GENGO KENKYU (Journal of the Linguistic Society of Japan)
Online ISSN : 2185-6710
Print ISSN : 0024-3914
Presidents' Inaugural Lectures
Cognition and Linguistic Expressions
Tetsuya Kunihiro
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2022 Volume Supplement.2 Pages 99-114


This paper examines the cognitive basis of linguistic expressions. It is shown that our ability to construe the same situation in different ways (cognitive aspect) is reflected in language use. Particular focus is given to the tendency of Japanese to focus on the point at which an event occurred (point-like cognition) compared to the tendency of English to focus on the continuing resultant state of an event (line-like cognition). Our cognitive abilities of extrapolation and complementation, perceiving something as a remnant of the results of a previous event (e.g., perceiving a shape as a square with a missing corner), are shown to be reflected in a diverse range of linguistic expressions including motion verbs used in the sense of ‘extent’. Finally, it is shown that metaphorical cognition is at work behind our linguistic expression of abstract objects. Metaphorical expres- sions related to the mind and emotions are shown to differ between Japanese and English.

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