From Oceanic Feeling to Image Schemata: Embodied Mind and the Construction of Identity
IDENTITY ISSUES: LITERARY AND LINGUISTIC LANDSCAPES, V. Lopicic. B. MisicIlic, eds., Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Forthcoming
24 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2010
Date Written: October 10, 2010
This paper discusses the notion of identity against some fundamental concepts of modern cognitive semantics. A Freudian perspective is first accepted, according to which individual identity emerges when the child renounces its original oceanic feeling of oneness with the world and begins to understand that there are some boundaries imposed on the ego (where the first other object to be conceived of is, as a rule, that of the mother). The school of cognitive semantics expands on this thesis claiming that early binary discretisation of bodily interaction with the environment results in subsequent conceptualisation of abstract domains. I discuss how these constructs, „image schemata‟, may influence the construction of adult concepts. In particular, the image schemata VERTICALITY, SOURCE-PATH-GOAL and CENTRE-PERIPHERY are analyzed using examples of visual, musical, and linguistic cognition (in Serbian and English). The analysis suggests that early visual experience is of particular importance for the development of concepts, many of which remain entrenched in the two languages, forming a part of native speakers‟ identity.
JEL Classification: oceanic feeling, image schemata, language, music, vision, Serbian, English
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation