Bit: an examination of the explanatory power of a meaning potential approach to the description of lexical meaning
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Through a detailed examination of the use of the lexical item bit in four English language corpora, this study assesses whether the assumptions guiding a meaning potential perspective on lexical meaning (e.g. Allwood 1999, 2003; Croft and Cruse 2004, Paradis 2005; Fauconnier 2007) are reconcilable with a practicable description and explanation of attested language use. To this end, the study employs a model of lexical meaning as ontologies and construals, the LOC model (Paradis 2005). The lexical semantics for bit therefore is described not in terms of meanings per se, but rather in terms of potential for cueing conceptual structures of varying schematicity, put to use through a range of cognitive processes, or construals (Gestalt, Salience, Comparison, and Perspective). The study concludes that some conceptual structures are quite fundamental to bit’s use and that their construal is highly flexible and contextually sensitive. Moreover, contextual features of importance to meaning construction are integrated into the analysis throughout. The study also shows that some diachronically central schematic templates for bit (e.g. part-whole) remain significant today, albeit with broader potential for realization. In addition, by drawing on Verhagen’s construal configuration (2005, 2007), the study considers bit’s potential for objective, subjective and intersubjective construals and finds that it has broad potential for these modes of construal relative to its semantic structures. Ultimately, a meaning potential perspective, and these particular models for describing and explaining lexical meaning as conceptual structures and construals, facilitates a rich and explicatory description of bit, both its fundamental structures and their construals in attested language use.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of English, Stockholm University , 2013. , 247 p.
cognitive semantics, construal, configurations, SCALE, INDIVIDUATION, DEGREE, EXTENT, AMOUNT, PART-WHOLE
Research subject English
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-89401OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-89401DiVA: diva2:617737
2013-09-06, hörsal 9, hus D, Universitetsvägen 10 D, Stockholm, 15:00 (English)
Traugott, Elizabeth C., Professor Emerita
Paradis, Carita, ProfessorErman, Britt, Associate Professor