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Cognitive Linguistics Croft&Cruse 2: Frames, domains, spaces: the organization of conceptual structure.

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Presentation on theme: "Cognitive Linguistics Croft&Cruse 2: Frames, domains, spaces: the organization of conceptual structure."— Presentation transcript:

1 Cognitive Linguistics Croft&Cruse 2: Frames, domains, spaces: the organization of conceptual structure

2 2.1 Arguments for frame semantics Cognitive linguistics is a departure from both: –Structural semantics (with semantic features) -- meanings of boy, girl, spinster is more than a feature analysis of MALE/FEMALE, ADULT/YOUNG and UNMARRIED –Truth-conditional semantics, since no unitary definition captures distinctions between live and alive

3 2.1 Arguments for frame semantics, cont’d Meaning is embedded in human experience, so the meaning of restaurant is related to CUSTOMER, WAITER, ORDERING, EATING, BILL The experiential structure can be known as: frame, schema, script, global pattern, pseudo-text, [idealized] cognitive model, experiential gestalt, base, scene

4 2.1 Arguments for frame semantics, cont’d Cognitive linguistics/frame semantics defines words in relation to their frame. Deictic expressions require a frame to be interpreted, since they refer to the speech act: tense, person, spatial deixis (this, here), and definite/indefinite Many concepts require a context: vegetarian requires a meat-eating culture as context.

5 2.1 Arguments for frame semantics, cont’d A word allows the speaker and hearer to focus their attention on only part of an entire frame –Cf RISK – any given use refers to only part of the RISK frame –Cf My dad wasted most of the morning on the bus, which makes reference to relationships, working day, time as a commodity, and the fact that the bus was in service

6 2.1 Arguments for frame semantics, cont’d Croft&Cruse list a number of other types of utterances that are difficult to analyze according to truth-conditions: change in word meanings, text coherence, negation, real-world knowledge, etc.

7 2.2 Concepts: profile-frame organization We need to identify frames based on the words and constructions of a human language RADIUS is a profile against the base (=domain=frame) of CIRCLE The meaning of a linguistic unit must specify both the profile and its base A domain is a semantic structure that functions as the base for at least one concept profile No concept exists autonomously

8 2.3 Some consequences of the profile-frame/domain distinction Three allied theories: –Artificial intelligence: a script is a frame/domain for a sequence of events –Cognitive psychology: “theory theory” states that categorization is based not on perceptual features but on theories of biological kinds and artifacts –Sociology: there can be differences in how communities use concepts

9 2.3 Some consequences of the profile-frame/domain distinction Q: Why is the profile-frame/domain distinction important?

10 2.3 Some consequences of the profile-frame/domain distinction Q: Why is the profile-frame/domain distinction important? A: Because “some distinctions in word meaning apply not to the profiled concept -- what is usually thought of as ‘the definition’ of a word -- but to its frame/domain.” –E.g. ROE vs. CAVIAR vs.

11 2.3 Some consequences of the profile-frame/domain distinction Examples: –LAND is profiled against SEA, but GROUND is profiled against AIR –ROE is profiled against fish reproduction, but CAVIAR is profiled against food –STINGY is profiled against GENEROSITY, but THRIFTY is profiled against WASTEFULNESS –FETUS is profiled against MAMMAL, UNBORN BABY is profiled against HUMAN BABY VS.

12 2.3 Some consequences of the profile-frame/domain distinction Polysemy can be understood as a multiplicity of frames/domains for a single item –Example: MOUTH can be profiled against BODY, BOTTLE, CAVE, RIVER The range of frames/domains available for a given item may be language-specific -- this is a way in which languages differ, and can make items “untranslatable” by including cultural references –Example: Czech mlsat

13 2.4 Extensions of the basic profile-frame/domain distinction Locational and configurational profiles - - a locational profile accounts for deixis, such as the meaning of HERE; RECTANGLE is an example of a configurational profile Scope of predication -- NIECE presupposes kinship relations, but you need only part of the system

14 2.4 Extensions of the basic profile-frame/domain distinction Relationships between domains -- there can be chains of profile-frame/domain distinctions: RADIUS is profiled against CIRCLE which is profiled against SPACE –Basic domains -- grounded in embodied human experience vs. abstract domains –A concept may be profiled in many domains simultaneously -- the domain matrix of HUMAN BEING, or of the letter T

15 2.5 Domains and idealized cognitive models The frame/domain of a word may represent an idealized version of the world that does not include all possible real-world situations (e.g. BACHELOR) Encyclopedic knowledge is used to properly understand a concept, and this knowledge is all interconnected in our minds

16 2.6 Mental spaces The notion of mental space replaces the notion of possible worlds. A mental space is a cognitive structure that can represent beliefs and hypothetical situations Base space is usually present reality Space builders are linguistic expressions that build links between base space and other mental spaces

17 2.6 Mental spaces Mental spaces include roles and values –A role is a linguistics description describing a category –A value is an individual that can be described by that category Roles and values can have counterparts across different mental spaces A blended space is a special mental space that combines two input spaces


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