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A cognitive approach to some phrasal verbs in English for Specific Purposes

Author(s): Mª Dolores Porto Requejo | Carmen Pena Díaz

Journal: Ibérica
ISSN 1139-7241

Volume: 16;
Start page: 109;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: phrasal verbs | Cognitive Linguistics | Medical English | Computer English | metaphors

The purpose of this paper is to apply some recent findings about the meaning of prepositions in Cognitive Linguistics to some phrasal verbs in ESP, namely Medical and Computer English. We analyse the meaning of some phrasal verbs by applying the cognitive model of prepositions as large networks of related senses with a central spatial meaning that can be extended towards more abstract, metaphorical senses. For this, we have chosen the most obvious spatial scene, that of a container, and the phrasal verbs referring to that container, those which are formed with the particles in and out. A number of metaphorical projections emerge from the analysis that evidences both the unitary meaning of the particles in different contexts and the motivation underlying the apparent arbitrariness of the compounds. Those metaphorical projections are but specifications of some common metaphors we can find in more general uses of English, which supports the idea that the model presented can be easily extended to other fields in English as well as to general discourse.
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