Animacy and Reference

A cognitive approach to corpus linguistics

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The concept of &#8216;animacy&#8217; concerns the fundamental and cognitive question of the extent to which we recognize and express living things as saliently human-like or animal-like.<br />In <i>Animacy and Reference</i> Mutsumi Yamamoto pursues two main objectives: First, to establish a conceptual framework of animacy, and secondly, to explain how the concept of animacy can be reflected in the use of referential expressions. Unlike previous studies on the subject focussing on grammatical manifestations, <i>Animacy and Reference</i> sheds light upon the conceptual properties of animacy itself and its reflection in referential processes.<br />For the research of this study the author focussed on languages that show completely different tendencies. As a result, English and Japanese &#8216;parallel corpora&#8217; are analysed yielding salient observations and opening intriguing discussions.

Subjects: Cognition and language; Corpus linguistics

  • Affiliations: 1: Doshisha University

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