On the Motivated Polysemy of the Lithuanian ŽEMIAU ‘below’

Ieva Stasiūnaitė


The principle of motivated polysemy advocated by cognitively-oriented linguists has been applied in the analysis of English prepositions. However, other languages, especially highly inflected languages, received less attention. The present paper demonstrates how the principle works on a selected preposition in Lithuanian. It aims at: (1) establishing different senses of žemiau ‘below’ as (2) related in a single network. The data is retrieved from the Corpus of Contemporary Lithuanian Language and analysed according to the Principled Polysemy Model (Tyler & Evans 2003). Results of the study reveal that the primary sense based on a proto-spatial scene of the Figure (F) underneath the region of the Ground (G) functions as a derivational basis for a network of senses. The investigation demonstrates that the senses only partially overlap with the ones given in dictionary entries.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5755/j01.sal.32.0.19290


prepositions, motivated polysemy, Lithuanian, figure, ground

Full Text: PDF

Print ISSN: 1648-2824
Online ISSN: 2029-7203