Event construal and its linguistic encoding: Towards an Extended Semantic Map model
Kim, Yongtaek, 1968-
This dissertation investigates constructional alternation among the English verb- at , verb- away-at , and verb- away constructions. The primary purpose is to lay a fundamental conceptual framework on the interrelation between how we perceive a situation in an external world and how we construe it as an event structure in a conceptualized world to encode it linguistically. This study suggests an Extended Semantic Map (hereafter ESM) model. It presents an in-depth analysis of the three constructions, derived from the BNC (British National Corpus), and resultative constructions in Korean and Japanese. I argue that language has conceptual bases rooted in perception and cognitive construal. Construal allows one to view the same situation in a number of alternative ways. Construal is closely related to distribution of attention, which has two main patterns: focus of attention and windowing of attention. Focus of attention is mainly based on perceptual prominence. It is placed on participants and is typically encoded in the selection and arrangement of nominals. Windowing of attention operates on cognitive prominence. It is a cognitive process to segment some relation(s) out of an event structure. It is typically encoded in predicate or adverbial expressions. I further argue that any mismatch between perceptual and cognitive prominence requires overt marking. For example, the English passive construction requires the overt marking of ' be/get + past participle,' which directs an addressee's primary focus of attention to a perceptually secondary but cognitively primary patient. It also places windowing of attention on the perceptually secondary but cognitively primary Change. Windowing and focus of attention will be used to define the X- and Y-axes of the ESM. The X-axis consists of five causal relations -- Volition, Activity, Force Transfer, Change, and State, on which attention is windowed. The Y-axis is composed of four types of configuration for the semantic roles of the participants -- Agent, Agent-Location, Agent-Theme, and Theme. The ESM visually maps relations among constructions within and across languages. It illustrates how event structures can be categorized typically as either [Activity]-windowing or [Change]-windowing. Finally, it also allows us to represent cross-linguistic differences in the available constructions for construing event structures.