Cognitive semantics for creole linguistics : applications of metaphor, metonymy, and cognitive grammar to Afro-Caribbean creole language and cultural studies
MetadataShow full item record
The goal of the current project is to bring new methodologies developed in cognitive linguistics in recent years to bear on some key debates among creolists concerning universals, African agency, and the role of African and Indigenous persons’ resistance in the emergence of the Atlantic creoles. In Chapter 1, I introduce cognitive semantics against a backdrop of current trends in creolistics. I review the literature and show how findings in cognitive semantics can be extended to the study of creoles. While the thesis represents new research in creolistics, I maintain the commitment that creolists have made to empirical approaches to the study of creole language structures. To this point, I have used a large body of language data that is suitable for conducting key word in context (KWIC) concordance searches using a computer software program. In Chapter 2, I draw on a specialized corpus of Afro- Caribbean English-lexifier creole (AEC) as spoken in St. Croix to carry out a cognitive-functional analysis of the verb-preposition interface in creole languages. In Chapter 3, I provide an analysis of the lexicalization of abstract concepts in AECs. I show that expressions of greed and envy, for example, are realized via metaphorical and metonymic processes, which points to convergence between substrate and superstrate input, as well as our human semantic potential for conceptual construal. In Chapter 4, I review conceptual metaphors that were circulated during a time period that coincided with the transition to a new capitalist model of colonial domination by Europe, first over the Americas and eventually over Africa. In Chapter 5, I present new ideas that help us to deconstruct dominant discourses that prevail about complexity and grammar in AECs. In Chapter 6, I summarize the findings and suggest future avenues of research on cognitive semantics in creole linguistics.