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Title: Polysemy and metaphor in perception verbs : a cross-linguistic study
Author: Ibarretxe-Antunano, B. Iraide
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2000
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This thesis is a cognitive semantic account of polysemy in the semantic field of perception verbs in English, Basque and Spanish. It explores why and how our experience and understanding of the five senses constrains and shapes the way in which we create mappings between the physical domain of perception onto more metaphorical and abstract conceptual domains of experience. The different extensions of meaning in these verbs, both synchronically and diachronically, have not taken place as a result of chance, but are grounded in our own conceptualisation of these sense modalities. Secondly, the thesis focuses on how the polysemy in these verbs is obtained, whether it is localised to only these perception verbs or whether it affects the elements that complement these verbs in a sentence. Chapter 1 sets out the nature and scope of the work, explaining the purpose of examining the domain of perception verbs, and outlining the theoretical context and orientation of the study. Chapter 2 presents a synchronic typological study of the different meanings, both physical and metaphorical found in perception verbs in English, Basque and Spanish. Chapter 3 is a brief diachronic-etymological account of these perception verbs in these three languages. Chapter 4 reviews to approaches to meaning extension. Sweetser's (1990) semantic account of perception verbs, and Pustejovsky's (1995) Generative Lexicon. It sets out the advantages and gaps that need to be addressed in both approaches. Chapter 5 describes the physiology of the five senses and the way in which human beings perceive these perceptual processes. It presents a typology of the properties that characterise the source domain of sense perception. Chapter 6 introduces the processes called 'Property Selection', which constrain the mappings between the source and the target domain, both in metaphorical and physical extended meanings. Chapter 7 explores the question of how the polysemous senses of perception verbs are obtained, -whether they are the results of the meaning of the perception verb only, or the result of the interaction between the semantics of that verb and the other elements that co-occur in the same sentence. It also explains the implications for the study of cross-linguistic polysemy. Chapter 8 draws some conclusions on the issues discussed in this thesis and points out further lines for future research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available