Part Three – Corpus-based Language Studies
What’s an a “DUCK”? A Corpus Study of Salience and Attention Within Animal-Related, Denominal Verb Janusz Badio Abstract: The present article attempts to find converging evidence for the thesis proposed by Kashak and Glenberg (2000: 508–529) that three processes of: indexing, deriving affordances and meshing are used simultaneously in language understanding. The verb duck has been used to search the XML BNC. This denominal verb is shown to involve various constructions that arguably provide clues in the interpretation process. So it is not only the denominal verb which contributes its more or less conventional semantic profile, but also constructions in which it is embedded highlight salient portions of our conceptualisations. The categories of analysis that were used were: DUCK as VVB, VVI, VVD, VVN and VVG. So what is in a duck? Partly what “is” in this verb is connected with our experiences and interactions with ducks and partly in the constructions that convention has smoothly attached to it. Such a conclusion seems to back up the embodiment thesis endorsed by cognitive linguists. Keywords: affording, BNC XML, constructions, foregrounding, highlighting, indexing, meshing, profiling, understanding. 1. Introduction The article undertakes the task of corpus analysis of animal-related, denominal verb ‘duck’ as in: 1 to duck into sth/behind sth More specifically, it is designed to provide additional (corpus), converging data for the thesis endorsed and experimentally researched by Kashak and Glenberg (2000: 508–529) that the interpretation of linguistic utterances is constrained by the extralinguistic context in which an utterance occurs...
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