Les parties du corps et l'expression de l'espace

Abstract : In African lnaguages, some highly polysemic words with grammatical functions related to space and time happen to name body parts as well. Aiming at establishing their central semantic value, the author starts by questioning their status as body part names. Through a study of the paradigms they form in a few African languages, she establishes the conception of the body they represent. She concludes that the body does not give an orientation to space, but is situated in a space that has its own orientation. These polysemic words are apt to take on grammatical functions as a consequence of their general abstract meaning embodied in various conceptual domains and syntactic scales. While refuting the conception that has languages move from the concrete to the abstract, she insists tha each language creates its own conceptual universe.
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Submitted on : Friday, November 14, 2008 - 2:07:34 PM
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Paulette Roulon-Doko. Les parties du corps et l'expression de l'espace. Stéphane Robert. Perspectives synchroniques sur la grammaticalisation (Polysémie, recatégorisation et échelles syntaxiques), Louvain, Peteers, pp.73-86, 2003. ⟨hal-00338794⟩

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