Part ofEmbodiment in Latin Semantics
Edited by William Michael Short
[Studies in Language Companion Series 174] 2016
► pp. 57–84
Latin authors of the classical period used sub rarely and purposefully in a temporal construction like a polarity item with the dichotomous nouns nox and lux to convey the relative quantity of atmospheric light at dusk and dawn, implying a scale at its minimum value within an absolute frame of reference. This construction comes out of the spatial semantics of sub as “under” through a manipulation of metaphor, directional mappings from vertical to horizontal axes, and up/down and center/periphery image schemas. Beginning with the embodied experience of the sky as “above”, projections onto topological features such as mountains allows for negative and inceptive uses of sub for pragmatic scalar construal and implicature.