Intensifiers and image schemas: Schema type determines intensifier type

Kevin King


This paper develops a theory whereby the type of intensifier that a source word grammaticalizes as is determined by the semantics of the source word. Three intensifiers (way, thoroughly, and overly) are looked at in-depth and it is shown that their semantics as intensifiers follow from certain features, namely path and endpoint, of the image schemas depicting the meanings of their source words. It is possible that this theory can be extended to all intensifiers, especially given that many intensifiers grammaticalize out of source words that have spatial interpretations.


intensifiers; image schemas; semantics

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Copyright (c) 2016 Kevin King

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