Publication details [#8653]

Paradis, Carita. 2008. Configurations, construals and change: Expressions of DEGREE. Annales Universitatis Paedagogicae Cracoviensis. Studia de Cultura 12 (2) : 317–343. 27 pp. URL
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This paper challenges the widespread view that DEGREE is a grammatical phenomenon characteristic of certain types of words classes and, instead, argues that DEGREE is pervasive in language and may be associated with most meanings. The main aim of the paper is to discuss the results of a number of corpus investigations and experiments of DEGREE meanings in general and modification of DEGREE in particular and to accommodate these results in a general and dynamic model of lexical meaning as ontologies and construals (Paradis 2005). The claims are that (i) DEGREE is a BOUNDEDNESS configuration in conceptual space, (ii) DEGREE modifiers operate on the DEGREE structure of the meanings they apply to through a construal of contextually motivated zone activation within conventionalized senses, (iii) non–conventionalized DEGREE readings of form–meaning pairings are invoked through implication by means of construals of metonymization between senses, and (iv) this process of metonymization is the mechanism through which change may or may not take place. (Carita Paradis)