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Mediating the Otherworld in Polish Folklore

A Cognitive Linguistic Perspective

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Ewa Masłowska

This book analyses the ways of conceptualising and interpreting the interaction between physical and metaphysical worlds in Polish folklore. A linguistic and anthropological analysis offered in this study focuses primarily on myth, ritual and symbol as reflected in language (dialect lexis, phraseology, speech acts). Employing the methodology and analytical tools of cognitive linguistics (preconceptual image schemas, cognitive scene, profiling of concepts, development of cognitive paths), the author reconstructs mental patterns at the heart of mythical thinking, linguistic actions and symbolic meanings, which reflect universal conceptual schemas and may serve as models for intercultural studies.

Ewa Masłowska is Professor of Linguistics in the Institute of Slavic Studies at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, where she specialises in cultural and cognitive linguistics. Her main research interests include the linguistic worldview, especially spiritual culture, axiology, symbolism and linguistic memory. She studies Polish and Slavic folklore from both linguistic (dialect lexis, phraseology, paremiology) and extra-linguistic perspectives (folk texts, ethnological data).