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GENGO KENKYU (Journal of the Linguistic Society of Japan)
Vol. 1994 (1994) No. 106 P 22-44



The purpose of this paper is to argue for the necessity of positing a concept of‘phenomeneme’for adequately describing polysemous words which refer to objects and phenomena in the outer world.A phenomeneme is a part of the world which we cognize as having spacial or temporal coherence before we give it a linguistic expression.For instance, the event of a person leaving a place is a phenomeneme from which we create two basic meanings‘go away from’and‘cause something to remain’, focusing our attention on different aspects of one and the same phenomeneme.From this standpoint, the author analyzes the polysemous structures of take and its Japanese equivalent toru and compares the two.Toru means both‘acquire’and‘remove’, which can only be related if we presuppose an underlying phenomeneme of a person grasping an object and removing it by hand. He also analyzes a Japanese verb huku which means‘blow, emit, etc.’Cognitive polysemy implies non-cognitive polysemies one of which is logical polysemy.To exemplify this, the author analyzes without and the English present participial construction, which show a parallelism in their diversification of meanings.The recognition of phenomenemes as closely related to linguistic meaning is flatly opposed to Saussurian structuralism.

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