Frame analysis

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Ministry of Science and Education of UkraineUkrainka Volyn National UniversityGermanic Philology Department





on Prototype Theory:


Frame analysis







Prepared bystudent of Group 41Viktoriia









Lutsk - 2009





1.Defining cognitive linguistics

2.What frame analysis is

.Applications of frame analysis





Cognitive linguistics is taken to refer to the approach to the study of language that began to emerge in the 1970s and has been increasingly active since the 1980s (now endowed with an international society with biennial conferences and a journal, Cognitive Linguistics). A quarter century later, a vast amount of research has been generated under the name of cognitive linguistics. Most of the research has focused on semantics, but a significant proportion also is devoted to syntax and morphology, and there has been cognitive linguistic research into other areas of linguistics such as language acquisition, phonology and historical linguistics.analysis is a type of discourse analysis that asks, What activity are speakers engaged in when they say this? What do they think they are doing by talking in this way at this time? Consider how hard it is to make sense of what you are hearing or reading if you dont know whos talking or what the general topic is. When you read a newspaper, you need to know whether you are reading a news story, an editorial, or an advertisement in order to properly interpret the text you are reading. Years ago, when Orson Welles radio play "The War of the Worlds" was broadcast, some listeners who tuned in late panicked, thinking they were hearing the actual end of the world. They mistook the frame for news instead of drama.





Frame analysis belongs to the domain of cognitive (i.e. related to mental processes of perception and reasoning) linguistics.linguistics is an approach to language that is based on our experience of the world and" the way we perceive and conceptualize it. It endeavours to explain facts about language in terms of known properties and mechanisms of the human mind/brain.suggested by Ungerer and Schmid, cognitive linguistics is today represented by three main approaches: the experiential view, the prominence view, and the attentional view of language.main claim of the experiential view is that instead of postulating logical rules and objective semantic features on the basis of theoretical considerations, a more practical and empirical path should be pursued. For example, one can ask language users to describe what is going on in their minds when they produce and understand words and sentences. As experiments have shown, people will not only state that, for instance, a car has a box-like shape, that it has wheels, doors, and windows, that it is driven by an engine and equipped with a steering wheel and brakes. It will also be mentioned that a car is comfortable and fast, that it offers mobility, independence and perhaps social status. Some people may connect the notion of car with their first love affair, or with injury if they were once involved in an accident. By adding these attributes, people include associations and impressions which are part of their experience. These attributes collected from laypersons seem to reflect the way we perceive the world around us and interact with it.cognitive approach is concerned with the selection and arrangement of the information that is expressed. For example, the sentence The car crashed into the tree might be a description of the circumstances that led to the cars breakdown. This sentence seems to describe the situation in a fairly natural way. In comparison, other ways of relating the accident such as The tree was hit by the car seem somehow strange and unnatural. The reason is that the moving car is the most interesting and prominent aspect of the whole situation and, therefore we tend to begin the sentence with the noun phrase the car. The selection of clause subject is determined by the different degrees of prominence carried by the elements involved in a situation. This prominence is not just reflected in the selection of the subject as opposed to the object and the adverbials of a clause, but there are also many other applications of what may be called the prominence view of linguistic structures.prominence view provides one explanation of how the information in a clause is selected and arranged. An alternative approach is based on the assumption that what we actually express reflects which parts of an event attract our attention, and it can therefore be called the attentional view.




The main descriptive devices of frame analysis are the notions of frame and perspective.

The notion of frame was introduced into linguistics by Charles Fillmore in the middle of the 1970s. We will look at his classic example of the commercial event frame.start with, Ch. Fillmore considers the aspects of the situation described by the English verb buy. In the initial state, a person A owns money and another person or institution D owns some goods that A wants to have. Taking for granted that the two participants come to an agreement on the price of the goods, person A gives a certain sum of money to D and D surrenders the goods. The final state is that A owns the goods and D owns the money. Leaving the agreement aside as some sort of prerequisite, one could then say that the action category BUY includes a reference to at least four other categories; a BUYER, a SELLER, GOODS, and MONEY.are viewed as unified frameworks of knowledge, or coherent schematizations of experience; cognitive structures knowledge of which is presupposed for the concepts encoded by the words; cognitive models which represent knowledge and beliefs pertaining to specific and frequently recurring situations., a frame is an assemblage of the knowledge we have about a certain situation, e.g., buying and selling.a frame for buy seems to offer at least two advantages: a single frame can account for various clause patterns and it can be applied to different (though related) verbs like sell, cost, or charge.following sentence exemplifies a syntactic pattern in which buy a may occur: David bought an old shirt from John for ten pounds. In this sentence all four components of the [BUY] frame are rendered linguistically, each in a different syntactic slot; the BUYER (David) as subject, the GOODS (an old shirt) as direct object, the SELLER (John) as the first adverbial, and the MONEY {ten pounds) as the second adverbial. This assignment of syntactic roles is called the syntactic perspective of the sentence.perspective of the above example largely hinges upon the syntax of the verb buy. It is possible to put a different syntactic perspective on the same frame by using the verbs sell, cost, change. Choosing the verb sell would allow us to put the categories SELLER and GOODS into perspective as subject and object, with the possibility of referring to the BUYER as an indirect object, as in John sold an old shirt to David for ten pounds. The verb charge perspectivizes the SELLER and BUYER as subject and object as in John charged David ten pounds for an old shirt, and the verb pay the BUYER and MONEY, with an option to introduce the SELLER as indirect object as in David paid ten pounds to Uohn for an old shirt.[BUY] frame is not just useful tool for the syntactic description of the verb buy, but it can also be applied to the verbs sell, charge, pay. The difference between the four verbs is simply a change of perspective within the same frame. This difference can be indicated by highlighting those components of the frame that make up the subject and object for each verb.four diagrams below show that the two verbs buy and pay describe the commercial event from the BUYERS perspective, while sell and charge perspectivize the situation from the SELLERS point of view


obviously, the notion of perspective relies on the principles of prominence (which indicates that different facets of an action can be highlighted by choosing certain linguistic structures), but it includes more than that.analysis has a wider scope, because indirect objects and adverbials are also addressed. In other words, the principle of prominence applies to those elements in a sentence that attract the main part of our attention and are therefore prominent; the frame analysis, however, also has something to say about linguistic items that attract only a small portion of our attention potential.wider scope of the frame approach shows up in the fact that the [COMMERCIAL EVENT] frame even captures cognitive categories whose prominence is so low that they are not expressed on the linguistic surface at all. Two verbs where this is the case are spend and cost, as used in the examples David spent ten pounds on an old shirt and The old shirt cost David ten pounds.verbs imply a SELLER who cannot be rendered linguistically (it is put in brackets). Instead the perspective directs the attention to the BUYER and the MONEY when spend is used, and to the GOODS when the verb cost is chosen.



Every sentence evokes a certain cognitive perspective on a situation by the choice of the verb and the particular syntactic pattern that