Azionalità e costruzioni idiomatiche


In this piece of research we provide a Cognitive Grammar (Langacker, 1987, i.a) account of aspectual interpretation in idiomatic constructions denoting intense actions. The general goal of this paper is to show how that the overall conceptual structure can, in some cases, override the linguistic structure entailing consequences for the explanation of grammatical phenomena.
In more detail, we deal with two idiomatic patterns in English and Italian, respectively: V one’s BODY PART prt idioms (to laugh one’s head off) and Denominal Verbs of Removal (DVRs; von Heusinger, Schwarze, 2006) idioms (sganasciarsi). In both cases, a caused removal of a body part, typically coreferential with the subject, is encoded in the linguistic structure (source domain) to express an action which is performed in an intense fashion (target domain).
The data, analyzed through the standard tests for telicity, are claimed to involve detelicization processes, namely shifts from the aspectual class of accomplishment to the class of activities in VPs which allow for both a literal and an idiomatic reading.
In the present contribution, we advance an embodied network of cognitive operations such as conceptual metaphor (Lakoff, Johnson, 1980, 1999) and conceptual blending (Fauconnier, Turner, 2002), as a possible explanation for the mismatch in the interpretation of aspect. Although the two languages are characterized by different patterns in the lexicalization of motion events, they show  conceptual consistency in the two-level integration model that we propose as a semantic representation of the idiomatic constructions to capture the dynamic interaction between source and target domains and, accordingly, motivate the shifts.

Keywords: idioms; lexical aspect; cognitive grammar; metaphor and blending; English and Italian

Nel presente contributo, si intende offrire un’analisi dell’intepretazione aspettuale in contesto idiomatico dalla prospettiva della Grammatica Cognitiva (Langacker, 1987, i.a.). In generale, l’obiettivo dello studio è di dimostrare che, in alcuni casi, la struttura concettuale può avere un rilevanza maggiore rispetto alle proprietà strutturali di una costruzione con conseguenze per la spiegazione di fenomeni grammaticali. Più precisamente, l’analisi si basa su due classi di costruzioni idiomatiche: la classe dei V one’s PARTE DEL CORPO prt (to laugh one’s head off) e quella che include i cosiddetti Verbi Denominali di Rimozione (VDR; von Heusinger, Schwarze, 2006) (sganasciarsi). In entrambi i casi, nella costruzione si nota una rimozione causata di una parte del corpo (dominio source), sempre coreferenziale con il soggetto, che esprime un’azione intensa (dominio target). I dati, analizzati attraverso i test di telicità, implicano dei processi di detelicizzazione, ovvero dei passaggi dalla classe di accomplishment a quella di activity che interessa sintagmi verbali che permettono sia una lettura letterale che idiomatica. Lo studio si basa su una rete di operazioni cognitive rilevanti nella nostra esperienza e percezione, come la metafora concettuale (Lakoff, Johnson, 1980, 1999) e l’amalgama concettuale (Fauconnier, Turner, 2002), che viene avanzata come una possibile spiegazione per la mancata corrispondenza dell’interpretazione aspettuale delle due letture. Nonostante le due lingue presentino delle differenze strutturali nella lessicalizzazione degli eventi di movimento, è possibile notare una sorta di consistenza concettuale nel modello di integrazione a due livelli che viene proposto come rappresentazione semantica delle due classi idiomatiche per cogliere l’interazione dinamica tra domini source e target e, di conseguenza, dare una motivazione per le differenze aspettuali.

Parole chiave: costruzioni idiomatiche; azionalità; grammatica cognitiva; metafora e amalgama concettuale; Inglese e Italiano

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v7p7


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