Finally he suggests that there are four types of

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Unformatted text preview: the extension of the category. Experiential domains and Idealized Models motivate the links in the chains. They may but need not be culture specific. Specific Knowledge supersedes general types. In human categorization ‘and everything else’ is a possible category. Category members do not have to share common properties. These principles may explain (motivate) the existing categories, but cannot predict the new members. An analysis of the Japanese classifier hon enables Lakoff (1987: 110) to formulate another list of principles of the linguistic organization. Here he includes: centrality, basic level members at the centre, conventional mental images and the knowledge about them, image schema transformations, metonymy in mental imagery and in experience, and metaphors. Finally, he suggests that there are four types of cognitive models: propositional models, image-schematic models, and metaphoric and metonymic models. If cognitive models are synonymous to ICMs, it remains unclear why one should posit the three last types. The existence of image schemata has been posited by Langacker (1987, 1991), and metaphoric and metonymic mappings explained in Lakoff – Johnson (1980).13 Why insist on calling them models? At first, Lakoff claims that these three and Fillmore’s propositional structure are the structuring principles of ICMs. The meaning of ‘principle’ adds to the confusion. That is, are 13 Moreover, the status of ICM vs. Fillmorian propositional structure is not delineated, either. If and how they differ is not spelt out. Conceptual metaphor and its implications for discourse 39 propositional structures and image schemata parts of ICMs or are they external to ICMs? Are metonymy and metaphor principles cum rules or processes responsible for the change within the models? All of these doubts amount to a fundamental question: Do we need ICMs at all? Doesn’t Ockham’s razor require us not to create unnecessary constructs? Do we need an empty label that can be filled in with any concept posited by other authors? It seems that Lakoff (1987) does not give an adequate grounding for the independent existence of ICMs. He simply does not define how they differ from constructs posited earlier and in what way they improve the descriptive adequacy of cognitive linguistic theory. 4. Image schemata As image schemata underlie the concept of ICM (Section 3 above) and the Generic Space of the Blending Theory (Section 6 below), it seems therefore necessary to refer to Johnson’s (1987) work, in which he elaborates the notion of meaning as being experientially grounded. He claims that our meaning construction emerges from our bodily experience. The physical experience of the human body is the basis for a series of image schemata, which recur in a wide range of human everyday activities. Johnson (1987: 44) clearly indicates the inspiration of his theory with gestalt theory and says: I am using the term “gestalt structure” to mean an organized, unified whole within our experience and understanding that manifests a repeatable pattern or structure. (…) [E]xperiential gestalts have internal structure that conne...
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This essay was uploaded on 02/24/2014 for the course LING 1100 taught by Professor Friedman during the Fall '09 term at Cornell.

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