Apart fromforegrounding, focusing also includes the initial selection of conceptualcontent for linguistic presentation.
One of the facets of the selection is theaccess an expression affords to a particular set of cognitive domains on agiven occasion or in general. The other one is the extent of the expressions”coverage” within the domains which are accessed. It needs to be understoodwhich portions in the domain are evoked and used for comprehension. Everyexpression has a scope which consists of the coverage in the particular domain.
Scope evidentlyhas a strong cognitive basis and it is an extent to which one can mentallyencompass at a particular moment while watching the film. Drawing example forour visual apparatus limits, one can see finitely at any point of time. At aparticular point of time, a person has in his scope of vision only a limitedportion of our spatial surroundings. Likewise, in every domain there is a scopeof any expression. It is the conceptual content that appears in the subjectiveviewing frame inherent in its apprehension.One may consider aword like ‘glass’, for example.
The word evokes the domain of space for thespecification of the characteristic shape. The comprehension of the conceptionof space needs a certain spatial expanse. However, this spatial scope can neversubsume the whole world. Similarly, the word ‘fall’ needs the conceptualizationof the span of time which is long enough to encompass the mentioned action.
But, this temporal scope does not include eternity. The term ‘cousin’ wouldevoke a non-basic domain comprising a network of kinship relations. On theother hand, a kinship network can be extended indefinitely far in anydirection.It is not impliedby bounding in the abstract sense that a scope’s boundary is objectivelydiscernible. This might be imposed by the subjective viewing frame, and notnecessarily with any great precision. A person seeing a scene in a film cantake into consideration the surroundings which are shown, while another mightstick to seeing the protagonists who are shown on the screen.
This is like whenwe see a distant mountain range in comparison to a picture from close up. Thescope in the previous instances is much more than that it is in the latterinstances.One sometimesneeds to distinguish between an expression’s maximal scope in some domain, i.e.the full extent of its coverage, and a limited immediate scope, the portiondirectly relevant for a particular purpose. The immediate scope is thusforegrounded vis-à-vis the maximal scope.
Metaphorically, one can describe itas the “onstage region” or the general region of viewing attention.The example of theword ‘elbow’ can be taken to understand the phenomenon of scope with utmostclarity. It selects the domain of thehuman body for its conception. However, it is totally clear that elbow is notcharacterized directly with respect to the body. There are many major parts inthe body including the arms. Elbow is firstly a part of an arm.
Hence, in theprocess of conceptualizing an elbow, the conception of an arm in particular ismost directly relevant (“onstage”) in this case. There is a conceptualhierarchy, such that the human body figures directly in arm. The arm in turnfigures directly in elbow. However, the body figures only indirectly in elbow.Thus it can be said that for elbow, the body functions as the maximal scope andthe arm as the immediate scope.
Distinctionsbetween maximal and immediate scope are quite significant in hierarchiesconsisting of successive whole-part relations. While body-part terms afford theclearest examples, there are similar hierarchies in other domains of experiencetoo:body > arm >hand > finger > knucklecar > motor> piston > ringIn the aboveschemes, the preceding one will be considered as the immediate scope for thenext. As a consequence, each term incorporates in its matrix the essentialcontent of all the terms that precede it in the hierarchy.3.4.3 ProminenceThere are numerouskinds of asymmetries in language structure which are considered as matters ofprominence.
The terms prominence and salience (used here interchangeably) arenot self-explanatory. A proper description of the terms would satiate thepurpose in this scenario. One needs toconsider the dimensions of prominence. Focusing comes into play as anythingwhich is selected has more prominence than the part which remains unselected.Also, the foreground is more salient in comparison to the background.
Space andvision have a privileged cognitive status vis-à-vis other realms of experience.More generally, an intrinsic disparity in salience seems clearly evidentbetween the members of various oppositions: concrete vs. abstract, real vs.imaginary, explicit vs. implicit, and so on.There are twoparticular sorts of prominence: profiling and trajectory / landmark alignment.They are similar in that each involves the focusing of attention (a strong kindof foregrounding), although they are not the same. Both the constructs arestrongly justified on semantic grounds.
184.108.40.206 ProfilingAn expressionactually selects a particular body of the conceptual content as the very basisfor the meaning construction. Construed broadly, an expression’s conceptualbase is identified as its maximal scope in all domains of its matrix. The baseis identified as the immediate scope in active domains—that is, the portion put”onstage” and foregrounded as the general locus of viewing attention, if it isconstrued more narrowly. Attention is directed to a particular substructure withinthe onstage region and this is known as the profile. Thus an expression’sprofile stands out as the specific focus of attention within its immediatescope.
The profile can also be characterized as what the expression isconceived as designating or referring to within its base (its conceptualreferent).3.4.3.
2 Trajector/ Landmark AlignmentVarying degrees ofprominence are conferred on its participants when a relationship is profiled.The participant who is most prominent is called the trajector. This is theentity construed as being located, evaluated, or described.Impressionistically, it can be characterized as the primary focus within theprofiled relationship. It happens often that some other participant is madeprominent as the secondary focus. If so, this is called a landmark. Expressionscan have the same content, and profile the same relationship, but differ inmeaning because they make different choices of trajector and landmark.
In theprocess of watching the film, the spectator identifies the characters in thisway. The semanticcontrast can only reside in the degree of prominence conferred on therelational participants. In each case the other participant functions as aspatial landmark for that purpose. This difference in trajectory / landmarkalignment, a matter of construal, is solely responsible for the semanticdifference of the content of the film which is being construed by thespectator. 3.4.4 PerspectiveIfconceptualization (metaphorically) is the viewing of a scene in a film, perspectiveis the viewing arrangement. The most obvious aspect of perspective is thevantage point which is assumed.
1 ViewingArrangementA viewingarrangement is the overall relationship between the “viewers” and the situationbeing “viewed”. For the purpose of comprehending the relationship between filmand the spectators, one should understand that the viewers are conceptualizerswho apprehend the meanings of filmic expressions.One particularviewing arrangement, common in everyday conversational interactions, arguablyhas default-case status, being presupposed unless there is reason to assume thecontrary. In the default arrangement, the interlocutors are together in a fixedlocation, from which they observe and describe actual occurrences in the worldaround them. One very importantcomponent of the viewing arrangement is a presupposed vantage point.
In thedefault arrangement, the vantage point is the actual location of the speakerand hearer. The same objective situation can be observed and described from anynumber of different vantage points that result in different construals. Manyexpressions undeniably invoke a vantage point as part of their meaning. Very closelyrelated to the vantage point is a important aspect of construal known as subjectivityvs.
objectivity. This is best introduced with reference to visual perception.When a spectator is watching a gripping play, all the attention is directed atthe stage, and is focused more specifically on the actor speaking at that pointof time on the stage. Being totally absorbed in the play, the spectator hardlyhas any awareness of himself or his own immediate circumstances.
Thus, the viewingarrangement maximizes the asymmetry between the viewer and what is viewed. Thisis known as the subject and object of perception. When the viewing role isasymmetrical to the maximum degree, the viewing subject is said to be construedwith maximal subjectivity and the object with maximal objectivity.3.4.4.
2 TheTemporal DimensionThe process ofconceptualization is inherently dynamic which means it is something whichhappens. This occurs through time as it involves mental processing orneurological activity. This time whichis needed for the conceptualization is known as processing time. Everyconceptualization requires this time and even the most instantaneous ones likefeeling the prick of a pin needs a particular duration and a course ofdevelopment when minutely examined. Thus, it can be understood that dynamicitypertains to how a conceptualization develops and unfolds through processingtime, as an aspect of construal.It is veryimportant to differentiate processing time from conceived time. Time isconstrued most objectively when a span of time is profiled by expressions likea moment, week or next year and so on.
Time comes into play in the conceptionof any event, since events occur through time. If the conceptualization of timenecessarily occurs through time, it can be very hard to distinguish betweenconceived and processing time. However, they need to be properly separated forsemantic purposes.
Thus, it can be said that human beings have the ability toinvoke the conception of one entity in order to establish “mental contact” withanother. 3.5 Meaning Construction in LanguageIt needs to be recognizedthat the systematic structure found in the language that we speak reflects asystematic structure within the conceptual system of our minds. It is believedto be so by cognitive linguists and they move forward to explore the hypothesisthat there are kinds of linguistic expressions which make it evident that thevery structure of the conceptual system is reflected in the patterns oflanguage of human beings. Let us take for example these three sentences:a. Christmas isfast approaching.b.
The number ofshares we own has gone up.c. Those two havea very close friendship.
The examplesactually relate to the abstract conceptual domains of TIME, QUANTITY ANDAFFECTION respectively in chronology. The body of knowledge within theconceptual system of human beings is known as the conceptual domain which goeson to contain and organize the related ideas and experiences of humans.TIME is aconceptual domain and it can relate a range of temporal concepts. In each ofthese sentences, the abstract concepts are comprehended in terms of conceptualdomains which relate to concrete physical experiences. While ‘Christmas’ isconceptualized in terms physical MOTION, ‘number of shares’ gets conceptualizedin terms of VERTICAL ELEVATION and ‘friendship’ is conceptualized in terms ofPHYSICAL PROXIMITY by the use of the word ‘close’.
One of the mostparamount findings is that the abstract concepts are structured systematicallyin terms of conceptual domains which are derived from the experiences of thenature of physical objects which also involve properties like motion, verticalelevation and physical proximity (Lakoff and Johnson 1980, 1999). Ourconceptual system actually organizes the abstract concepts in terms ofexperiences that are concrete and that these abstract concepts are made morereadily accessible.