Approaching perceptual qualities: the case of heavy
The paper examines the properties of heavy as a perceptual concept, based on evidence from 11 languages. We demonstrate that the semantics of this concept is heterogeneous; lexemes of this field can be used in situations of at least three types: Lifting, Shifting and Weighing. These situations are either lexicalised as separate words or they converge in a single lexeme in various combinations following certain strategies. We also argue that different metaphorical extensions correspond to different situation types; this allows us to use analysis of metaphoric shifts as an additional instrument to establish the semantic structure of direct meanings.
This article considers the model of metaphorical transfer of names of natural (atmospheric) phenomena. The worn inner form of many metaphors needs to consult the diachronic aspect, which allowes us to determine the conceptual transfer vector - the emotional attitude of speakers to natural phenomena, deterministic fear of them, faith in their supernatural origin.
Meaningful life is emotionally marked off. That’s the general point that Johansen (IPBS: Integrative Psychological & Behavioral Science 44, 2010) makes which is of great importance. Fictional abstractions use to make the point even more salient. As an example I’ve examined Borges’ famous fiction story. Along with the examples of Johansen it provides an informative case of exploring symbolic mechanisms which bind meaning with emotions. This particular mode of analysis draws forth poetry and literature in general to be treated as a “meaningful life laboratory”. Ways of explanation of emotional effect the art exercises on people, which had been disclosed within this laboratory, however, constitute a significant distinction in terms that I have designated as “referential” and “substantive”. The former appeals to something that has already been charged with emotional power, whereas the latter comes to effect by means of special symbolic mechanisms creating the emotional experience within the situation. Johansen, who tends to explain emotions exerted by the art without leaving the semiotic perspective, is drawn towards the “referential” type of explanation. Based upon discussions in theory of metaphor and Robert Witkin’s sociological theory of arts it is demonstrated an insufficient of “referential” explanation. To overcome a monopoly of “referential” explanation of emotional engagement, in particular, in literature, means to break away from the way of reasoning, stating endless references to “something else”, presupposing the existence of something already significant and therefore sharing its effects.
The article offers a detailed analysis of Louis-Ferdinand Celine’s individual style on the material of his novel Voyage au bout de la nuit. In particular it is focused on the author’s characteristical choice of the invective vocabulary, aimed at creation of a peculiar esthetic space of the literary work under study.