Chapter published in:Perception Metaphors
Edited by Laura J. Speed, Carolyn O'Meara, Lila San Roque and Asifa Majid
[Converging Evidence in Language and Communication Research 19] 2019
► pp. 85–104
Metaphors and perception in the lexicon
A diachronic perspective
Polysemy patterns in the sensory lexicon have been the subject of many studies, mostly synchronically oriented. This paper investigates whether the regularities observed for the intrafield and transfield polysemy of sensory lexemes can also be noted in the semantic changes that the lexemes undergo over time. Based on lexicographic resources, we analyse the sense(s) of Classical Latin sensory adjectives and “follow” them until Contemporary Italian. Our findings indicate that semantic shifts that occurred over time largely conform to the patterns that emerge from synchronic analyses: if some change in meaning occurs, the semantic shift tends to go from a “lower” to a “higher” sensory modality, or from perceptual to cognitive or abstract senses.
Keywords: adjectives, perception, sensory modalities, synaesthesia, metaphor, directionality, Latin, Italian, diachrony
Published online: 21 February 2019
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