英语多义词义项扩展模式的认知理据研究

英语多义词义项扩展模式的认知理据研究

来源:www.51fabiao.org作者:lgg发布时间:2017-02-16 16:55论文字数:37825字
论文编号:fbo201702141656346498论文地区:中国论文语言:中文论文类型:硕士毕业论文
本文是英语硕士论文,本文的研究意义主要体现在以下几点:首先,多义词义项扩展不是任意的,义项之间存在着一定的关联性。通过观察,这种关联性可以被提炼概括为链条式。
Chapter One Introduction 
 
1.1 Background 
Language is a dynamic and organic system. A lexical meaning can be extended to a number  of  meanings  gradually  in  a  long  term  development,  which  form  the phenomenon of polysemy. Polysemy is the basic feature of natural language, as Lyons (1995) said, there has been no word with only one meaning in any natural language in the past years. Polysemy reduces the number of words in the language and relieves the burden of psychological words in one’s mind, which is as a result of the principles of linguistic  economy  and  cognitive  economy.  Thus,  polysemy,  which  reflects  the characteristics  of  economy  and  flexibility  of  language,  is  rather  than  a  defect  of languages (Shu Dingfang, 2000). Inquiries  into  polysemy  became  an  important  issue  as  early  as  in  ancient Aristotelian  times  in  the  fields  of  logic,  philosophy,  psychology,  linguistics,  etc. According  to  formal  linguists’  view,  polysemy  is  the  epiphenomenal  product  of monosemy. While in the 1980s, the rise of cognitive linguistics started out as a reaction against traditional linguistic interpretation of the lexical meaning and gave a new sense of definition and connotation in a revolutionary way. Their standpoint is that polysemy is  a  fundamentally  conceptual  phenomenon.  Meaning  is  no  longer  a  collection  of abstract discrete elements, but closely links the world and human experience, perception, conceptualization as well as other cognitive phenomena. Cognitive linguistics also stark big differences from traditional studies, in that they make extensive researches focusing on meaning links, construct the radial polysemy network models based on the prototype theory  and  explain  lexical  meanings  by  conceptual  metaphor  theory  and  conceptual metonymy  theory,  which reveal the evolution  of the basic rules of polysemy  and the sources  of  word  meanings  change,  breaking  the  traditional  description  in  formal semantics. 
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1.2 Significance  
Polysemous  words  are  the  prominent  characteristics  of  human  language.  If  one word  has  one  meaning,  our  human  language  will  be  disordered,  needless  to  say  its economical  values.  Traditional  linguistics  believe  that  the  expansion  of  the  multiple senses  of  polysemy  is  arbitrary.  Thus,  during  the  process  of  their  teaching,  teachers require the students to repeatedly remember and recite the senses of polysemous words one by one, or ask the students to guess the senses of the polysemous words according to  the  context.  The  reason  for  this  issue  is  that  the  relationship  among  the  multiple senses  of  the  polysemous  words  is  regarded  as  no  reasonable  evidence  and  lack  of systematic  feature.  Indeed,  it  is  impossible  to  memorize  all  senses  of  a  polysemous word, rather, it is better to deduce other senses based on the cognitive model from the original or basic meaning.  The  research  question  focuses  on  constructing  the  patterns  of  polysemous  sense extension  and  applies  the  development  of  cognitive  theories  of  image  schemas, conceptual metaphor and conceptual metonymy to the patterns of the senses extension of polysemy and illustrates the motivations of the patterns. In addition, the present study takes  further  insight  into  the  way  of  improving  practical  teaching,  learning  to  store polysemous words and keeping long-term retention. Thus this is useful and valuable to cultivate and promote students’ lexical comprehension ability. Apart from vocabulary teaching, this study on the patterns of polysemous senses extension will be helpful to the compilation of dictionaries and textbooks. 
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Chapter Two Literature Review 
 
Polysemy is one of the most common phenomena in languages. It is an inevitable product of language development. There is an urgent need to propose and express new semantic  meanings  of  the  words  due  to  the  development  of  society,  the  growth  of language  application  requirements  and  the  depth  of  human  knowledge,  etc.  Thus polysemy  can  take  the  role  of  self-regulation  of  language  system  to  resolve  the contradiction between the finite language symbol signifier and the infinite signified.
 
2.1 Defining Notions 
When it comes to word senses, many people are really skeptical about that whether they  are  merely  the  meanings  of  words  one  finds  in  most  dictionaries.  Some experienced  lexicographers  who  work  with  senses  for  their  career.  For  example, Kilgarriff had his paper remarkably entitled ‘‘I don’t believe in word senses”(Kilgarriff, 1997: 95), quoting from Sue Atkins’ response to a discussion which assumed discrete and  disjoint  word  senses,  and  suggested  that  word  senses  exist  only  relative  to  a particular purpose or task. Hanks (2000) also questioned whether word meanings exist and  proposed  an  answer  to  it,  arguing  that  they  are  misleadingly  represented  by traditional dictionary definitions. Words are more properly considered to have meaning potentials made up of many components, which are only motivated in context. The  controversy  lies  in  the  difficulty  to  pin  down  a  precise  definition  of  sense. Sense is an abstraction. We cannot possibly point to something and say that is the sense of a word. We can only catch the sense of a word via our accumulated knowledge of the meaning of a message where the word is used to express it. As a linguistic concept, word sense covers only the linguistic or semantic meaning of word, in contrast to other types such as speaker or pragmatic meaning. Let's look at a hypothetical  situation:  I  am  taking  a  stroll  with  a  friend  while  he  complains  about someone’s misconduct. Seeing a dog coming towards us, I say to my friend: ‘‘what a hound!’’  At  this  moment,  my  friend  would  probably  think:  Am  I  referring  to  a four-legged animal or a morally reprehensible person? Am I asking him to protect me or am I showing my stand about that person’s behavior? As far as the sense of the word hound is concerned, only the first question is relevant. To disambiguate word senses is therefore to find out the use, among all possible uses, that a word adopts at a particular occasion. Although the distinction is a linguistic one, the process does not preclude the use of extralinguistic information. 
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2.2 Previous Studies on Polysemy
Language  is  the  system  that  combines  sound  and  meaning  to  communicate information.  In the language symbol  system,  meaning  is always attached to a certain amount of substance to survive. In a specific language, vocabulary is the material carrier of  meaning.  Phonetics  is  taken  as  a  signifier  of  the  word,  semantics  which  is  the representation of coded information is taken as a signified of the content, and it is the reflection of the human consciousness of the objective world from the multi-angle and multi-level perspectives in abstraction and generalization as well as the result of human mind activities (Zhan Renfeng, 2008). Therefore, the generation of language is to meet the various needs of  human communication,  furthermore, the generation of polysemy upgrades  the  way  of  communication,  so  that  our  languages  become  much  more convenient. Because  of  the  constrains  of  the  humans’  vocal  organs,  at  most  only  dozens  of different combinations of phonemes can be arranged into hundreds of different syllables, and  then  the  syllables  will  form  a  limited  number  of  signifiers,  so  the  phonetics  of words  are  restricted  (Lu  Zhi,  2006).  However,  the  semantic  forms  of  words  can  be unlimited,  which  range  from  material  level,  including  the  nature  of  substance,  the phenomenon  of  movement,  the  state  of  movement  to  time  and  place,  etc.  From  the spiritual  perspective,  such  as  thoughts,  feelings,  they  all  need  to  be  expressed.  As society is developing, new things are emerging continuously, so that new meanings of words are required. Therefore, there is a contradiction between the unlimited signified and limited signifier. Since it is impossible to create infinite forms of words, the only way is to use the same word to express different communicative needs, which resulted in two cases: homophones and polysemy. This is also the result of language choice. 
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Chapter Three   Theoretical Foundations ........ 23 
3.1 Image Schema Theory...... 23 
3.1.1 The Notion of an Image Schema......... 23 
3.1.2 Features of Image Schemas ....... 25 
3.1.3 Classification of Image Schemas ........ 33 
3.2 Conceptual metaphor Theory .... 35 
3.3 Conceptual Metonymy Theory............46 
3.3.1 The Notion of Metonymy ..........46 
3.3.2 Features of Conceptual Metonymy......47 
3.3.3 Working Mechanism of Conceptual Metonymy....49 
Chapter Four   Patterns of Polysemous Senses Extension...........51 
4.1 Meaning Chains of Polysemy ....51 
4.2 Patterns of Polysemous Senses Extension....52 
4.3 Regularity of Polysemous Senses Extension Patterns.....60 
Chapter Five   Cognitive Motivations of Sense Extension Patterns of English Polysemy 62
5.1 The Motivation of Concatenate Pattern........62 
5.2 The Motivation of Radial Pattern........63
5.3 The Motivations of Integrated Pattern..........69 
 
Chapter Five Cognitive Motivations of Sense Extension Patterns of English Polysemy 
 
5.1 The Motivation of Concatenate Pattern 
In  the  same  cognitive  domain,  conceptual  metonymy  uses  an  entity  to  refer  to another entity and the cognitive process of conceptual  metonymy is motivated by the relative prominence principle. The entity that is expressed by the metonymical words is often  the  cognitive  entity,  which  is  taken  as  a  referent  point  to  motivate  other  less prominent  entities,  resulting  in  the  activation  of  the  target  entity.  The  mechanism  of conceptual metonymy is not only the salience principle, but also contextual factors. So the  motivation  of  the  target  entity  is  often  in  specific  context  through  salience  to understand  a  conceptual  entity  within  the  same  domain.  For  example,  (a)  Pavel Korchagin  spent  most  of  his  time  in  bed.  (b)  Pavel  is  tough  to  read.  To  understand Proust  needs  a  series  of  related  encyclopedic  knowledge,  such  as  Pavel  is  a  famous writer and his works makes a far-reaching impact on literature. These factors constitute the understanding of the concept of Pavel domain matrix. In (a), Pavel is a writer, in (b) Pavel refers to the literary works in the cognitive context.  
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Conclusion 
 
The traditional studies emphasized the linguistic intuition, because they believe that the polysemous words are derived from the context, isolating human’s experience and subjunctive function. These studies mainly concentrated in human intuition so that the structure and rules of  language formed an autonomous module. Therefore, they could not explain the nature of polysemy, and they cannot illustrate patterns of polysemous senses extension.  Different  from  the  existing  studies,  this  thesis  analyzes  the  phenomenon  of polysemous  senses  extension  from  two  fresh  aspects.  Firstly,  senses  extension  of polysemy is not at random. There is a central sense and several extended senses. By this means,  multiple  senses  of  a  polysemous  word  constitute  the  semantic  network  and  a complicated category, in which, by and large, the network takes on three patterns. The fundamental pattern is the concatenate structure, the much more complex pattern is the radial structure. The last common one is the integrated pattern.  Secondly,  the  motivations  of  polysemous  senses  extension  patterns  are  image schemas, conceptual metaphor and conceptual metonymy, which are seldom adopted in the existing studies. The functions of image schemas rely on the bodily experience to extend basic sense of a word. The effect of conceptual metaphor on senses extension is radial, because the working mechanisms of conceptual metaphor rely on similarity, and unrelated domains can be mapped to each other, which result in radial pattern. And the effect of conceptual  metonymy  on the  meaning extension  is concatenate,  because the working  mechanisms  are  based  on  the  relativity  and  contiguity,  which  form  the concatenate pattern. But in most cases, three motivations works together. The patterns of polysemous meaning extension are produced on the basis of image schemas by the interaction  of  conceptual  metaphor  and  conceptual  metonymy. 
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