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Les ‘mots en bl-’ du lexique anglais : étude de la structuration des données dans une optique lexico-cognitive

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Abstract

In this paper, I explore the class of English lexical items beginning with bl-. My objective is twofold: firstly, I present the hypothesis that the phonological invariance of this heuristically-formed class corresponds to a notional invariance within two important subsets of ‘bl- words’. I claim that this notional invariance may be traced back to mental representations whose underlying source is the schema (Lakoff & Johnson). Secondly, I consider the part played by aspect in the data provided by the entries for ‘bl- words’ in two dictionaries, the Oxford English Dictionary and the English Dialect Dictionary.
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... Le balancement de l'esprit entre plusieurs options concurrentes que le sujet a du mal à départager permet de comprendre le sentiment de confusion, voire de vertige (vértigo, marear) qui peut éprouver celui qui se trouve confronté à une situation de doute ou d'incertitude. Argoud, toujours dans son étude sur le phonaesthème bl-en anglais, avait noté au fil de son corpus une impression générale de confusión, de mélange et de désordre (Argoud 2008 : 58) intimement liée à la nature multimodale des flux émis (larmes, pleurs, substances etc.), et donc à la pluralité. De ce manque de discernement liée à une situation vertigineuse et confuse découle une sensation de désagrément, d'inconfort, de malaise pour le sujet. ...
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Thesis
Ce travail de thèse se donne pour objectif d’étudier les « adverbes de doute » de l’espagnol contemporain, un paradigme foisonnant dont les membres, issus d’horizons étymologiques fort disparates, sont tenus pour synonymes dans l’approche grammaticale traditionnelle. Nous remettons en question cette prétendue synonymie en nous fondant sur les principes de la linguistique du signifiant, qui nous enjoint de tenir chaque signe pour irrémédiablement unique et d’accorder la primauté absolue au signifiant dans toute démarche analytique. En soumettant les signifiants des adverbes de doute à une série de protocoles méthodologiques issus de la linguistique énactive (Théorie de la Saillance Submorphologique, Cognématique, Théorie de la Relation Interlocutive), nous montrerons que ces signifiants sont motivés et forment un paradigme d’une structure étonnamment cohérente. L’exploration des diverses (re)motivations des signes et de leurs nombreux découpages submorphologiques s’accompagne d’une analyse d’exemples attestés et contextualisés.
... Table 1 presents my working hypothesis regarding the possibility of identifying conceptual categories associated with the phonestheme fl-from the OED. From here, the objective is to attempt to identify the semantic behavior of fl-, which Philps (2002Philps ( , 2008aPhilps ( , 2008bPhilps ( , 2008cPhilps ( , 2011Philps ( , 2012 and Argoud (2008Argoud ( , 2011 term "the notional invariant". As is immediately apparent from this list, one of the difficulties is establishing a method to isolate the semantic behavior of fl-from other factors (see Boussidan, Sagi, & Ploux 2009 on this matter). ...
Article
This study aims to track diachronic semantic shift in a small set of monomorphemes collected from the Oxford English Dictionary ( OED ), carrying the initial fl - phonestheme, such as flounder, flummox, flail , etc. The purpose is to determine the semantic behavior of fl - monomorphemes by identifying OED key words, which are then classified into eleven conceptual categories of semantic features. Five features of the eleven are conjectured as major on the basis of frequency of occurrence and frequency of combination with other features. Features which share similar progression rates are hypothesized to be linked through the natural process of metonymy (MTA, SV, SBT). Early emergent features are viewed as primary (MTA and MTL). From there, directionality of shift is assessed by comparing co-emergent with post-attestation features. Although no general pattern is discernible on this scale, several case studies of unexpected semantic shift towards minor features as in flummer and flourish show promising results for the field of historical lexical semantics.
... This suggests that MTA cannot be interpreted as the semantic core alone. (See Philps's 2012 STEEL theory, also Argoud 2008Argoud , 2011. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study aims to track diachronic semantic shift in a small set of monomorphemes collected from the OED, carrying the initial fl- phonestheme, such as flounder, flummox, flail, etc. The purpose is to determine the semantic behaviour of fl- monomorphemes by identifying OED key words, which are then classified into 11 conceptual categories of semantic features. Five features of the 11, are conjectured as major on the basis of frequency of occurrence and frequency of combination with other features. Features which share similar progression rates are hypothesized to be linked through the natural process of metonymy (MTA, SV, SBT). Early emergent features are viewed as primary (MTA and MTL). From there, directionality of shift is assessed by comparing co-emergent with post-attestation features. Although no general pattern is discernible on this scale, several case studies of unexpected semantic shift towards minor features as in flummer, and flourish show promising results for the field of historical lexical semantics.
... Furthermore, at the heart of the problem lies the theoretical foundation for sound symbolism. It has traditionally been suggested that meaning is notional (see Tournier 2007, Bolinger 1950), but new linguistic approaches have proposed that phonesthemes are triggers of modal mental representations or schemas (see Argoud (2008), (2010); Albrespit (2007), or sensori-motor subactions (Bottineau, 2008: 29). What is empirically crucial here is the fact that it appears that one phonestheme may be associated with not one but several mental schemas or associations. ...
Article
Full-text available
This preliminary study of 285 morphological and cognitive blends (attestation dates 1200-2012) aims to investigate the role of phonesthemes in the structuring of the English lexicon. A study of OED word origins shows a disparity between older (1200-1900) and recent blends (1903-2012). Sound symbolism plays an overriding role in over 50% of older blends, leading to a study of initial phonesthemes (i.e. consonant clusters). Several case studies of diachronic semantic shift attested in the OED point to the existence of multidirectional motivation ties. This preliminary study supports the psycholinguistic theory that 1) there is a structured secondary sound symbolism in English, and that 2) it is still productive today and may play a role in the creation of neologisms as well as ensuring their survival (see Bergen, 2010: 52). A more in-depth usage-based analysis using sophisticated measurement tools is the next step in the study.
... Furthermore, at the heart of the problem lies the theoretical foundation for sound symbolism. It has traditionally been suggested that meaning is notional (see Tournier 2007, Bolinger 1950), but new linguistic approaches have proposed that phonesthemes are triggers of modal mental representations or schemas (see Argoud (2008), (2010); Albrespit (2007), or sensori-motor subactions (Bottineau, 2008: 29). What is empirically crucial here is the fact that it appears that one phonestheme may be associated with not one but several mental schemas or associations. ...
Article
Full-text available
This preliminary study of 285 morphological and cognitive blends (attestation dates 1200-2012) aims to investigate the role of phonesthemes in the structuring of the English lexicon. A study of OED word origins shows a disparity between older (1200-1900) and recent (1903-2012). Sound symbolism plays an overriding role in over 50% of older blends, leading to a study of initial phonesthemes (i.e. consonant clusters). Several case studies of diachronic semantic shift attested in the OED point to the existence of multidirectional motivation ties. This preliminary study supports the psycholinguistic theory that 1) there is a structured secondary sound symbolism in English, and that 2) it is still productive today and may play a role in the creation of neologisms as well as ensuring their survival (see Bergen 2010: 52). A more in-depth usage- corpus analysis using sophisticated measurement tools is the next step in the study.
Book
Metaphor and Metonymy at the Crossroads is a collection of essays, most of them written from a cognitive linguistics standpoint by leading specialists in the fields of conceptual metaphor and metonymy, and conceptual integration (blending). The book has two main goals. One of them is to discuss in new, provocative ways the nature of these conceptual mappings in English and their interaction. The other goal is to explore by means of several detailed case studies the central role of these mappings in English. The studies are, thus, concerned with the operation of metaphor and metonymy in discourse, including literary discourse or with the effect of metaphorical and/or metonymic mappings on some aspects of linguistic structure, be it polysemy or grammar. The book is of interest to students and researchers in English and linguistics, English literature, cognitive psychology and cognitive science. © 2000, 2003 by Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, D-10785 Berlin.
Book
This collected volume presents radically new directions which are emerging in cognitive lexical semantics research. A number of papers re-ignite the polysemy vs. monosemy debate, and testify to the fact that polysemy is no longer simply taken for granted, but is currently a much more contested issue than it was in the 1980s and 1990s. Other papers offer fresh perspectives on the prototype structure of lexical categories, while generally accepted notions about the radial network structure of categories are questioned in papers on the development of word meaning in child language acquisition and in diachrony. Additional topics include the interaction of lexical and constructional meaning, and the relationship between word meanings and the contexts in which the words are encountered. This book is of interest to semanticists and cognitive linguists, as well as to scholars working in the broader field of cognitive science.