Semantic leaps: frame-shifting and conceptual blending in meaning construction

New York: Cambridge University Press (2001)
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Abstract

Semantic Leaps explores how people combine knowledge from different domains in order to understand and express new ideas. Concentrating on dynamic aspects of on-line meaning construction, Coulson identifies two related sets of processes: frame-shifting and conceptual blending. Frame-shifting is semantic reanalysis in which existing elements in the contextual representation are reorganized into a new frame. Conceptual blending is a set of cognitive operations for combining partial cognitive models. By addressing linguistic phenomena often ignored in traditional meaning research, Coulson explains how processes of cross-domain mapping, frame-shifting, and conceptual blending enhance the explanatory adequacy of traditional frame-based systems for natural language processing. The focus is on how the constructive processes speakers use to assemble, link, and adapt simple cognitive models underlie a broad range of productive language behavior.

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