Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2213-8722
  • E-ISSN: 2213-8730
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Standard etymological dictionaries agree that Modern English and their Old English cognate ‘half’ descend from the same etymon. However, while explaining their phonological development from the same proto-form is unproblematic, their divergent meanings make the reconstruction of their semantic evolution more challenging. The paper examines the historical semantic connection between these three morphemes from a cognitive perspective and attempts to provide an explanation of how they are conceptually linked to each other. Based on a cognitive semantic analysis of the meanings of these forms, we propose that all three concepts are understood on the basis of and embedded in one and the same image schematic domain – comprised by the general schema – and derive from entailments of its subschemata. Such an image schematic account of the conceptual connections between these meanings provides an explanation for the various paths of semantic development from the original etymon leading to the established later meanings. This approach will also facilitate the semantic reconstruction of the ancestral Proto-Indo-European form and help identify the exact cognate relationships between and .


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