Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton September 25, 2007

Moving around: The role of the conceptualizer in semantic interpretation

  • Robert B Dewell EMAIL logo
From the journal Cognitive Linguistics


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.

*Contact address: Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Cultures, Box 190, Loyola University, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA.

Received: 2006-09-25
Revised: 2007-01-04
Published Online: 2007-09-25
Published in Print: 2007-09-19

© Walter de Gruyter

Downloaded on 8.12.2023 from
Scroll to top button