Semantics

Download Grounding: The Epistemic Footing of Deixis and Reference by Helga Kaminski, Frank Brisard PDF

By Helga Kaminski, Frank Brisard

This compilation of invited contributions, collecting a global choice of cognitive and practical linguists, deals an overview of unique empirical paintings performed in grounding conception. Grounding is a important thought in cognitive grammar that addresses the linking of semantic content material to contextual elements that represent the subjective floor (or scenario of speech). the quantity illustrates a starting to be main issue with the appliance of cognitive grammar to buildings constructing deixis and reference. It proposes a double concentrate on nominal and clausal grounding, in addition to on methods of integrating analyses throughout those domain names.

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Extra resources for Grounding: The Epistemic Footing of Deixis and Reference

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The semantic basis for these distinctions must therefore lie elsewhere. I suggest that, whereas a simple noun or verb stem merely specifies a type, a full nominal or finite clause designates a grounded instance of that type. Of the terms that figure in this definition, I will not say much here about the type/instance distinction (see Langacker 1991 for extensive discussion). Let me simply note that, by itself, a noun like dog fails even to evoke a specific number of instances. For example, the compound dog hater does not specifically indicate whether one or multiple dogs are involved, let alone refer to any particular instance of the dog category.

Still, it is useful for grammatical purposes to maintain a distinction between the ground and the base, if only because the two notions apparently pertain to epistemic concerns that differ considerably in their scope as well as in their degree of contextual relevance. Furthermore, it should be clear that the ground is definitely not to be equated either with a kind of "focus space" (like a "belief space"), which presents what is actually at issue in an utterance. Even though the ground can be seen as made up of countless beliefs, it does not present any of them as a focus of attention.

3. Deixis and grounding A deictic expression can be characterized as one that includes the ground within its scope. Grounding elements are therefore deictic in nature, since they specify a relationship between some facet of the ground and the nominal or processual profile. However, not every deictic expression serves a grounding function in the sense of being criterial to the formation of a nominal or a finite clause. The adverb now, for instance, is deictic because it makes reference to the time of speaking, but a clause is not rendered finite by its presence; note its occurrence as part of an infinitival complement: She would really like to be here now.

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