OHTSUKI Minoru   Faculty of Foreign Languages Department of English Language   Professor
■ Title
  A Cognitive Linguistic Study of Colour Symbolism
■ Outline
  We propose a Symbolic Model comprising five types of Initial Meanings, operations for the derivation of symbolic senses (four pairs of operations with one-place predicates and two types of operations with two-place predicates), five principles of the study of colour symbolism, and a restricted number and types of variables. It can not only explicitly capture the interrelationships between different symbolic meanings of a colour term but can also explain what was left unexplained in previous studies, such as the differences of nuance between expressions containing colour terms which are synonymous with each other in terms of denotation.
We have applied our model to several languages (English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese), and have demonstrated that the symbolic meanings of colour expressions in these languages can be derived by the same sets of operations and variables. The major differences between languages lie in the Initial Meanings, but these are restricted to the five types defined in our research that correspond semiotically to different types of signs: icons, indices, conventional signs, signals and symptoms.
What is significant about this research from the viewpoint of cognitive semantics is that we have identified a new type of category structure, incorporating both the classical category in the form of initial meanings, and the radial category in the form of derived senses. We name this newly discovered categorical internal structure arbor symbolica as typically characterising colour symbolism.

  Single   Institute for the Research and Education of Language, Daito Bunka Univ.      2000/03

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