Moreover both the component parts and the complex can

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Unformatted text preview: herits some of their qualities and, as a result of composition, creates a new value. This value is context-dependent and may vary with every usage event. Moreover, both the component parts and the complex can be available to reflection relative to their degree of the entrenchment3 of the complex. The same processes which ensure cognitive development are also responsible for language acquisition. It is the experience between a human organism and the environment as well as the growing awareness of the body which facilitate this learning. This is a basic assumption of cognitivism. Linguistic abilities are not a separate module of cognition, but are akin to other cognitive abilities, such as categorization, figure-ground differentiation and imagery, as a creative process involved in everyday thought and represented in language. Categorization is the process responsible for our ability to generalize, to create and use stereotypes and to create metaphors. The major tenets of Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT) (Lakoff – Johnson 1980, 1999), which tries to account for the mental processes 3 Entrenchment is here understood as automatization and fossilisation of the complex, so that it becomes perceived as a whole, which may only partly be available for analysis of its units (Langacker 1991). Conceptual metaphor and its implications for discourse 17 enabling our understanding of the physical, social and cultural worlds is presented in Section 2 below. The presentation starts with the account of the early version of the theory and continues with its more recent developments, including its contribution to discourse analysis in Section 2.7. Section 3 is dedicated to a brief discussion of Idealised Cognitive Models (Lakoff 1987), Section 4 to image schemata (Johnson 1987) and Section 5 to force dynamic schema (Talmy 2000) which may all contribute to the underlying conceptual structure providing the basic scaffolding for human thinking. Section 6 is also devoted to an alternative approach to human mental processing – the Blending Theory (Fauconnier – Turner 2002). Finally, axiological semantics (Krzeszowski 1993, 1997a) which attempts to elaborate CMT to account for the system of social and cultural values implied in language is presented in Section 7. 2. Conceptual Metaphor Theory 2.1. The early formulation Within Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT), metaphors, as expressed in language, are not seen as stylistic ornaments, but as evidence for the fact that thinking about, and understanding of the world outside our organisms, as well as the working of our bodies, involves metaphoric processes. CMT claims that this understanding is possible through a system of related concepts, some of which are emergent, some structured metaphorically, and some both emergent and structured metaphorically. Metaphors allow us to understand one thing in terms of another. Metonymy, on the other hand, is referential in nature, it uses one thing to stand for another. Lakoff – Johnson (1980: 106) identify the aims of semantics in the following words: Any...
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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 University (Engineering School).

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