Cognitive onomasiology and lexical change: Around the eye

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Using the methodology of diachronic cognitive onomasiology, as developed in two projects at Tübingen University, the study discusses polygenetic semantic parallels in semantic change, focussing on those that are due to fundamental cognitive constants. The cognitive and formal relations between a source and a target concept are identified through a two-dimensional grid. The approach is exemplified for the semantic domain of eye (eyelash, eyebrow, eyelid, and eyeball). The study provides a list of all the cognitive solutions to create lexical innovations chosen in the language sample. Together with cultural and linguistic categorization, it also explains the different options chosen by the languages for lexical conceptualisation and gives insight to the ongoing debate on linguistic relativity.


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