Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2213-8722
  • E-ISSN: 2213-8730
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Spatial language has been traditionally understood as encoding purely spatio-geometric information. However, much more than that must be considered for a full account of the semantics of space. It turns out that spatial arrangements manifest functional consequences which are non-spatial, so prepositional vehicles cannot be equated solely with spatial elements (Vandeloise 19911994). These non-spatial parameters in turn, play a major role in spatial, non-spatial, and temporal conceptions. This provides solid ground to propose a motivation behind these types of meanings that prepositions usually convey. This paper attempts to show how the for each preposition proposed, is a key component within conceptual processes such as elaboration and extension (Langacker 1987). Such an analysis provides a better understanding of the spatial configuration of the English and Spanish prepositions, as well as an account for the semantic extension of non-spatial and temporal conceptions. Using a corpus-driven methodology to evidence the prepositions’ use types, the results obtained favor the hypothesis that non-spatial conceptions are ultimately motivated by spatial ones. This in turn, shows the language-specific character of parameterization due to the clear differences that exist between the English prepositions , and , and their Spanish equivalent . The cognitive linguistic analysis showed in this research may also offer a new perspective in the area of Language Teaching. The paper concludes with suggestions for further research on the plausibility of psycholinguistic validation and pedagogical applications of the conceptual bases proposed.


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