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Vers une approche linguistico-cognitive de la polysémie : Représentation de la signification et construction du sens

Abstract : For a long time, polysemy used to be considered as a marginal or accidental phenomenon in language. Where as today, it is well known that polysemy is being part of linguistic systems. The first part of our thesis draws up a panorama of semantic theories dealing with polysemy. Although it is not exhaustive, it reveals how and why that phenomenon has become a problematic of the utmost significance in linguistics. From the distinction established by G. Kleiber (1999), we consider two major trends in accordance with the way they conceive the link between meaning, reference and polysemy. On one hand, polysemy is described in terms of one basic referential sense from which secondary senses derive (objectivism). On the other hand, polysemy is analyzed as an areferential semantic potential from which senses emerge by contextual mechanisms (constructivism). About the question of the meaning representation of polysems, we postulate that linguistic unities are associated with a structure of pieces of conceptual information into the mind of speakers-hearers, so that it is possible to elaborate of conceptual modeling of it. In the framework of Cognitive Grammar (R.W. Langacker), the structure is a network constituted of semantic values, which are more or less schematic, and of elaborated senses stemmed from them. The most schematic meaning corresponds to the linguistic conceptual link between its instantiations. Some elaborations are the senses which can be constructed in discourse. On the basis of D. Tuggy’s works (1993), we propose to organize the conceptual modelings of multiple meanings words along a continuum homonymy-polysemy-multifaciality-vagueness, in function of various parameters : entrenchment, cognitive salience, possibility of accessibility and of activation of the network components (schematic or elaborated values). So, we can highlight some organizational regularities specific to the semantic representation of polysems as well as a typology of polysemous senses. The third and last part of our thesis is dedicated to sense construction. In Cognitive Grammar, it is a non modulary, compositional and dynamic process. Focusing especially on the impact of context on the interpretation of complex expressions containing a polysem, the analysis of Adj-N and N-Adj noun phrases puts to the fore some regularities governing the activation of polysemic senses. These regularities are linked to the linguistic context (position and function of the adjective towards the qualified substantive) and to the extra-linguistic context
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Hélène Mazaleyrat. Vers une approche linguistico-cognitive de la polysémie : Représentation de la signification et construction du sens. Linguistique. Université Blaise Pascal - Clermont-Ferrand II, 2010. Français. ⟨NNT : 2010CLF20022⟩. ⟨tel-00545777v2⟩

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