Profiling of the Ethical Concepts Good / Evil and Justice from the Etymological Perspective
Keywords:concept, domain, landmark, profiling, trajector
The paper gives a comprehensive insight into the peculiarities of concept profiling through defining the related etymological domains. The aim of the paper is to reveal the peculiarities of the profiling of the concepts GOOD / EVIL and JUSTICE through elucidating their source domains from an etymological perspective. The choice of the analysed ethical concepts is stipulated by their higher contextual actualization frequency, as compared with the other ethical concepts, according to the data obtained from British National Corpus. The research method of trajector / landmark alignment used in this work is based on R. Langacker’s views on the profiling of concepts in language utterances and on the tenets of Conceptual Metaphor Theory. The novelty of this approach consists in the fact that it was elaborated and tailored for the analysis and explanation of the onomasiological principles of ‘wrapping’ abstract ethical concepts into the language form. The underlying idea is that abstract categories were conceptualized on the basis of background central life experience and knowledge of concrete things. It is argued that such things were the source domains in ontological cross-domain mappings for the target ethical concepts. The current research into the source domain etymons of the ethical categories made it possible to determine the underlying images, which are the core for drawing metaphorical correspondences between source and target concepts. The etymological layer of source domain lexicalizers revealed the intrinsic psychological mechanisms of human cognition and perception of the world, which consist in the inherent proclivity of the human mind to make metaphorical parallels in the direction from daily, central experience to complex abstract ideas and notions. The results made it possible to develop the matrix model of the analysed concepts, which was further developed into a ‘conceptual edifice’ multi-layer model, which reveals the conceptualization paths along which the human mind classifies and categorizes abstract ethical ideas.
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