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Unformatted text preview: . Incidentally this word was also discussed at
the RAAM 6 panel, but only shortly and on what appears to be an invented example.
I take step 3 first. According to the Collins Cobuild English Language Dictionary [CCELD] (1987) the verb to attack has the following
1. To attack someone is to use violence against them in order to hurt them,
for example by hitting them or stabbing them.
2. If a group of people such as an army attacks buildings, towns or other
armies, they start to use weapons violently against them in order to damage or destroy them.
3. If you attack someone or something such as a belief or an idea you criticise them strongly.
4. If something, such as a chemical, a disease or an insect attacks something, it harms it or spoils it.
5. If you attack something such as a job or a problem, you start to deal with
it with energy and enthusiasm.
6. When players attack in a game of football, hockey, etc. they try to score
goals. 4 The newspaper texts corpus was not tagged for parts of speech, so that the high
ranking of the word attack is probably due to the collapsing of the verbal and nominal
uses of the verb. The BNC investigation was conducted separately for different grammatical categories. 206 Chapter V According to the embodiment hypothesis and step 3 of the Pragglejaz
procedure, sense 1 is the most concrete, human oriented and specific
sense of the word. It is therefore basic. I consider sense 2 as a nonmetaphorical specification of sense 1. This meaning network is similar to
that of force/forces discussed in Section 2. The analysis in Section 5.1.
indicates which of the two literal senses is more frequent.5 Senses 3-6 are
metaphorical, because they involve cross domain mappings. Let us apply
these assumptions to data:
If any of you attacks your brother from now on, if not ordered to do so
by a superior, that attacker will be enslaved and used for chirurgical experiments in our laboratories for as long as he lives. [CJJ 465]6 (1) Here the verb is used in its basic, non-metaphorical sense of a person using physical violence against another with an aim of hurting them.
(2) The purpose of field artillery is both to destroy enemy assaults and
to support one’s own infantry as it attacks. [CLX 214] This is sense 2, a non-metaphorical extension of sense 1 in a military context.
(3) While they may not realise it, owners can be held liable if their dog
attacks someone, or causes an accident or damage, and this policy
covers them up to £1 million. [ARJ 998] Although no such sense is singled out in the dictionary, it can also be considered as a non-metaphoric extension of sense 1. The use of the word attacks here does not require any metaphorical operations, such as, for example, the personification of the dog.
(4) Finally, Gassendi attacks the idea that proofs must be syllogistic in
form. [ABM 464]
5 I hesitate to call the most frequent sense more salient, as saliency, although most
certainly related to frequency is not its direct function.
Information in square brackets identifies the source text (acronym) and the sequence number of the node word. Words from the lexical field of war and their metap...
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