The first half of this article presents a fairly standard cognitive-semantic account of the semantic variants of the English path expression around. Then it is argued that this account needs to be expanded to include a much more explicitly central role for an active conceptualizer in a construal relation. To begin with, the schematic meaning of around is not an objective relation between a trajector and a landmark. It is a scanning pattern in which the conceptualizer's attention moves in order to focus on the location of the trajector. That scanning pattern is the same whether the trajector is objectively moving or stationary. Another basic factor in the meaning of around is the conceptual viewpoint. That viewpoint is usually presumed tacitly to be synoptic and orthogonal to the plane of the trajector's path, but there are actually many possible viewpoints, and there are potentially significant distinctions between one viewpoint and another. There is good reason to think that some distinct semantic variants of around are linked to the choice of defining viewpoint, and that its meaning can change in objectively significant ways depending on which conceptual viewpoint is chosen on a given occasion.
© Walter de Gruyter