ISSN: 1139-8736
Depósito Legal: B-48039-2000

5.1.1. Lexical Semantic Representation

It is an extremely complex task to provide an adequate structured lexical semantic representation that fulfills the needs of the rules that map meaning to syntax. Most linguists believe that only certain aspects of word meaning are grammatically relevant. Nevertheless, even this basic idea is not universally accepted. Many linguists, especially those in the Cognitive Linguistics tradition, believe that it is impossible to separate those aspects of meaning that are grammatically relevant from those that are not. In other words, they do not think that it is feasible to draw a boundary from linguistic (also referred to as dictionary) aspects of meaning and non-linguistic or encyclopedic aspects of meaning (cf. Haiman 1980). This is one of the issues that, according to Langacker, distinguishes Cognitive Linguistics from other conceptions of language (Langacker 1987: 155; Langacker 1988: 57). Taylor (1996) makes exactly the same point with regards to the English verbs running and jogging. Taylor claims that the semantic and syntactic characterization of jog and run must be based on an encyclopedic view of the two activities, and that therefore it does not make sense to divide the meanings of words into syntactically relevant and syntactically irrelevant components. He gives the following contrasts as evidence:

(5.2) a. Bruce ran against Phil.

b. * Bruce jogged against Phil.

(5.3) a. They ran neck and neck.
b. * They jogged neck and neck.

(5.4) a. He ran a mile in ten minutes.
b. * He jogged a mile in ten minutes.

(5.5) a. They ran a race/in a race.
b. * They jogged a race/in a race.

(5.6) a.The race will be run tomorrow.
b. * The race will be jogged tomorrow.

(5.7) a. They ran to catch the bus.
b. * They jogged to catch the bus.

(5.8) a. Mary ran after Jane.
b. * Mary jogged after Jane.

(5.9) a. I’ve been running up and down all morning.
b. * I’ve been jogging up and down all morning.

(5.10) a. The children have been running around all morning.
b. * The children have been jogging around all morning.

(5.11) a. They ran on the spot.
b. * They jogged on the spot.

In addition, run takes directional prepositional phrases, whereas jog tends to be infelicitous with such phrases:
(5.12) ? He jogged into the road (and almost got killed by a truck).
Jackendoff (1996a) offers a rebuttal of Taylor’s views which even questions the validity of some of Taylor’s acceptability judgements. In spite of all this, the mainstream assumption is that it is possible to keep the two types of meaning apart and that only the linguistic meaning is relevant for argument selection and realization in syntax.

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ISSN: 1139-8736
Depósito Legal: B-48039-2000