Put, Set, Lay and Place
A Cognitive Linguistic Approach to Verbal Meaning
University of Antwerp
This work outlines a Cognitive Linguistic methodology for the analysis of verbal meaning, which is applied in a corpus-based investigation of the related English high-frequency verbs put, set, lay and place.
The first part takes a closer look at lexicography and lexical semantics, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches. The survey shows how a Cognitive Linguistic approach provides a framework which allows for differentiation, but also provides coherence. The first part results in a methodology providing for an analysis in three stages focusing on patterning, profiling and base (or cognitive domains).
The descriptive application in the second part demonstrates how this type of approach, which results in different clusters of specific uses (according to patterns, argument-slots in the profile, and domain matrixes) provides a principled differentiation between uses and at the same time uncovers a network of relations between them. The analysis highlights the role of cognitive processes like metaphor and metonymy, and indicates relevant image schemata and general usage types.
The resulting description of the four verbs provides a motivation as to why, for example, put is the high-frequency manipulation verb, why set is often used to conceptualize activation or motion, or why all verbs but put conceptualize arrangement. The findings also suggest that uses are entrenched (or salient) at different levels of abstraction, and that there are salient links between uses, supporting a polysemous analysis.
ISBN 9783895867897. LINCOM Studies in Theoretical Linguistics 19. 260pp. 2000.