-analyses of word meaning, Eve Sweetser's argument shows that they can be analyzed both readily and systematically. Meaning relationships in general cannot be understood independently of human cognitive structure, including the metaphorical and cultural aspects of that structure. Sweetser shows that both lexical polysemy and pragmatic ambiguity are shaped by our metaphorical folk understanding of epistemic processes and of speech interaction. Similar regularities can be shown to structure the contrast among root, epistemic and speech act uses of modal verbs, multiple uses of conjunctions and conditionals, and certain processes of historical change observed in Indo-European languages. Since polysemy is typically the intermediate step in semantic change, the same regularities observable in polysemy can be extended to an analysis of semantic change.

Prefacep. ix
List of abbreviationsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
Past approaches and problemsp. 13
Cognitively oriented recent work in semanticsp. 16
Semantic change and polysemy patterns: metaphorical connections between semantic fieldsp. 18
Semantic structure and semantic change: English perception-verbs in an Indo-European contextp. 23
Introductionp. 23
The Mind-as-Body Metaphorp. 28
Sense-perception verbs in English and Indo-Europeanp. 32
The structure of our metaphors of perceptionp. 37
Conclusionsp. 45
Modalityp. 49
Introductionp. 49
The root modals in Englishp. 51
Epistemic modality as an extension of root modalityp. 56
Speech-act verbs and speech-act modalityp. 69
Conclusionsp. 73
Conjunction, coordination, and subordinationp. 76
Causal and adversative conjunctionsp. 76
And, or, and butp. 86
Conclusionsp. 111
Conditionalsp. 113
Conditionals in three domainsp. 113
Real and apparent ambiguities between classes of conditionalsp. 121
If as a topic markerp. 125
The even-if reading of conditionalsp. 133
Conclusionsp. 141
Appendix to section 5.1.3p. 142
Retrospect and prospectp. 145
Notesp. 149
Referencesp. 159
Index of namesp. 168
Subject indexp. 170
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521424424
ISBN-10: 0521424429
Series: Cambridge Studies in Linguistics, 54
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 188
Published: 4th November 1991
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.27