Embodiment in Latin Semantics

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Embodiment in Latin Semantics

Appel à contributions
Date limite : 18 mars 2013


Call for papers for an edited volume on “embodied” meaning construction in Latin language and literature.

The embodied view of meaning in cognitive linguistics and related disciplines – a view of meaning, that is, as being dependent on the nature of the human body and the specific character of the human brain – has delivered significant advances over propositional and truth-conditional semantic theories. For example, prototype theory suggests that categories are graded, fuzzy, and often understood dynamically in terms of a “best example” – word senses thus being related to one another by “family resemblances” rather than by the presence or absence of criterial features. Image schema theory proposes that word meaning is essentially imagistic and based on highly abstract structures of cognition that emerge through human perceptual and sensory-motor interaction with the world. The enactive approach instead stresses that semantics cannot be separated from the “ecological” (bodily, environmental) circumstances in which words are employed. Fillmorean frame semantics and Lakoffian metaphor theory, meanwhile, organize word meanings within larger conceptual configurations or all-pervasive metaphors. And cognitive construction grammar posits that grammatical constructions pair meaning to form in the same way that words do.

Yet the embodied meaning perspective remains largely absent from Latin linguistics. This volume, intended for publication in a well-established academic press, seeks to address this gap by demonstrating the potential of theories and methods from the cognitive interdiscipline to inform our understanding of meaning construction in Latin in nearly every respect. Contributions are invited that explore the applicability of embodiment to a very wide range of linguistic phenomena, and its potential for increasing our understanding of meaning making in Latin from the level of word sense, over the level of the phrasal lexical item, to the level of the syntactic construction – as well as in literature. Please contact the editor at the address provided below for more information. A 500‒600 word abstract outlining the subject and scope of the proposed chapter, and a current curriculum vitae, are requested by Monday, March 18, 2013.

William Michael Short
Department of Philosophy and Classics
University of Texas at San Antonio
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