While comparative construal (categorization, analogy and metaphorization) has been the subject of considerable research in linguistics, psychology, and cognitive science, comparatively little attention has been given to its role in emotive and sensory knowledge transfer (Thagard & Shelley 2006: 27). This paper proposes an explanatory framework for comparative construal in the form of a three-dimensional similarity space (Hartman & Paradis forthcoming). The similarity space constitutes an extension of the cognitive semantic framework LOC (Lexical Meaning as Ontologies and Construals, Paradis 2005) through the addition of a dimension for intersubjective evaluation (LOC-SS). The basic premise is that wordings are cues that evoke meanings in conceptual space (Zwaan 2004, Gärdenfors 2014, Caballero & Paradis 2015, Paradis 2005, 2015a, 2015b). In demonstrating the utility of the framework, the study explores experiential comparative construals, notably similes such as It is like…, Imagine,.., drawn from a corpus of narratives on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Tourette Syndrome (TS). It considers the kinds of meaning structures involved in establishing correspondences between sources and targets; the kinds of experience that constitute sources and targets; and the sensory modalities, bodily sensations, and emotions that the imagery appeals to in order to evoke an emotive/sensory response in the reader and to trigger corresponding vicarious experiential simulations.
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Gärdenfors, P. (2014). The geometry of meaning: Semantics based on conceptual spaces. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Hartman, J. & Paradis, C. (forthcoming) Emotive and sensory transfer through comparative construal.
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Paradis, C. (2015a). Conceptual Spaces at work in sensory cognition. In Zenker, F. & Gärdenfors, P. (Eds.) Applications of Conceptual spaces: The case for geometric knowledge representation (pp. 33–55). Dordrecht: Springer.
Paradis, C. (2015b). Meanings of words: Theory and application. In Haß, U. & Storjohann, P. (Eds.), Handbuch Wort und Wortschatz 3 (pp. 274–293). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Thagard, P. & Shelley, C. (2006). Emotional analogies and analogical inference. In Thagard, P. (Ed.), Hot thought: Mechanisms and applications of emotional cognition. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
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