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A Study On Meaning Construction Of 2014 English Neologisms On Word Spy From The Perspective Of Conceptual Integration Theory

Posted on:2016-04-05Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:Y LiuFull Text:PDF
GTID:2295330470968706Subject:English Language and Literature
Abstract/Summary:PDF Full Text Request
Language, a mirror that reflects the changes in the world, is the epitome of the development of society, politics, economy and culture. Among the three elements that comprise a language, pronunciation and grammar are more stable compared with vocabulary. As a matter of fact, vocabulary is the most dynamic and most sensitive element that responds to the changes in a language. With the continuous acceleration of social development, earth-shaking changes taken place in the ways of communication has led to the eruption of neologisms. Such phenomenon inevitably draws the attention of linguists, because studying the meaning construction of neologisms is of great significance for us to grasp the trends of social development and to know the hidden language cultures.The rudiment of Conceptual Integration Theory is Mental Space Theory, which was proposed by Gilles Fauconnier in his book Mental Spaces(1985). With the publication of a series of works, i.e. Principles of Conceptual Integration(1996), Conceptual Integration Networks(1998), The Way We Think : Conceptual Blending and the Mind’s Hidden Complexities(2002), Fauconnier finally brought forward the mature Conceptual Integration Theory. Conceptual Integration Theory is a cutting-edge theoretical framework in cognitive linguistics, which has been applied to different fields to solve intractable problems. Previous studies on neologisms are carried out mainly from the perspectives of word-formation, semantics and lexicology. As a bold attempt, this thesis tries to analyze the meaning construction of English neologisms by utilizing Conceptual Integration Theory.All the data of this thesis derives from the 2014 English neologisms collected from a quite famous new words website “Word Spy”( with the application of both qualitative and quantitative approaches. The quantitative approach goes along with the statistics and classification of the English neologisms collected, while the qualitative approach is adopted to make clear the cognitive mechanisms used in explaining the meaning construction of those neologisms. This thesis also adopts the method of case study to make the contents more concrete and easy for readers to understand. As the 2014 English neologisms collected on Word Spy are mainly created in three methods: word-formation, adding new meanings to existing words and borrowing words from other languages, Conceptual Integration Theory-based analysis is divided into three parts accordingly. Word-formation is the most complicated and the most widely used method, it contains many sub-types: compounding, blending, affixation, abbreviation and analogy. Different types of English neologisms need to be analyzed by using different types of conceptual integration network model. Conceptual integration networks are classified into four types in accordance with the situation of application of frames in the four different mental spaces, including simplex network, mirror network, single-scope network and double-scope network. Through cross-space mappings, the frames and elements of two inputs are first projected into the generic space to form the connection, then into the blended space to be integrated. By complying with the optimality principles and proceeding with the process of conceptual integration-composition, completion and elaboration, new meanings-English neologisms are finally formed.The result of the analysis has proved the feasibility for using Conceptual Integration Theory to analyze the meaning construction of English neologisms. According to a series of optimality principles, the mechanism of conceptual integration manages to illustrate the meaning construction of English neologisms through the process of composition, completion and elaboration. English neologisms of different lexical categories possess their own types of conceptual integration networks. The application of Conceptual Integration Theory not only helps diversify the theoretical basis for studying the English neologisms, but also facilitate the further development of cognitive linguistics.
Keywords/Search Tags:Conceptual Integration Theory, English neologisms, Meaning construction, Conceptual Integration Networks
PDF Full Text Request
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