Verticality of Space in Japanese and English with Image-Schema in Cognitive Linguistics


The purpose of this study is to analyze the reconceptualization of lexicon-grammar in a linguistic category of vertical space from Japanese to that of English with image-schema. Talking about space substantially differs among cultures, despite the fact that physical space is the same everywhere (Bowerman, 1996; Levinson, 2003; Pederson et al. 1998). Primary differences between Japanese and English regarding special verticality are:1) English speakers describe vertical space with two categories regarding contact vs. no contact. Conversely, Japanese speakers employ a single category to describe it. 2) Prepositions are used to describe vertical space in English. However, Japanese employs different word classes from that of English, including ①relational noun ue +locative ni or locative de (equivalent to on, over and above ),② locative genitive + locational tokoro = no-tokoro (equivalent to at a place of ), and ③ ellipses + locative ni or locative de (equivalent to at a place of). Although, there has been much interest in the challenges faced by L2 speakers of spatial language (Coventry et al. 2012), few studies involve L2 spatial language learning today. Studies indicate considerable difficulties in learning spatial prepositions at an EFL class (e.g. Ijaz, 1986; Munnich & Landau 2010; Coventry, 2012). The theoretical background of this study is image-schema in cognitive linguistics. This study focuses on SPACE UP-DOWN in an inventory of image-schema. Conclusion: the analyses of the reconceptualization of spatial verticality in Japanese and English with image schemas reveal the fundamental differences between English and Japanese regarding lexicon-grammar in spatial verticality.

Author Information
Tae Kunisawa, The University of New Mexico, USA

Paper Information
Conference: ACP2015
Stream: Linguistics

This paper is part of the ACP2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon