Image schemas in the Great Gatsby: A cognitive linguistic analysis of the protagonist’s psychological movement

Cogent Arts and Humanities 10 (2):1-19 (2023)
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Most research on image schema examined the meaning configuration of words connotation. However, previous studies of adjectives are meaningful in cognitive linguistics because they provide insight into how those adjectives are involved with psychological movement. In this sense, from the perspective of cognitive linguistics, one’s conceptualization and cognition are closely associated with their bodily experience and surroundings; adjectives are no exception. The varieties of transformations of image schemas lay the foundation for the conception and perception. Accordingly, this study is an investigation into the perception of adjectives and psychological activities associated with image schema. Data in this study come from adjectives in the novel The Great Gatsby, which were tagged and calculated with the help of software Python and the NLTK package. The results demonstrate that a significant amount of adjectives were used in the novel. Moreover, Nick’s psychological activities changed significantly from the SOURCE to the DESTINATION schematic stage, which is uncovered by his expression of adjectives. Finally, the results further suggest that transformations of image schema as BALANCE, CONTAINER, and PATH work together to motivate one’s linguistic expression of adjectives. The present findings have several implications for research on lexicons and literacy interpretation from cognitive linguistics.



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Hicham Lahlou
Universiti Sains Malaysia

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