Animacy and reference : a cognitive approach to corpus by Mutsumi Yamamoto

By Mutsumi Yamamoto

The concept that of 'animacy' matters the elemental and cognitive query of the level to which we realize and show dwelling issues as saliently human-like or animal-like. In Animacy and Reference Mutsumi Yamamoto pursues major targets: First, to set up a conceptual framework of animacy, and secondly, to provide an explanation for how the concept that of animacy might be mirrored within the use of referential expressions. Unlike Read more...

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13 tabooed, and that unconsciously tabooed foods are not generally perceived as food. Human meat is the most typical member of the last category in most cultures in the world. The objection of the English to eating dog meat depends on a categorical assumption; for them dogs belong to the category (3) and they are not food (Leach 1964: 32). Leach holds that the human disgust toward eating dogs in the English culture is “largely a matter of verbal categories” reflected in such expressions as “man and dogs are companions” and “the dog is the friend of the man” (1964: 32).

It’s so funny! The expression ‘that cat’ in the above utterance can be referring to a cat with pince-nez eating fish and chips which is drawn on a fish van. It should be noted that any entities in the world (particularly concrete entities) may have their representations in some form or other. Animate beings may have inanimate representations, and the animacy of the original entities which are represented by inanimate tokens may ascribe a certain animation or personhood to the tokens. Imagine someone from abroad who is working or studying in this country, and who sleeps with a stuffed toy of a penguin which his girl friend has sent him from home.

But a cat can’t understand the concept of anticipation and therefore is unable to allow for it in other species. So this is where we have them almost surely. Cats virtually always underestimate human intelligence just as we, perhaps, underestimate theirs. (Roger A. Caras, A Cat is Watching) The author perceives the communicational strategies of Squid and her other very ‘human’ nature, because he has a great deal of empathy towards cats (perhaps, Squid must have been much more human than many actual human beings to the author), and what is remarkable with reference to the abovementioned human egocentricity is that Caras is well aware that humans always underestimate the intelligence of cats (and that cats would do the same to humans).

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