A cognitive semantic analysis of manipulative motion verbs in Korean with reference to English
Davis, Philip W.
Doctor of Philosophy
In this thesis I adopt the framework of Cognitive Grammar developed by Langacker (1987a and 1991a) in order to provide a unified account of a cluster of senses of certain force-dynamic motion verbs, namely the Korean verbs kkulta and tangkita 'pull' and milta 'push', and their corresponding English verbs pull and push. The different senses of each of these polysemous verbs are related to one another in terms of family resemblance relationships. These motion verbs, thus, are complex semantic categories, encompassing their distinguishable, yet related senses within the same lexical forms. Although the Korean verbs kkulta and tangkita are conceptually related to each other within the semantic field of force-dynamic motion, and are translated as 'to pull' in English, they have different conceptual imports with regard to distinct prototypical semantic structures. The semantic differences of the prototypical events kkulta-1 and tangkita-1 are described in terms of their cognitive-functional attributes. Kkulta-1 generally involves a heavy, slow, and labored motion of the large landmark over a long path through space and time. The trajector as well as the landmark moves along an extended path. By contrast, tangkita-1 generally associates with a light and sudden movement of a relatively small landmark along a short path. The trajector of this event does not have an extended path, and only the landmark movement is manipulated to move toward the source of force. The landmark is directed toward the trajector, and the trajector is, thus, conceived as the goal of the landmark's movement as well as the source of force. This event seems to require more manipulative control of the trajector over the landmark than the trajector of kkulta-1. The prototypical events kkulta-1, tangkita-1 and milta-1 motivate their respective semantic extensions in a coherent way. Their semantic extensions are established via the different, yet related conceptualizations of the cognitive-functional attributes of kkulta-1, tangkita-1 and milta-1. The multiple senses of these verbs and their semantic structures are not limited to a physical domain, but are also characterized relative to different abstract domains. They are described with reference to kkulta-1, tangkita-1, and milta-1, and are related to one another in terms of similarity. The English verbs pull and push contrast with their corresponding Korean verbs kkulta, tangkita, and milta in terms of formal and semantics aspects. Pull and push are conventionalized differently from kkulta, tangkita, and milta because of the speaker's different construals of semantic structures and concepts, different metonymy/metaphor, image schemas, and cognitive models associated with pull and push, different etymological information, and different psychological, cultural, social, and experiential factors.
Linguistics; Modern language