Space Lecture 4 Introduction One of our earliest and most basic achievements as infants is to acquire an understanding of objects and of the way in which they relate to each other in physical space. The kind of concepts represented by words such as up, down, in, out, on, off and so on are the building blocks on which we construct our mental models of the physical world. Introduction Piaget (1936) recognized the fundamental importance of these concepts when he characterized the first stage of cognitive development as “sensorimotor knowledge”. We use space as a domain for structuring other less concrete aspects of our experience. Introduction For example, when we say that someone occupies a ‘high’ position in society, we are using the up-down axis as a means of talking about social status. If someone says that they are ‘in trouble’, they are treating ‘trouble’ as a container and themselves as a contained object. If we say that we have a ‘close’ relationship with someone, we are constructing the notion of intimacy in terms of physical proximity. In To refer to a situation where one object (trajector射体) is contained within another (the landmark界标). In is also used in a whole range of situations where there is only an approximation to this ideal meaning. In The The The The The The The cat in the house bird in the garden flowers in the vase chair in the corner water in the vase crack in the vase finger in the ring In In the last example, it is odd to conceptualise the situation in terms of the finger being ‘in’ the ring. The finger functions as a fixed entity (LM) and the ring is placed as TR. These examples show that, in order to explain the forms that we use to code these situations in language, we need to go beyond the level of surface topographical relationships. In Background knowledge involving the relevant functional relationships is crucial to an understanding of the forms of coding, which reflect subtle aspects of everyday human experience. The bulb in the socket The jar in the lid In The topographical relationships are similar in each case, but only the second example is the relationship constructed in terms of containment. Our background knowledge is crucial to an understanding of the relevant linguistic patterns. On The pen on the desk The writing on the paper The poster on the wall The wrinkle on the face The fly on the ceiling The writing is applied to the paper in a manner that bears some similarity to the way in which a pen is placed on a desk. On The wall, like the papers, forms a background, with the writing and the poster as foregrounded or displayed entities. The last example is unusual in that the topological relationship between the ceiling and the fly is precisely the opposite of that which holds in the normal situation coded by on. At The function of at is to locate two entities at precisely the same point in space and construe them as geometric points. John is at the supermarket. John is in the supermarket. As we move away from objects in our visual field, their image on the retina grows smaller, so that at a given distance they begin to approximate to a point. At Let’s meet at the library. This distinction is lost when the building is construed as a point. The café is at the highway. *The café is on the highway. The café is located at the place where the path intersects with the highway at some point ahead, a location that is quite naturally conceptualized as a point. At The concept of path is also present in the following examples, but in a more abstract form. The bird has a white band at its neck. The bird is at the top of the tree. There are bubbles at the surface. The conceptualizer scans the body of the bird and comes across a white band when this scanning process reaches the neck. There is implicit movement through the liquid, encountering bubbles when it reaches the surface. Construal of objects and spatial relationships The choice of one preposition over another is a matter not of the objective properties of the observed situation but of the way in which the various elements of the situation and the relationships between them are constructed. (1) the words on the page (2) the words in the margin The paper is construed as a background serving to display the (foregrounded) words makes the concept of support more salient than that of containment. Construal of objects and spatial relationships The function of a margin is not to display text but to define a particular area of the page, so that in cases such as (2) it it the notion of containment that is salient. (3) John is in the bus/train/plane/boat. (4) John is on the bus/train/plane/boat. Construal of objects and spatial relationships Vehicles can be construed either as container or as supporting surfaces. (3) and (4) involve salience, framing and construal. The use of in is favoured if the vehicle is stationary. When on is used, it is because the role of the vehicle is more salient than its role as a container. Construal of objects and spatial relationships (5) He hit the ball through the outfield. (6) He rolled the ball across the pitch. (7) The pushed the mower over the lawn. Through involves construal of LM as a container, whereas across and over are construed as a supporting surface. Construal of objects and spatial relationships Different languages often make different choices. Convention does indeed play a significant role. The notion of construal itself predicts that there should be some degree of conventionality at work, since in situation that lend themselves to different construals, it is to be expected that different languages will make different choices for their preferred coding. Introduction We shall look at the ways in which we use spatial terms and spatial concepts to structure non-structural meanings. 1a. The sun is out; The stars are out. 1b. The light is out; The fire is out; He blew the candles out. 2a. He threw out a suggestion to the meeting. 2b. They threw out Bill’s suggestion. Introduction It seems odd that the sun or stars are ‘out’ they are visible, but when lights, candles, or fires are ‘out’, they are invisible. 3. He blew up the balloon. 4. He rolled up the carpet. Up in 3 is part of an expression that refers to an object getting bigger, whereas in 4 the object gets smaller. Introduction Prepositions that normally express opposite meanings sometimes express similar meanings: She filled in the form. She filled out the form. Sometimes prepositions express meanings that seem to be quite unrelated to each other. Introduction The students dropped in. The students dropped out. Prepositional usage has been claimed to be simply chaotic in English. A careful analysis shows that the situation is less unruly than it appears at first sight. Out The core meaning of out involves an image schema that an entity (TR) is located outside a container (LM). The out relationship is sometimes static and sometimes dynamic. The cat is out of the house. The cat went out of the house. Out One form of extension from the dynamic situation involves situations in which an entity expands in size or comes to occupy a greater area. The TR is reflexive. The lava spread out. Roll out the carpet. Out Another semantic extension involves a process whereby an entity moves away from a landmark without any obvious notion of exit. She set out for Shanghai. He reached out to grab it. “The sun is out” involves applications of the basic notion of exit from location. Out LM is a container that is inaccessible to an observer and TR is an entity that is deemed to have emerged from this area into the observer’s perceptual field. “The fire is out” involves movement of an entity away from the observer into the hidden area. Out From unknown to known I worked out a solution to the problem. Becoming unavailable Our supplies have run out. The notion of Exit 1) Exit from perceptual field; 2) from cognitive field; 3) from area of control or availability; 4) from normal state. Fill in and fill out the form A process whereby material is inserted into spaces in the form A process that causes the form to increase in size as material is added. Speak up and speak out through The image schema for through involves the path of an entity (TR) in physical space as it enters a container and then moves from the point of entry to a point at the opposite side of the container. The train (TR) rushed through the tunnel (LM). The postman pushed the letter through the letterbox. through John was looking through the window. (a virtual trajectory) John was walking through the grass. (a notional line) One factor in the growth of semantic network is the activation of elements in the knowledge base associated with core meaning. through Another component of the knowledge frame is the idea that TR traverses LM only with difficulty. We headached our way through peakhour traffic. John sold the house to Mary through Smith’s. (landmark as instrument) A small child could not sit through a four-hour dinner. (landmark as ordeal) Radial Categories A property of such networks associated with out, up and through is that they are structured around a core meaning (prototype). The property of radiality is characteristic of many types of linguistic and conceptual categories. The prototype model recognizes that category membership is a gradient phenomenon, such that some members of a category are more central members than -able Likeable, washable, readable, solvable (able to be verbed) Payable (due to be paid) comparable: a part of the situation as a whole has been semantically foregrounded at the expenses of those aspects of the situation that relate to the process itself. -able The meaning of the combined form is the outcome of an interaction between the frames associated with the two forms. The background knowledge associated with the verb modulates the meaning of the suffix in a particular direction peculiar to that verb. Drinkable (can be drunk safely) Discourse analysis and linguistics Discourse analysis comes from the realization that language, action and knowledge are in separable. J.L Austin pointed out in his 1955 lectures at Harvard University that utterances are actions (Austin, 1962). Some actions can be performed only through language (e.g. apologizing), whilst others can be performed either verbally or non-verbally (e.g. threatening). In addition, when we start to study how language is used in social interaction, it becomes clear that communication is impossible without shared Discourse analysis and linguistics There is a dialectic relationship between language and situation. In certain games, ceremonies and formal rituals, actual forms of words may be laid down as part of the proceedings. Of course most everyday uses of language are more flexible. Given a social situation such as a small village shop’, it is possible to predict a great deal about the content, functions and style of language used there. Much of the language will be either local gossip or transactional, concerned with buying and selling. We often know what kind of language to expect in different situations; and conversely, given a fragment of language, we can often reconstruct in some detail the social situation which produced it. Discourse analysis and linguistics For example, when we turn the knob of a radio to tune in different programs. It usually takes a few seconds to identify whether we are listening to a sermon, sports commentary, quiz program, news broadcast, play, or to a program for young children or school pupils, or whatever. The identifying features include phonology, lexis, syntax and paralinguistic features. Discourse analysis and linguistics Furthermore, situations can be altered or created by using language in different ways, for example, by selecting the speech act of whispering sweet nothings, rather than nagging, carping, complaining or accusing. It is clear enough that much language is not to be taken literally, that language is used to perform actions, and that different social situations produce Discourse analysis and linguistics An implication of points about the uses of language is that much of syntactic theory has to be thoroughly reconsidered. An increasing number of linguists are starting to suggest that the analysis of sentence structure should be based on an information structure of a given-new or theme-rheme kind. Discourse analysis and linguistics Much of the fascination of discourse analysis derives, in fact, from the realization that the boundaries of linguistics are being redrawn. In has become increasingly clear that a coherent view of language, including syntax, must take account of discourse phenomena. The grammatical, structural units of clause or sentence are not necessarily either the most important nits for language study, or the biggest, although the clause will probably remain basic as a unit of syntax, or prepositional information, and as the Discourse analysis and linguistics It is worthwhile making explicit the implications of discourse analysis for sociolinguistic theory. Sociolinguistics will ultimately have to be based, at least partly, on analysis of how people actually talk to each other in everyday settings, such as streets, shops, restaurants, buses, trains, schools, factories and homes. Therefore, sociolinguistics will have to incorporate analyses of how conversation works. It is chiefly through conversational interaction, social ‘roles’ are recognized and sustained. We can talk about intuitively recognizable social roles such as ‘teacher’ and ‘doctor’. There is quite specific conversational behavior attached to being a teacher. Discourse analysis and linguistics On the one hand, there is no use of language which is not embedded in the culture; on the other hand, there are no large-scale relationships between language and society which are not realized, at least partly, through verbal interaction. Part of cultural knowledge is conversational competence. Discourse organization By definition, sentence grammars ignore the syntagmatic chaining of clauses and sentences in larger exchanges or sequences. Certain phenomena involving particles, adverbs and conjunctions can only be explained with reference to the syntagmatic chaining of linguistic units at the clause or above. Discourse is a rank above the clause and a level of linguistic description above syntax. Discourse organization Firstly, connected discourse is not random. People are quite able to distinguish between a random list of sentences and a coherent text, and it is the principles which underlie this recognition of coherence which are the topic of the study for discourse analysts. Discourse organization There are several ways of demonstrating informally that discourse is organized. First, conversationalists themselves frequently refer to discourse structure in the course of conversation, by utterances such as oh, by the way...., anyway, as I was saying .... In everyday situations, people are aware that not anything can follow anything: some utterance require to be prefaced by such an excuse or a claim of relevance. This insertion of metatext, pointing to the organization of the text itself, is particularly common in certain discourse styles, such as lecturing, and it occurs in written and spoken discourse. Discourse organization Second, there are many jokes which depend on our ability to recognize faulty discourse sequences. The simplest type is: (1) A: Yes, I can. B: Can you see into the future? Discourse organization At the risk of being tedious, this joke depends on two things: the recognition that the question-answer sequence has been reversed; and that the grammatical cohesion has been disrupted. Yes, I can is elliptic and only interpretable via the following, instead of the preceding, utterance. Discourse organization One the same mode is the joke about the man who goes into a chemist’s shop. The exchange goes: (2) Customer: Good morning. Do you have anything to treat complete lost of voice? Shopkeeper: Good morning, sir. And what can I do for you? In this case, the shopkeeper’s utterance occurs in the wrong structural position. It occurs second, although it is strongly marked as an opening conversational move: by the Discourse organization Such examples demonstrate immediately our discourse competence to recognize that utterance can occur in some sequences but not others. Therefore, discourse should in principle be analyzable in terms of syntagmatic constraints on possible sequences of utterances. Stubbs ( 1983:17) points out that some discourse sequences are impossible, or at least highly improbable. Consider this example: Discourse organization (3) I approach a stranger in the street. *Excuse me. My name’s Mike Stubbs. Can you tell me the way to the station? The sequence of speech acts is illformed: *apology + identification + request for direction Discourse organization There seem to be two ways of explaining why it is illformed. Either the sequence of acts is itself ill-formed: there are co-occurrence restrictions on the sequence. Or alternatively the combination of speech acts and social situation is ill-formed: speaker do not identify or introduce themselves to strangers in the street. A plausible rule is that identification is unclear only if speaker predict further interaction on a later occasion. Thus speakers are likely to introduce themselves to people they meet at a party, but not in a railway carriage. This example shows (a) that although the individual sentences in (3) are well-formed, the whole sequence is not; (b) that traditional grammatical descriptions are therefore unlikely to Discourse organization It is more difficult to find comparable deviance across two speaker’s utterances, for our ability to contextualize almost anything readily copes with odd sequences. But deviant sequences do occur: (4) A: Goodbye! B: Hi! The oddity of this particular sequence is explicable via B’s participant knowledge that the exchange occurred after A and B had approached each other down a long corridor. The greeting was prepared in advance of the actual encounter, and split-second timing of the exchange itself meant that A’s contribution was interpreted only after B had spoken. Discourse organization Stubbs (1983:19) holds that spontaneous conversation, although it may look chaotic when closely transcribed, is, in fact, highly ordered. It is not, however, ordered in the same ways written text. Conversation is polysystemic: that is, its coherence depends on several quite different types of mechanisms, such as repetition of words and phrases, structural markers, fine synchronization in time, and an underlying hierarchic structure relating sequences of Discourse organization Some discourse types can be usefully represented as variations or recursive two part question-answer (QA) exchange or three-part question-answer-feedback exchanges. For example, Sinclair and Coulthard (1975) propose that teacher-pupil talk is of ten characterized by an underlying exchange structure: Teacher: initiation I Pupil: response R Teacher: feedback F Consider the following case during a period of observation in a school. At the start of one English class, the teacher, after talking quietly to some pupils at the front of the room, turned and said to the whole class: Right! Fags out please! No pupils were smoking. So the teacher did not mean his words to be taken literally. Perhaps the utterance is used to attract the pupils’ attention. To open the communication channels. It had a contact function of putting the teacher in touch with the pupils. Here we have the questions: how did the pupils know that the teacher did not really mean that they had to extinguish their non-existent cigarettes? What shared knowledge and expectations concerning appropriate speech behavior did they draw on in order to interpret successfully what the teacher actually meant? How could the teacher say one thing, yet mean another? These problems have not received much detailed consideration by linguists. Various social factors determine the individual speaker’s use of language. All speakers are multidialectal or multistylistic, in the sense that they adapt their style of speaking to suit the social situation in which they find themselves. Such style-shifting demands constant judgments, yet speakers are not normally conscious of making such judgments until they find themselves in a problematic situation for which they do not know the conventions, or for which the criteria for speaking in a certain way clash. On the other hand, it is intuitively clear that a teacher, for example, does not speak in the say way to his wife, his mother-in-law, his colleagues, his headmaster, a student teacher, or his pupils. His way of talking to his pupils will also change according to the matter to hand: teaching an academic subject, organizing the school concert, or handing out punishment. People therefore adapt their speech according to the person they are talking to and the point behind the talk. These are social, rather than purely linguistic, Despite great development in linguistics over the past 75 years, and particularly since the mid 1950s, linguistic description is still firmly based on traditional parts of speech and on the view that the clause or sentence is the basic linguistic unit. Yet, traditional grammar fails to give a satisfactory account of adverbs, co-ordinating conjunctions and particles (including well, now, right and so on). Well Syntax and semantics have little to say about such items as well, now, right, OK, anyway, you know, I see, hello, bye-bye. Syntax has little to say about them, since they make no syntactic predictions. Most, if not all, have uses in which they are potentially complete utterances. Nor does semantics have much to say about such items, since when they are not used in their literal meanings, they have no property of thesis: that is, they have no propositional content. For this reason, they are common at the closing of conversations, where they can be used without introducing new topics. This transactionmanagement function relates them to summonses such as hey! or John! and to greetings and farewells Further, such items are purely performative and have no truth value: to say hello to someone is to greet them. The other main fact about such items is that they are essentially interactive, and almost all are restricted to spoken language. When utterance-initial, the function of items such as well, now, and right is to relate utterances to each other, or to mark a boundary in the discourse. Some (e.g. now, anyhow) may be used to mark initial boundaries of units of written or spoken language, and they are Some of the main points about such items can be made in a discussion of well. The lexical item well has several different functions and meanings. As an adjective, it can contrast with ill. (He was ill, but is well again now.) As an adverb it can modify a following item. ( He is well qualified. ) However, when well occurs utterance-initially, it does not generally have what might be referred to as these literal interpretations. In utterance-initial position, there is little agreement about what part of speech it is. If we are restricted to traditional part of speech categories, then it is presumably as adverb. However, it has also been labeled interjection, filler, initiator, or has been given ‘the suitably vague and central term In its use as an utterance-initial particle, it is almost entirely restricted to spoken English, where it is very common. In this function, it is notoriously difficult to translate into foreign languages, and it is notoriously poorly explained in dictionaries. This is because it has no propositional content, and also because dictionaries are mainly based on written data. Utterance-initially, it usually has one of two functions. It may have a rather general introductory function (Well, what shall we do?). In such positions, it may be more or less synonymous with now, so OK, right, anyway, and may function as a disjunction marker indicating a break with what has gone immediately before, and the initial boundary of a new selection of Sinclair and Coulthard (1975) refer to this function as a frame. Alternatively, if well occur utterance-initially after a question, it indicates an indirect answer, claiming relevance although admitting a shift in topic. Labov and Fanshel (1977:156) call such items discourse markers. In other words, well can indicate a break in the discourse, a shift in the topic, or as a preface to modifying some assumptions in what has gone before, or as a preface to closing the topic and potentially the whole conversation.