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Publication Date

Spring 2014

Degree Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Soteria Svorou


Catalan, Cognitive Semantics, FrameNet, Logical Metonymy, Metonymy, Spanish

Subject Areas



In generative and cognitive literature, the so-called logical metonymy has been explained via coercion, frames, and pragmatic inferences. The prototypical case, Mary began the book, is understood as "Mary began reading/writing the book". Our aim is to also account for non-prototypical cases with non-physical objects such as Que comença ja la pel·li! "The movie is about to start!" which is understood as the movie is about to start to be shown, through the use of real language data. For that we propose the metonymic pattern ENTITY FOR SITUATION IN WHICH THE ENTITY IS INVOLVED and make use of Framenet frames. In Chapter Two we review the current understanding of conceptual metonymy, focusing on predicative metonymy and its subtype, logical metonymy. In Chapter Three we analyze all syntactic frames of begin-verbs in Catalan and Spanish. In Chapter Four we detail only the semantic frames of those same verbs where situation-event metonymies appear, both in the subject and object function. Finally, two processing schemas and a series of examples illustrating each of the types of metonymic sources are presented in Chapter Five. Our corpus search shows that not only prototypical affected entities such as a book can act as metonymic sources, but also temporal nouns like Spanish etapa "stage", locative nouns like Spanish término municipal "municipality", and reified processes like Catalan contactes "contacts" do as well. Whereas these latter ones are semantically quite explicit and the retrievable action in each case is very limited, the former ones are much less explicit and require more cognitive effort on behalf of the addressee.