TAILIEUCHUNG - The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics Part 36

The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics Part 36. In the past decade, Cognitive Linguistics has developed into one of the most dynamic and attractive frameworks within theoretical and descriptive linguistics The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics is a major new reference that presents a comprehensive overview of the main theoretical concepts and descriptive/theoretical models of Cognitive Linguistics, and covers its various subfields, theoretical as well as applied. | 320 JORDAN ZLATEV 2. Spatial Semantics What ANd How . What The Scope of Spatial Semantics Spatial semantics is the study of the meaning of spatial language but what is to be regarded as spatial language A moment s reflection suffices to show that the answer to this question is anything but trivial since space is not a self-contained semantic field but rather constitutes an important part of the background for all conceptualization and meaning Kant 1787 1964 . Furthermore the term space has been used all too often in an extended metaphorical sense in Cognitive Linguistics and cognitive science as in Space Grammar Langacker 1982 Mental Spaces Fauconnier 1985 and Conceptual Spaces Gardenfors 2000 . Hence an unrestricted interpretation of the term space might lead us to think that all semantics is spatial semantics a conclusion that not even cognitive linguists would find too attractive. Therefore the scope of spatial semantics needs to be restricted and this can and has been done in at least three different ways by form class by semantic category and by communicative function. The three definitions based on these restrictions do not coincide however and each leaves something to be desired. Perhaps the most common way of defining the scope of spatial semantics is in terms of a class of expressions or form class that specializes for spatial meaning such as spatial prepositions Cuyckens 1991 Landau and Jackendoff 1993 closed-class forms Talmy 1983 or spatial grams Svorou 1994 . As Svorou has it To talk about space and spatial relations. languages make use of a relatively small number of elements. I will refer to all these grammatical forms of language which express primarily spatial relations as spatial grams 31 . However this way of defining spatial meaning is problematic since it lacks the appropriate means to distinguish spatial from nonspatial senses of expressions and it aprioristically limits the domain of analysis to a class which is by no means universal Brown