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Past Colloquia: 2013

Melike Baş. Wednesday, 4 December 2012, 4-5pm. Location: TBA Title: The Conceptualization of Emotion in Terms of the Body-Part Term “CİĞER” in Turkish: A Cognitive Linguistic Study. Melike Baş is a Fulbright Scholar and Lecturer in English at Amasya University, in Amasaya, Turkey. She is also a PhD Candidate from Hacettepe University, Institute of Social Sciences, Department of Linguistics in Ankara, Turkey.

Abstract:The present study investigates how emotion is conceptualized by internal body-part term “ciğer” (liver-lung) in Turkish. “Ciğer” is a special word in Turkish used as a cover term for lung and liver as well as it may mean heart or inside. In this study, idioms including the body-part term “ciğer” are examined, and those that indicate an emotion type are selected with the help of two interraters according to the emotion typology developed by Ortony, Clore& Collins (1988). The underlying conceptual metaphors are investigated via Conceptual Metaphor Theory put forth by Lakoff & Johnson (1980), and Kövecses (2000; 2010). Findings show that DISTRESS, LIKING, FEAR, HATE and PITY are the emotion types expressed by the ciğer-idioms. The conceptual metaphors EMOTION IS FIRE, EMOTION IS FORCE, EMOTION IS PHYSICAL AGITATION, EMOTIONAL HARM IS PHYSICAL DAMAGE are observed for the DISTRESS, FEAR and PITY emotion types, whereas the conceptual metonymies THE BODY PART IS LOVE/BELOVED/VALUE is found for the emotion types LIKING and HATE. Key words: liver-lung, embodiment, conceptual metaphor, conceptual metonymy, Turkish idioms


Hongshen Zhang. Wednesday, 13 November 2013, 4-5pm. A11 Crawford Hall (ground floor, Inamori Center). Title: A Study of the Metaphoricity of English Grammatical Categories in Light of Conceptual Integration Theory. Hongshen Zhang is on the faculty of the School of Humanities at Fujian University of Technology in Fuzhou, Fujian, China.

Abstract: Grammaticalization is metaphorical in principle, or, at least, metaphorization is one important means of grammaticalization. Traditional grammars, paradoxically, tend to treat grammatical categories by excluding their content (Talmy). This is presumably what makes it difficult to learn a language even if one knows its grammatical rules. The present project will take a descriptive-analytic approach, aided by hermeneutical explanations of the data retrieved from large-scale corpora like the BNC, COCA,and ANC with compliant concordance programs such as AntConc. The metaphorical approach conduces to a better understanding of grammatical categories because it is based on content and meaning.


Shuqiong Wu. Wednesday, 16 October 2013, 4-5pm. A11 Crawford Hall (ground floor, Inamori Center). Title: Metonymy in the Interpretation of the Chinese Antonym Co-occurrence Constructionyou X you YShuqiong Wu is Associate Professor in the College of Foreign Languages, Southwest University of Political Science and Law, China.

Abstract: Previous studies of antonym co-occurrence have focused mainly on its frequency, the lexico-grammatical patterns in which antonym pairs co-occur, its discourse functions, and the preferred order of antonyms. The semantic interpretation of specific antonym co-occurrence constructions has been understudied. This study sets out to address the semantic interpretation of the antonym co-occurrence constructions based on a detailed analysis of the Chinese construction you X you Y. The construction retains a transparent meaning which stems from its coordinative syntax, but it has come to invite emergent meanings which are unpredictable from its components. It can indicate exhaustiveness and express the diversity of the speaker’s stance towards what he/she is talking about. This study shows that the semantic interpretation of the construction can be attributed to metonymic inference triggered by the co-occurring antonym pairs. Our analysis also demonstrates that the meaning derived from the metonymic inference may exhibit further meaning extension through conceptual metaphor. We also provide evidence that the motivation for licensing non-canonical antonym pairs to co-occur in the construction is owed to the relational coercion that the construction exerts on the sense relation between the lexical items (X and Y). Finally, the preferred order of X and Y in the construction is discussed and a possible account is provided.


Yuanyuan He. Wednesday, 9 October 2013, 4-5pm. A11 Crawford Hall (ground floor, Inamori Center). Title: Framing and Conceptual Blending in Critical Cultural Awareness: A Cognitive Linguistic Study of Body Ritual among the Nacirema and 22 Chinese Undergraduates’ Reflective Reports. Yuanyuan He is a third-year PhD candidate in the Institute of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, School of Foreign Languages at Peking University, China.

Abstract: Although the concept of critical cultural awareness constantly shows up in many existing models of intercultural competence (Deardorff, 2006; Howard Hamilton, Richardson, & Shuford, 1998; Kupka, 2008; Langer, 1989; Ting-Toomey & Kurogi, 1998) and despite its cognitive nature (Chen, 2010), few efforts have been made to systematically investigate the cognitive operations underlying this capacity which enables individuals to consciously shift perspectives, use multiple cultural frames and make attitudinal adaptations. This talk is based on a case study of Body Ritual among the Nacirema and 22 Chinese undergraduates’ reflective reports on it. The aim of the study was to explore the students’ attainment of critical cultural awareness in terms of framing and conceptual blending prompted by that article. The study showed that a disjunctor, namely, “American”, was crucial to trigger frame-shifting, which ultimately led to the construction of a conceptual integration network. This network helped the students to discover that the alleged Nacirema rites were actually daily routines of modern people, represented by the American – “Nacirema” spelt backwards, and with this particular instance they came to realize the significant impact of framing on one’s evaluation of practices in one’s own and other cultures. The study also revealed that the students responded to framing emotionally. Some other findings include the existence of “discoursal frames”, and the imagistic form and prototype structure of some frames.



Renata Geld. Wednesday, 2 October 2013, 4-5pm. 618 Crawford Hall. Title: Salience of spatial elements in the language of the blind: evidence from the construal of particle-verb constructions by native and non-native users of English. Renata Geld is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Zagreb, Croatia.

Abstract: Previous research into the aspects of meaning construal in the blind (Geld and Stanojević 2006, Geld and Šimunić 2009, and Geld and Čutić in press) suggests that their language codes subtle differences in two fundamental cognitive processes: attention and perspective. The differences have been attributed to their extraordinary experience of the world. One of the aspects with specific prominence in the process of meaning construal in the blind is topology, that is, linguistic elements coding space. The initial study on meaning construal involving topological elements was conducted on a sample of 30 blind non-native users of English. The instrument used consisted of 12 particle-verb constructions with in and out, such as put input outbreak inbreak out, etc. The results suggested that, when compared to their sighted peers, the blind showed bias towards the two particles as topological components in the construction. This talk reports on the results of a subsequent study conducted on a comparable group of 20 blind native users of English. The results of the study support the previous findings. This suggests that the salience of space in the blinds’ meaning construal is not a phenomenon pertaining exclusively to a non-native construction of meaning. If this is so, these and similar studies may give us new insights into the relationship between our physical experience of the world and our language, our perceptual and conceptual dimensions, and, consequently, our understanding of the subtleties of linguistic meaning.


Javier Valenzuela Manzanares & Cristóbal Pagán Cánovas. Wednesday, 8 May 2013, 4-5pm. 618 Crawford Hall. Title: Timelines in the mind: multimodal imagery in language and beyond. Javier Valenzuela Manzanares is Professor of English Philology, Universidad de Murcia, Spain. Cristóbal Pagán Cánovas is a fellow of the Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies.


Readers adapt the mental image of an object mentioned in a figurative (spatial) temporal expression in order to build a timeline, so that temporal relations can be navigated in perceptual terms. In the case studied, a snake cut by a machete constitutes the second term of a simile (extracted from a poem by Octavio Paz), where the first term are the future and past selves separated by time: Todo nos amenaza: // el tiempo, que en vivientes fragmentos divide // al que fui // del que seré, //como el machete a la culebra (Everything threatens us: // time, which into living fragments divides // the one I was //from the one I will be,//like the machete the snake).

Without any explicit prompts from the text, readers show a significant statistical tendency to represent this snake as instantiating a timeline running from left to right, and to establish the mappings past-left, future-right (where the head is); they also show a clear tendency to represent this snake as a straight line to a higher degree than usual (as measured in a separate control study). Another two variations of this task, in which participants were previously primed with questionnaires containing information about timelines or about snakes, have further shown how these two physical, measurable variables (i.e. curvature and directionality) can be used as an index of the degree of blending of the information provided by the two different spatial domains involved: the curved spatial information of snakes and the rectilinear spatial information of timelines.

One interpretation of these data would suggest that conceptual projections in time-space mappings are not unidirectional. Instead, spatial configurations are selected and adjusted to yield the conceptualization more appropriate for the temporal relations to be represented. For such an adjustment to take place, it seems that some hybrid conceptualization or novel mental simulation, different from the source component, must necessarily be produced, in which emergent properties arise temporarily for their use in the task at hand.

Further evidence about the spatial organization of time is being obtained from the analysis of a number of temporal expressions in the NewsScape multimodal corpus (Steen & Turner, 2012). We have extracted a number of linguistic expressions with words thought to elicit a construal of time in spatial terms and have analyzed and classified their co-speech gestures. Of the 1000 clips examined so far, relevant gestures have been found in around 11%. These gestures again provide clear evidence for a spatial organization of time, even when the linguistic material contains no explicit reference to any type of lateral spatialization.

Work in Progress Quartet: Four Short Talks on Cognitive Linguistics. Monday, 22 April, 2:30 – 5:00 pm 618 Crawford Hall. Four speakers will be presenting their most recent research in cognitive linguistics. There will be light refreshments.

Speakers, Titles, and Abstracts:

Mariangela Albano, “Bodies, emotions and tourism: a study of Costa Crociere’s commercials”

Nowadays, tourism industry proposes different opportunities to live a vacation where the body is the main interest and the central focus of experience. Each form of tourism shows a particular universe of representation of the body and a corresponding emotional language. In this context, where bodies and spaces are associated and reciprocally constructed as symbolic languages for the benefit of the tourist’s extraordinary experience, cruise tourism is an interesting case in point to analyze above all because on cruises, people use the space of the ship in different ways and, at the same time, following general corporeal and spatial schemes. These uses and schemes reflect a particular conception of the body, built through an interaction of different systems of representation, which transforms the ship into a real and true space for social aggregation or separation. The analysis is based on the meaning conveyed by different spot advertisements of the Costa website where the company suggest to the future passengers an exclusive experience. We will analyze these ads using a joint anthropology and cognitive linguistics approach. In particular, in order to analyze the chosen advertisements, a cognitive linguistics approach will be applied to show how the behavior of the passengers on the cruise is influenced by the linguistic choices of the spot advertisements that prefigure emotions.

Erik Knighton, “ἭΡΩΣ to HERO – Translation and the Iliad Part I: λόγος”
The first of two papers, this part will focus on ten key words in the first seven lines of Homer’s Iliad, with particular attention towards which of 43 English verse translations (from the 17th C. to present) best limits the interference between languages in these introductory lines. There will be a brief discussion of etymology and the history of the themes presented in the epic, leading to an analysis of the act of translating between Ancient Greek and English as a blending of cultures, languages, and viewpoints within the mind of the translator.

Myles Lewis, “‘You’re not like other’ hate speech”
Traditional semantic and pragmatic accounts of hate speech don’t account for the simultaneity of certain phrases both being complimentary and incredibly offensive. My account seeks to operationalize perlocutionary-based theories of hate speech in terms of cognitive linguistics; through mental spaces theory and common ground.

Sebastian Rimehaug, “Meaning Revisited: A Moderating Proposal”
Literary criticism and cognitive science mark two extremes in the possible timescales that can represent readerly meaning construction. While critics routinely examine texts as comprehensive wholes, experimental cognitive scientists are primarily concerned with what happens in the first 500 milliseconds following the reading of a single sentence. Using the Aarhus model of mental spaces–a theoretical framework that bridges these two timescales–to close-read a passage from Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle, the author makes a case for how linguistic theory can and should inform empirical work in the study of cognition, particularly in accommodating for what Donald calls “the slow process”.

Renata Geld. Wednesday, 10 April 2013, 4-5 pm. 618 Crawford Hall. Title: Salience of space and meaning construal in the language of the blind. Renata Geld is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Zagreb, Croatia.


The blind experience restrictions in their exploration of space because they lack visual input, and visual experience plays a crucial role in developing a representational framework for spatial representation (Silverstone et al 2000). However, specificities of haptic exploration of space result in the blinds’ extraordinary experience of the world, and, therefore, it is reasonable to assume that linguistic meaning construal of the blind is likely to show bias towards topological elements in composite wholes. This talk will focus on the results of a study of meaning construal of English particle verbs. The aim the study was to investigate meaning construal in blind subjects by (re-) hypothesizing the results of two previous bodies of research related to the meaning construal in the sighted: a) the investigation into semantic determination (lexical vs. topological) in the process of constructing meaning of English particle verbs (PVs) (Geld 2011, Geld and Maldonado 2011, and Geld and Letica Krevelj 2011), and b) the investigation into salience and situatedness in the language of the blind (Geld and Stanojević 2006, Geld and Šimunić 2009). The sample used in this study was 30 blind English language users (9 congenitally blind and 21 adventitiously blind), and 45 sighted users of English used as a contrast group. All the participants in the research were between 16 and 18 years of age. We hypothesized the following: a) in both groups topological determination will prevail with PVs containing light verbs, and conversely, lexical determination will be more frequent with PVs containing heavy verbs, and b) the blind will show bias towards topological components in PV constructions. The results obtained confirm both hypotheses. First, there is a statistically significant difference between the frequencies of topological determination with PVs containing light verbs and those containing semantically heavy verbs. More specifically, topological determination prevailed with light verbs (t=7,299; df=74; p<0,05, whereas lexical determination prevailed in the group of heavy verbs (t=3,586; df=74; p<0.05). Second, T-test showed statistically significant difference between blind and sighted users of English in the frequency of topological determination, with blind users providing a higher number of instances of topological meaning construal (t=2,848; df=73; p<0.05). The results obtained support the idea that meaning construal is a tremendously dynamic process, as well as provide tentative evidence that the extraordinary perceptual experience of the blind is likely to affect the ways in which they construct linguistic meaning.


Mariangela Albano. Wednesday, 20 March 2013, 4-5pm. 618 Crawford Hall. Title: Delexicalised metaphor : a cognitive analysis of Kassandra, by Christa Wolf. Mariangela Albano is a doctoral student at the University of Burgundy, France, and the University of Palermo, Italy.


This talk is based on current research analysing the metaphors used in the German novel Kassandra, written in 1983 by the German writer Christa Wolf. In particular, we focus on the delexicalised metaphors in the German text and in its French translation. This category of metaphors, that we can call “simple delexicalised metaphors and composed delexicalised metaphors,” is a type of metaphor with both a fixed base and a creative part. This paper will analyze the cognitive processes behind the creation of a “delexicalised metaphor,” the cognitive transposition between the two languages and the reality’s representation of the cultures. In this study, we will use a mixed approach, both cognitive linguistics (Turner, 1996; Lakoff and Turner, 1989; Lakoff and Johnson, 1980, 1999; Steen et alii, 2010) and analogical linguistics (Monneret, 2004). This research aims to explain the motivation of delexicalised metaphors and to show how the use of some metaphors can help to gain insight into the German culture of 1980s because they present evidence that some conceptual frames structure the moral system.


Peter Whitehouse. 5 February 2013, 4-5pm. 400 Nord Hall. Title: A neurosceptical and intergenerative view of the cognitive science of brain health.


Current interrelated global challenges like weather weirding, climate change, economic stress, and social injustice require intergenerative solutions driven by enhanced systems thinking and deeper ethical valuing. What is the role of neuroscience and cognitive science in creating such necessary collective wisdom? We will discuss ideas of brain health, the problems of overmedicalizing aging (like the myth of Alzheimer’s), and the need for integrating the arts and humanities in our thinking about our cognitive functioning and our very humanity. Nothing short of human flourishings (and even survival) are at stake., We will illustrate some answers to these challenges through The Intergenerational School and other innovative learning approaches as well as deep and broad approaches to so-called brain health.

William FitzGerald. Wednesday, 23 January 2013, 4-5pm. 618 Crawford Hall. Title: P(r)aying Attention: Spiritual Focus in a Cognitive Age. Bill FitzGerald is Assistant Professor of English at Rutgers University Camden, where he also directs the Center for Teaching Matters and Assessment. He is the author of Spiritual Modalities: Prayer as Rhetoric and Performance(Pennsylvania State University Press, 2012). In addition to ongoing research in prayer as a rhetorical art, he has published articles or book chapters on the place of prayer in the rhetorical theory of Kenneth Burke and on composition pedagogy.


The observation by 20th century French mystic Simone Weil that “absolute unmixed attention is prayer” anticipates a cognitive turn in religion, one that moves beyond the mind-body dualism of Cartesian rationality. Yet this equating prayer with practices of mindfulness and spiritual focus is hardly new. Prayer has always been a phenomenon of attention, in the root sense of hearing and, by extension, other modes of sensory reception. Prayer is also the making of meaning through rhetorical performance. This talk explores the cognitive dimensions of prayer grounded in notions of attention in dynamic tension with notions of response,

Page last modified: April 11, 2014