Volume 10, Issue 5 (2019)                   LRR 2019, 10(5): 233-256 | Back to browse issues page

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Gandomkar R. Semantic Broadening in Persian: A Case Study of Verbs. LRR. 2019; 10 (5) :233-256
URL: http://lrr.modares.ac.ir/article-14-10825-en.html
Assistant Professor of Linguistics, Allameh Tabataba’i University- Tehran- Iran
Abstract:   (3664 Views)
Semantic broadening is one of the important processes of semantic change that has long been studied by experts and especially by historical-philological semanticists. In this process, which occurs over time, the meaning of a word broadens from time period A to time period B and thus, in addition to its previous meaning, the word includes a new concept. Semantic broadening over time leads to a multitude of meanings. A word is used to refer to a new unit of language in terms of its similarity to a new concept, and based on the Prototype theory. As such, in addition to its original meaning, it is also applied in a new sense. This "similarity" has, in many cases, led to confusion between semantic broadening and metaphor, and a group of words that has undergone semantic broadening is considered as metaphors. The present research, in addition to explaining semantic broadening, examines the difference of this process with metaphor, and, in particular, by emphasizing Persian verbs, tries to show that many of the constructs considered as metaphor, are, in fact, instances of semantic broadening that, as a result of this process, have gained multiple meanings. Relying on examples, in particular, examples of Persian verbs, this paper attempted to emphasize the distinction between semantic broadening and metaphor, and to show that, by tradition, in our metaphor, one tends to separate the tenor from the simile and apply it on other contexts. However, in the case of semantic broadening, the tenor is by no means used in different contexts. Words are semantically broadened over time and their semantic scope expands, which is a process quite different from metaphor. As such, the results of this study indicate the subtle distinction that exists between semantic broadening and the process of metaphor, which is often neglected. In metaphor, the "tenor" is derived from the simile, and is used in other sentences instead of the "vehicle"; in a way that the "tenor" adopts the semantic behavior of the “vehicle”. However, in semantic broadening, an independent process occurs, and what emerges as the process of semantic broadening is the semantic expansion of other units of the simile.
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Article Type: Research Paper | Subject: Arts and Humanities (General)
Published: 2018/03/9

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