On the semantics of Polish do . A minimal-specification approach. Daria Bębeniec Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Lublin , Poland [email protected] Principled Polysemy. Tyler and Evans (2001, 2003, 2004), constrained methodology for modelling prepositional meaning
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On the semantics of Polish do. A minimal-specification approach
Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Lublin, Poland
→full-specification approach: lexical units possess constant semantic values and therefore all meaning can be given exhaustive representation by the enumeration of senses
→minimal-specification approach: lexical units constitute underspecified prompts which activate relevant portions of encyclopedic knowledge, depending on the context they occur in)
→ spatial meaning is scattered over all elements co-occurring in a given syntagm
→ none of the lexical items provides the specification concerning the shape of the trajectory; it is retrievable from the complex interaction of the knowledge concerning cats, walls, the activity of jumping and some aspects of force dynamics
→ meaning emerges in the dynamic process of meaning construction, i.e. in a particular usage-event
→even though the relation of containment typically associated with the preposition in is evidentlypresent in the figure above, it is the preposition beneath that seems the most natural choice (this is because containment is associated with the functional consequence of location with surety, absent from the foregoing configuration)
→ functional knowledge is an intrinsic part of every spatial configurationand helps account for usage potential and sense derivation
1) earliest attested meaning
2) predominance in the semantic network
3) frequency of participation in compounds and other composite forms
4) contrast sets
5) grammatical predictions
→ the problem is crucial to the full specification – minimal specification distinction and actually touches on the understanding of polysemy (inclusion or exclusion of such factors as the physical properties of TR and LM, contact and motion)
→ even though the boundary between a sense and a usage issubtle, any analysis which aims at differentiating single senses ought to take into account only conventionalized usages (senses), as opposed to the usages whose meaning arises from the accumulation of a number of spatial elements at the sentence level
1) meaning absent from other distinct senses
2) context-independent instantiations
1) Poszła do kina / szkoły / sklepu / kościoła. She went to the cinema / school / the store / church.
2) Poszedł do pracy. He went to work.
3) Wsiadła do samochodu. She got in the car.
4) Podeszła / doszła do samochodu. She approached [to] / arrived at the car.
5) Idź do mamy. Go to your mother.
6) Zajrzał do domu przez okno. He peeped into the house through the window.
7) Stał tyłem do ściany. He stood with his back towards the wall.
1) The Temporal Sense: Zamierzam pracować do wieczora. I’m going to work till the evening.
→ the Temporal Sense may have been motivated by the correlation of distance, which is a situated implicature arising from the frequent co-occurrence of do(-) with motion verbs, and duration.Besides, attaining a goal is usually limited to a certain period of time, so that the sense of success often depends on completing a given action within that period of time.
2) The Comparison Sense: Legia wygrała 2 do 1. Legia won 2 to 1.
→The Comparison Sense rests on the fact that physical proximity, that is, bringing two things together, is a necessary condition for comparing them.That sense is an interesting example of how implicatures, or meaning components arising incidentally in a given linguistic and extralinguistic context, get entrenched and turn into separate senses.
3) The State Sense: Do zakochania jeden krok. It takes one step to fall in love. / Kołysała dziecko do snu. Sherocked the baby to sleep.
→ The State Sense may be accounted for in terms of the correlation between states and locations: “through recurring instances of a particular emotional state being experienced in a particular locale, the correlation between location and emotional and/or physical state becomes established” (Tyler and Evans 2003: 187).
4) The Attachment Sense: Do pudełka przywiązana była karteczka. There was a little card tied on to the box. / Była do niego bardzo przywiązana. She was strongly attached to him. / Zapisał się do partii. He joined the party.
→The Attachment Sense constitutes an example where physical proximity, a consequence of the trajector reaching its goal, is correlated with transfer in a particular direction.On being sanctioned, the sense may be used in other than purely spatial relationships
5) The Limit Sense: Badał do 20 pacjentów dziennie. He examined up to twenty patients a day.
→ The Limit Sense may have been established on the grounds that reaching a goal is frequently thought of as an end or limit of some activity. Besides, distances covered when reaching a goal can be measured, and the landmark in the sentence at issue constitutes a point on a certain scale, which also corroborates the motivation proposed.
6) The FunctionSense: filiżanka do kawy coffee cup / pasta do butów shoepolish
→The Function Sense is a result of the correlation of the canonical destination of the trajector with the inherent function of the landmark.
7) The Emotion Sense: miłość do matki love for one’s mother / niechęć do kogoś aversion to somebody
→The EmotionSensecan be explained by the fact that interpersonal relationships require physical presence and contact, which naturally entails orientation, as we normally face other people when talking to them. Contacts, in turn, result in having some kind of emotional attitude to people who we know.
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