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Academic Paper


Title: The image-schematic anchorage of the preposition fi (in): The logic of containment in Tunisian Arabic
Author: Zouhair Maalej
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Manouba
Linguistic Field: Semantics; Cognitive Science
Abstract: It is uncontroversial that prepositions assume spatial meanings as default, with the spatialisation of time as deriving therefrom metaphorically (Lyons, 1977; Sweetser, 1990; O'Keefe, 1999, etc.). It is also uncontroversial that the interpretation of spatial expressions is tightly linked to details of our biological and cognitive make-up (Lyons, 1977; Sweetser, 1990). Although the spatial-to-temporal interface of prepositions is well-documented (Lyons, 1977; Cienki, 1989; Sweetser, 1990; O'Keefe, 1999, etc.), the spatial one as mediated through the cognitive processes of metaphor and image-schemata is less studied. Combining Lakoff's Spatialization-of-Form Hypothesis (Lakoff, 1987) and pragmatics, the present paper studies the preposition fi (in) in the simple N-fi-N construction in Tunisian Arabic (TA). It proposes that fi in the N-fi-N construction is differentiated pragmatically into sub-image-schemata such as enclosure, dangling, penetration, and encirclement, which all are realised by the image-schematic structure of containment. These sub-image-schemata are argued to be determined either by the trajector or the landmark (Langacker, 1987).
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Venue: Budapest, Hungary: E ötvös Lorand University.
Publication Info: In: Szilvia Csabi & Judit Zerkowitz (eds.), Textual Secrets: The Message of the Medium. Proceedings of the 21st PALA Conference, pp. 227-236.


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