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Evolutionary Syntax

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Academic Paper


Title: Naming people in Tunisian Arabic: An idealized cognitive model
Author: Zouhair Maalej
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Manouba
Linguistic Field: Cognitive Science
Abstract: Naming people has been studied referentially (Quirk et al, 1972), etymologically (Jaekel, 1999), pragmatically (Marmaridou, 1989), and syntactico-semantically (Van Langendonck, 1999). The present paper, however, offers a cognitive semantic view of naming in Tunisian Arabic (TA) as an Idealised Cognitive Model (Lakoff, 1987; Langacker, 1991). First names are regarded as semantically motivated but unconscious strategies, describing a propositional model (Lakoff, 1987), a LINK image-schema (Lakoff, 1987; Johnson, 1987), a part-whole metonymic model (Lakoff, 1987), and a motivated metaphoric mapping (Lakoff and Johnson, 1980-1999). Prototypically, first names in TA rely on a conceptual domain either recruited from within the experience of name-givers or are the outcome of a desirable state of affairs on the part of name-givers. Such a desirable state of affairs is the product of an imaginative projection on the part of name-givers, who build this projection from within emotions, morality, beauty, piety, etc. The conceptual metaphors capitalized upon in naming reveal name-givers' perception of males and females in TA, with blatant bias to the former. The result is a cultural model of naming, whereby conceptual metaphors interface with derivational morphology.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: In Progress
Venue: Department of Linguistics, UNM
Publication Info: Paper read to the HDLS (UNM, Albuquerque, 1-2 November 2002)


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