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The Semantics of English Prepositions: Spatial Scenes, Embodied Meaning, and Cognition

Overview

Using a cognitive linguistics perspective, this book provides the most comprehensive theoretical analysis of the semantics of English prepositions available. All English prepositions originally coded spatial relations between two physical entities; while retaining their original meaning, prepositions have also developed a rich set of non-spatial meanings. In this innovative study, Tyler and Evans argue that all these meanings are systematically grounded in the nature of human spatio-physical experience. The ...
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Overview

Using a cognitive linguistics perspective, this book provides the most comprehensive theoretical analysis of the semantics of English prepositions available. All English prepositions originally coded spatial relations between two physical entities; while retaining their original meaning, prepositions have also developed a rich set of non-spatial meanings. In this innovative study, Tyler and Evans argue that all these meanings are systematically grounded in the nature of human spatio-physical experience. The original 'spatial scenes' provide the foundation for the extension of meaning from the spatial to the more abstract. This analysis introduces a new methodology that distinguishes between a conventional meaning and an interpretation produced for understanding the preposition in context, as well as establishing which of several competing senses should be taken as the primary sense. Together, the methodology and framework are sufficiently articulated to generate testable predictions and allow the analysis to be applied to additional prepositions.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'The authors present a very detailed descriptive analysis … this well-produced and well-edited book is highly relevant for linguists interested in (cognitive) lexical semantics, polysemy, and spatial particles.' Journal of Linguistics
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521044639
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 268
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrea Tyler is Associate Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University. She teaches a range of courses which largely focus on applications of linguistic theory to issues of second language learning and teaching. She has published in numerous journals.

Vyvyan Evans is Lecturer in Linguistics at the School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences, University of Sussex. He teaches a range of courses in general linguistics at undergraduate and post-graduate level. His research focuses on conceptual structure and semantics.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgements
1 The nature of meaning 1
2 Embodied meaning and spatial experience 23
3 Towards a model of principled polysemy: spatial scenes and conceptualization 37
4 The semantic network for over 64
5 The vertical axis 107
6 Spatial particles of orientation 132
7 Bounded landmarks 178
8 Conclusion 229
References 238
Index 246
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