Christopher Shank, University New Mexico
Sensation and Cognition - The Verb ‘Feel’ in Discourse
This presentation is drawn from a larger project which has examined the important semantic extensions and conceptual organizations that the following tactile verbs of perception (TOUCH > HOLD, HANDLE, GRASP, SEIZE, and FEEL) fulfill as the expression of one of the five primary human senses. The methodological and analytical approach utilized in this study integrates elements from both cognitive and functional approaches in linguistics in order to develop a framework within which to locate and understand verbs of tactile perception, and their participation in kinesthetic metaphors and argument structure.
This study presents a synchronic analysis focusing on the argument structure of the verb FEEL based on an analysis of in 1,130 tokens taken from the Santa Barbara Corpus of Spoken American English. The uses of this verb have been coded for a number of features including transitivity (Hopper & Thompson 1980, Thompson & Hopper 2001), evidentiality and epistemic modality, literal versus figurative uses, semantic roles / frame elements (Frame Net 2004), etc. These parameters, along with a proposed Extended Metaphorical Domain framework, will then be used as a means of conceptualizing and discussing the transitive argument structure of this tactile verb of perception drawing from Croft & Cruse (2004), Langacker (2000), Rice (1987) and Talmy (1988) as the meanings of these constructions shift in frequency from the literal/physical realm to increasingly metaphorical and abstract usage contexts.
The discussion examines the different uses of FEEL in spoken discourse, and the resulting complement clause patterns, in both physically grounded perception situations as well as more internally situated experiential and cognitive domains. The Extended Metaphorical Domain schematic (Shank, 2003) will also be utilized to highlight the different roles of the subject, functioning as Actor, Perceiver, Experiencer, or Cognizer, as well as the emergence of both stative and agent oriented, epistemic, or speaker-oriented modal type constructions. The distribution patterns of the complement clauses will be analyzed and discussed within a TOUCH is COMPREHENSION and UNDERSTANDING Idealized Cognitive Model framework (Lakoff, 1987). This research highlights the importance of the human body, and our perceptions, in grounding and motivating human conceptual systems and the construction of meaning.
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Implications of Its Metaphorical, Polysemous, and Lexical Sense extensions.” The 7th International Cognitive Linguistics
Conference (ICLC), University of La Rioja, Spain
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