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Boletín de filología

versión On-line ISSN 0718-9303


FUNES, María Soledad. THE MEANING OF THE PREPOSITION 'DE: A COGNITIVE-PROTOTYPE FOCUS. Boletín de Filología [online]. 2012, vol.47, n.1, pp.111-135. ISSN 0718-9303.

The lexical nature of the preposition 'de' has not always been recognized duly. This is because prepositions cannot work independently and also because of the variety of meanings that they convey. In view of this theoretical gap, the present study -in line with the Prototypical-Cognitive Approach (Lakoff 1987, Langacker 1987, 1991, Hopper 1988, Geeraerts 2007, among others)- formulates the following hypotheses: a) the different semantic values of the preposition 'de' (in nominal constructions) are systematically organized and constitute a polysemous item; b) the polysemous item 'de' is characterized by being organized (1) by a radial structure (Lakoff 1987), (2) on the basis of the idealized cognitive model of 'reference point' (Langacker 1991); and (3) through Taylor's (1995) attributes for possessive use, which is its prototypical meaning. Finally, the constructions with 'de' which deviate from the prototypical values maintain a semantico-pragmatic relationship with them by means of the notion of 'family resemblance' (Wittgenstein 1988[1953]; Lakoff 1987). This resemblance relationship includes both the loss and addition of attributes not present within the prototypical area. In order to test hypotheses, different examples of the semantic extensions derived from the central meaning of possession were analysed qualitatively. The data being described was selected from an oral corpus of Buenos Aires Spanish.

Palabras clave : Prototypical-Cognitive Approach; preposition 'de', polysemous ítem; radial category; possession.

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