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Why Cognitive Semantics Says Meaning Is Conceptualization

Yuqing Lin


Cognitive semantics relates linguistic expressions to conceptual structures. Different from traditional ideas of semantics, which claim that meaning has nothing to do with perception, cognitive semantics holds the idea that meanings are perceptually grounded. Language phenomenon-fictive motion exists in universal languages. Its linguistic representation depicts factively stationary objects as having physical motion. Research on such special language representation is beneficial for discovering human’s cognitive rules toward the outside world, and is also helpful to uncover the veil of relations among the physical world, human’s cognitive abilities and the human languages. This paper is attempting to view the idea “meaning equates conceptualization” within cognitive semantics from a new angle. Under the perspective of Conceptual Blending Theory, the linguistic representation of fictive motion gives a strong evidence that the referents of language are mental constructions. The idea Meaning is conceptualization can be better understood through the exploration of fictive motion.


Cognitive semantics; Meaning; Conceptualization; Fictive motion

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