The Characteristics of Figures and Grounds in Japanese Entering Concepts

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อภิชาติ คานนิม


This study aims to analyze the characteristics of Figures and Grounds in conceptualization of entering in Japanese language according to cognitive linguistics.  The study method included collecting verbs expressing the entering from Ruigojiten Dictionary, and collecting sentences from Japanese Corpus to analyze the characteristics of those Figures and Grounds which appeared in the events of entering. The findings were that the Figures comprised of three characteristics: (1) volition of entering, (2) independence, and (3) self-controllability.  If entities in the events have all of these characteristics, they will be considered as good Figures.  However, if the entities have only some of these characteristics, there will be tendency to function as Grounds in those events.  In addition, there are some more factors such as size - the Figures should be smaller than the Grounds, and the verbs which appeared together with Figures and Grounds. In terms of the characteristics of the Grounds in conceptualization of entering, the results showed that the prototype of Grounds are hollow, having clear boundary, with enclosure in which the Figures can move inside.  Moreover, the Grounds can be categorized into three types:           (1) three-dimension Grounds which are hollow inside, with an entering cavity, (2)  three-dimension Grounds which are not hollow, and without entering cavity,  (3) two-dimension Grounds which are flat.



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