Radial categories franklin delacruz


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A Short presentation regarding the concept of "radial categories" Lakoff (1987) and others.

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Radial categories franklin delacruz

  1. 1. Radial Categories and Polysemy Franklin de la Cruz M.
  2. 2. Radial Category A RADIAL CATEGORY is a conceptual category in which the range of concepts are organised relative to a central or prototypical concept Evans and Green 2006
  3. 3. A radial category is a classification of things ordinarily understood in terms of some clearly imagined subcategory, called a prototype. There is some reason to think that most if not all of our ordinary concepts are about categories like this. Garret Jann 2004
  4. 4. Carachteristics:  The Semantic network of the radial category is structured around a CORE MEANING  The lexical item has VARIABILITY (fortis/lenis) --> Specialized meaning COUNTERFACTUALITY  Its meaning is Non-predictable from rules but motivated by CONVENTIONS  The meaning is stored in the semantic memory  Sometimes the lexical item presents overextension  So RADIALITY is a type of linguistic and conceptual category property
  5. 5. Lexical items are conceptual categories: a word represents a category of distinct yet related meanings that exhibit typicality effects. Lakoff: the lexical item represents radial categories. It is structured with respect to a composite prototype, and the various category members are related to the prototype by convention rather than being 'generated' by predictable rules. Evans and Green 2006
  6. 6. The Suffix -able solvable likeable washable readable “-able” is typically attached to a verb to produce the corresponding adjective: "able to be verbed" this is known as the CORE MEANING Solvable means able to be solved Washable means able to be washed But… Lee David 2001
  7. 7. Readable means able to be read? It means that a piece of written information is easy or interesting to read --> this is the VARIABILITY which gives raise to a Specialized meaning Compare: very solvable very readable very readable makes little sense if "readable" means "able to be read" SEE: COMPARABLE PAYABLE Lee David 2001
  8. 8. Specialised meaning is another example of foregrounding frame 1------------------------- verb frame 2------------------------- able Relation between F1 and F2 generates a mechanism to build (new) meanings Lee David 2001
  9. 9. Polysemy is the phenomenon whereby a lexical item is commonly associated with two or more meanings that appear to be related in some way SEE The picture is over the sofa ---------ABOVE the ball landed over the the wall ---------ON THE OTHER SIDE the car drove over the bridge ---------ACROSS Over exhibits polysemy Evans and Green 2006
  10. 10. Polysemy and homonymy Homonymy: two different words that happen to share the same form in sound (homophones) and /or in writing (homographs) Example: bank--------- financial institution: italian, banca 'money changer's table' bank--------- of a river: Old Icelandic for "hill“ Evans and Green 2006
  11. 11. According to some views, polysemy emerges from monosemy (Ruhl 1989; Pustejovsky 1995): A single abstract meaning from which other senses are derived on the basis of context, speaker intention, recognition of the intention by the hearer and so on. This may be true when over has a spatial sense but: Jane has a strange power over him ------- over means control Is this over a distinct word, an homonym? Or a single abstract underlying sense licenses both, the spacial and the non-spacial sense???monosemy??? Evans and Green 2006
  12. 12. RADIAL CATEGORY MODEL OF POLYSEMY Claudia Brugman (1981) Brugman and Lakoff (1988) Lakoff (1987) They claim that over is stored as a category of distinct polysemous senses rather than a single abstract monosemous sense Over constitutes a conceptual category of distinct but related (polysemous) senses These senses as part of a single category, they can be judged as more prototypical (central) or less prototypical (peripheral) While the prototypical ABOVE sense of over relates to a spatial configuration, the CONTROL sense does not --- it is derived metaphorically Evans and Green 2006
  13. 13. PAST TENSE -ed (CORE MEANING) means a period of time prior to the present moment of utterance but: 1 If John likes Mary, he will help her --> the speaker is unsure whether Jhon likes Mary 2 If John liked Mary, he would help her --> speaker is sure Jhon does not like Mary --> counterfactuality The difference conveyed between 1 and 2 is not related to the core meaning of "liked", this is "time" but between a contrast between a real and an unreal condition. This diference is related to the dimension of factuality rather than time Lee David 2001
  14. 14. WILL/WOULD I will talk to him I would talk to him By locating a situation in a past time, the speaker locates it in a conceptual space that is distinc from the present and is this property that relates it to conterfactual situation Lee David 2001
  15. 15. SEE: If John Knew Mary last year, he didn't tell me If John had known Mary last year, he would have told me Lee David 2001
  16. 16. It's time we left! Possible event of leaving in the near future Cunterfactuality is the property (some words posses) of making a contrast between facts and events and hypotetical facts and events
  17. 17. Politenes I wonder ---present (factual) state--- if you would help? I wonder ---present state--- ed --past state/ counterfactual-- if you would help? The difference is not related to time--> the reference to the past existence of a mental state does not preclude the possibility that it continues up to the present. This extension in the period of time of the events is characteristic of politenes or indirectedness. Lee David 2001
  18. 18. SEE: Will you close the door? --> hypothetical future state "in a future I imagine you close the door" Would you close de door? -->counterfactual Can you close the door? -->counterfactual Could you close the door? --> counterfactual The contrast does not involve a difference of time, but politeness Lee David 2001
  19. 19. Attribute radiality Adjectives Example: strong  core meaning: physical strength A strong man / horse But: a strong argument /claim/ beer/ smell Observation: An entity possessed of physical strength is one that has the potential to impinge on its surroundings, overpower other entities or to move objects that are not easily moved Lee David 2001
  20. 20. Mental awareness Biological perceptual experience strong SEE: a strong cup of tea /coffe/ beer / wine “The tea was so strong you could stand your spoon in it” +strenght+density
  21. 21. strong taste / smel / light but: a strong noise???  A strong woman (is someone who has the potential to endure hardship)  A strong man (man are naturaly stronger than women) A strong woman (fortis) A strong man (lenis) Lee David 2001
  22. 22. Example: good a good child/ boy/ dog/ book/ pen See: A good dog Here good means: it behaves as we expect it to behave: obedient, friendly, loyal, well-behaved But: A good cat/ goldfish A good door/ window Lee David 2001
  23. 23. PROCESS RADIALITY EXAMPLE:TURN CORE MEANING: the rotation of an entity about and axis: the wheels are turning Mary turned the doorknob But: He turned from Mary to John The car turned into the high street John turned back (opposite direction) She turned up at the party the liquid turned red John's face turned quite green Lee David 2001
  24. 24. THING RADIALITY In nouns, radiality is pervasive see children “Dog” is any four legged animal “daddy” is any adult male -------------> overextension "I didn't know that cows laid eggs"
  25. 25. Radial category: over
  26. 26. Conclusion Since the semantic networks associated to words and morphemes on the basis of perceived similarities, new phenomena can be assimilated to existing categories
  27. 27. References  Evans V. & Green M. 2006. Cognitive Linguistics, an Introduction. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers. London.  Garret, Jan. 2005. Oppression as a Radial Category and the Search for a Definition. Consulted in: http://www.wku.edu/~jan.garrett/320/oppressn.htm  Lee, David. 2001.Cognitive Linguistics, an Introduction. Oxford University Press. New York.  http://www.linguistics.ucsb.edu/faculty/cumming/ling50/radial_categories.h