Volume 14, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1877-9751
  • E-ISSN: 1877-976X
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This paper explores the polysemy of the Croatian verbal prefix od- ‘(away) from’ from a Cognitive Grammar perspective (Langacker, 1987, 1991, etc.; Taylor, 2002). Despite the seemingly inordinate semantic heterogeneity of od-prefixed verbs, we argue that the different uses of od- are semantically motivated and that this has at least as much to do with the existence of a single abstract sanctioning schema as it does with the motivated extensions from the prototype, viz. spatial ablativity, or other category members. In this way we depart not only from the deep-rooted Croatian tradition, which tends to ignore any semantic motivation among different uses of a single prefix (e.g. Babić, 1986), but also from those cognitive linguistic approaches which rely on meaning chains, i.e. categorization by extension, to account for the polysemy of prefixes, prepositions and particles (e.g. Janda, 1985, 1986, 1988; Šarić, 2006a, 2006b, 2008, etc.).


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