Vol. 30:1 (2017) ► pp. 299–324
Conceptual complexes in cognitive modeling
The present paper goes beyond previous treatments of cognitive models, especially conceptual metaphor and metonymy, by drawing on linguistic evidence. It introduces needed refinements into previous meaning construction accounts by investigating the activity of conceptual complexes, i.e., combinations of cognitive models whose existence can be detected from a careful examination of the meaning effects of some linguistic expressions. This improvement endows the linguist with a more powerful set of analytical tools capable of dealing with a broader range of phenomena than previous theories. The paper first explores metaphoric and metonymic complexes, and their meaning effects. Then, it addresses the metonymic exploitation of frame complexes and image-schematic complexes. The resulting analytical apparatus proves applicable to the study of fictive motion and image-schema transformations, which have so far been addressed in Cognitive Linguistics without making explicit any relation between them or with other phenomena. We give evidence that these two phenomena can be dealt with as specific cases of metonymic domain expansion and domain reduction respectively. This means that fictive motion and image-schema transformations can be fully integrated into an encompassing account of cognitive modeling based on the activity of single or combined cognitive operations on basic or complex cognitive models.
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