Conceptual modelling of multi-facets items: Between polysemy and vagueness

Abstract : This communication is dedicated to multi-facets items (Cruse). "A facet is a word sense that is due to the part-whole structure of an entity and selected by a specific utterance context" (Evans). Firstly, we analyze the semantic pole of multi-facets items so as to elaborate a conceptual modelling within the framework of Langacker's Cognitive Grammar. Secondly, we suggest that the representation of multi-facets items can be integrated within the ambiguity-vagueness continuum proposed by D. Tuggy. By hypothesis, linguistic items are associated with an organized conceptual structure composed of numerous semantic pieces of information. More specifically, the structure of a multi-facets item (mother, book, bank, CD, chicken, etc.) can be organized into different informational sets, representing not only its facets but also the global sense resulting from the unification of the facets. Thus, multi-facets words differ from polysems whose senses cannot be unified. The activation of a facet, as well as the activation of the global sense, is context-dependent. Let us consider the noun mother (Croft & Cruse). When *CARE-GIVER* is activated (a good mother), it makes reference to a woman who treats somebody (the child) with protection and care. When the facet *BIRTH-GIVER* is selected, mother designates the female person who engendered a child (a surrogate mother). In Let me introduce you John's mother, the global sense is activated (if John has not been adopted). To elaborate the semantic representation of a multi-facets item in a conceptual perspective, we consider that its global sense is part of its schematic value and that the facets correspond to elaborations of that schematic value. They are all entrenched and salient, directly accessible from the phonological pole and can be activated in context. Consequently, we suggest that multi-faciality can be integrated within Tuggy's continuum, between polysemy (whose schematic meaning is not salient nor directly accessible) and vagueness.
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Contributeur : Audrey Rudel <>
Soumis le : mercredi 12 octobre 2011 - 11:21:40
Dernière modification le : mercredi 29 novembre 2017 - 15:01:54
Document(s) archivé(s) le : vendredi 13 janvier 2012 - 02:55:24


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  • HAL Id : hal-00631368, version 1



Audrey Rudel, Hélène Mazaleyrat. Conceptual modelling of multi-facets items: Between polysemy and vagueness. 3rd UK Cognitive Linguistics Conference, Jul 2010, Hatfield, United Kingdom. ⟨hal-00631368⟩



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