The politics of body-part terminology: on the conceptual affiliation of the lexical item face.
The aim of the paper is to investigate the diachronically viewed semantics of both face and fce-HEADed (1) phraseological exoressions in the context of the conceptual categories that we commonly distinguish to categorise the world. (2) Also, the authors embark on the task of qualifying the semantic changes according to the distinctions made in the literature of the subject. Last but not least, the idiomatic productivity of face will be set in a cross-linguistic perspective in order to shed some contrastive light on the semantics of the analysed English phraseological formations and their French, German and Italian counterparts or--most frequently--semantic relatives.
The analysis offered here makes use of the cognitive framework successfully employed to the study of the diachronic semantic change of words by such authors as Geeraerts (1983, 1985a, 1985b), Sweetser (1985, 1990) and--on the Polish scene--in the analyses offered by the majority of Rzeszow-centered academics, such as Kleparski (1996, 1997), Kieltyka (2008), Kopecka (2011), Grygiel (2007), Kochman-Haladyj (2008), Cymbalista (2008), Kochman-Haladyj and Kleparski (2011). (3) The main methodological assumptions adopted in the foregoing refer to the cognitive tools of explicating the conceptualisation processes involved in the secondary meaning construal. In short, the secondary semantic developments are accounted for by determining certain conceptual links between the attributive elements of semantic structure of the primary and secondary nominal senses of face. The rise of the novel sense-threads is accounted for by, among other things, the mechanisms of foregrounding/highlighting/adding, or backgrounding of the conceptual alternatively--attributive values specified within the attributive paths of the primarily or secondarily identified conceptual domains (henceforth: CDs). To account for the construal of the metonymically or metaphorically-conditioned sense developments the authors come up with specific cognitive formula which help to explicate the relevant conceptual processes.
2. Semantics of nominal and phrase-embedded senses of face
The historically primary etymological sense A of face is first evidenced in the history of English at the end of the 13th century (c 1290 More blod bar naps in al is face. > 1831 The Face, properly speaking extends vertically from the upper edge of the nasal bones to the chin. > current in present-day English), and it is defined by the OED as 'the front of the head from the forehead to the chin in men'. Within the analytical framework adopted this historically primary sense may be accounted for by the process of highlighting the location [(HUMAN BEING) A (ANIMAL)] within the attributive path of DOMAIN OF BEING [...]. Simultaneously, the semantic pole of face may be said to be activated for the conceptual value (OVAL) located within the attributive path of DOMAIN OF SHAPE [...], and the attributive element (FRONT) conceptually rooted within the attributive path of DOMAIN OF RELATIVE POSITION [...].
As illustrated in Figure 1, the primary sense A of face is stipulated to have formed the basis for the rise of seven secondary senses to a large extent linked to each other by the source-target relationship, with the target sense-thread being founded in the cognitive framework of the relevant source sense. The secondary senses distinguished in the history of face are:
sense B 'the eyes',
sense C 'the representation of physical features of something', sense D 'the representation of non-physical features of something', sense E 'the representation of physical features of human visage', sense F ' an object resembling face in shape and/or relative position', sense G 'various categories of human being', and sense H 'the mouth'.
The conceptual interdependence that holds among the historically evidenced senses of face is presented in Figure 1.
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]
The first sense alteration took place at the close of the Mid.E. period. From the outset of the 14th century one may postulate the operation of certain cognitive processes that resulted in the rise of the secondary sense B of face 'the eyes' that is evidenced in the following OED contexts till the mid 18th century (a 1300 Bot i him saw bifore mi face? > 1760 A new-married couple more than ordinarily fond before faces.). The cognitively-couched account of the construal of this sense may be viewed as a case of meronymic transfer, whereby the word takes on the sense of another structurally subordinate lexical item, that is the process that follows the <WHOLE FOR PART> path of semantic transference.
The rise of the 14th century sense C 'the representation of physical features of something' may be assumed--similarly to the secondary senses of other HEAD-related lexical items--to have been metonymically conditioned, and the rise of the novel sense itself may be claimed to have been founded on the semantics of sense B. To be more specific, the semantic change may have been conditioned by the existence of the metonymic relationship <PART FOR WHOLE>. One may conjecture that the associative processes at work may stem from the assumption that face, employed in its sense B 'the eyes', is considered to be a tool of work. Moreover, the new historical sense may have been generated via associating the tool of work with the final product of the activity, and the associative path fits in the familiar metonymic formula <TOOL TO PERFORM THE ACTIVITY FOR THE RESULT OF THE ACTIVITY> (cf. the rise of sense D of lip 'an insolent talk', and the rise of sense H of nose 'smells, odours, perfumes' in Wieclawska 2012). The historical contexts that go back to the mid 14th century evidence the currency of the discussed nominal sense of face (1340 Pe face of pe erth sal brin with-out. > 1887 Such schools being improved off the face of the earth. < current in present-day English).
The next historical semantic change that resulted in the rise of sense D of face, is classified as a case of meaning extension, whereby sense C 'the representation of physical features of something' may have provided the source sense for the new innovation to materialise. The newly generated sense D, may be said to be anchored in the conceptual category PERCEPTION, and the extension may be qualified as generalisation of sense D, whereby face started to be used with reference to any abstract object, which--in terms of cognitive analysis adopted here--translates as substituting the value (INANIMATE OBJECT) for the value (ABSTRACT BEING) located within the limits of attributive path of DOMAIN OF BEING [...]. The novel sense D is well evidenced in the OED material from the late 14th century (c 1381 As Aleyn, in the Pleynt of Kynde, Devyseth Nature of aray and face. > 1888 The problems of the world are always putting on new faces. > current in present-day English lexicon).
The change that led to the rise of sense E 'the representation of physical features of human visage' may be viewed--in line with the patterns identified earlier for the history of other HEAD-related terms (cf. Wieclawska 2012)--as a case of metonymically conditioned semantic alteration. In particular, the pattern <TOOL TO PERFORM THE ACTIVITY FOR THE RESULT OF THE ACTIVITY> may be assumed to have been operative here. On our
interpretation, the discussed sense E is based on sense B 'the eyes' through reference to its semantic potential. In turn, this implies that the attributive values activated for sense B, namely (HUMAN BEING) and (PEPRCEPTION) located within DOMAIN OF BEING [...] and DOMAIN OF FUNCTION [...] respectively are also active in the explication of sense E, with the simultaneous operation of the metonymic pattern described above.
Sense E is first evidenced for the beginning of the E.Mod.E. period in the OED (1488 Item, a ring with a face. > 1855 Walker had arrived in London His face was in every print shop. > current in the present-day English lexicon). Finally, let us draw the reader's attention to the fact that the discussed sense is echoed in the semantics of a number of present-day phraseological formations. For example, the senses of the following idiomatic expressions are linked to sense E: 'to be ugly' FACE like the corner of the street, FACE like the back of the tram/bus, FACE like a Buckley pan-mug (4), FACE like the side of the house, FACE like w welder's bench, worse FACE than under a cork upon a bottle (5) (see TEM).
The next historical sense F of face, defined as 'an object resembling face in shape and/or relative position', appeared in the lexico-semantic system of E.Mod.E. almost simultaneously, as illustrated by the following late 15th century context (1489 A proper place muste be ordeyned atte euery face of the walles for to sette gonnes. > present in the present-day English lexicon). Notably, although the sense was first registered at the start of the E.Mod.E. period, one must add that the most intense application of face in this sense is testified for at the close of the 19th century onwards, when the word started to be used with reference to various devices that--on the grounds of the associative processes--conceptually relate to the theoretical construct of face.
More generally, one may say that the extensive use of face in the field of tools, devices and machinery may mirror the trend for naming goods stemming from the development of the Industrial Revolution, which resulted in the extra-linguistic outburst of a number of tools, devices and various types of machinery the front part of which, that is nonhuman faces, had to be named. Note, for example, the use of face with reference to various pieces of sports equipment, as evidenced by the following 19th century context (1881 The head [of a full-sized Driver] weighs 7 oz. or 8 oz., and is distinguished from those of the 'Spoon' family by its 'face' being straight and almost perpendicular.)
Let us point out that sense F is interpreted as being embedded within the limits of the conceptual category APPLIANCES/TOOL COMPONENTS, and it relates to the matrix of conceptual values specified for sense A, that is 'the front part of the head from forehead to chin in men'. The three CDs involved in the construal of sense A are also found to be operative with sense F, with the change within the attributive path values specified for DOMAIN OF BEING [...]. Here, the conceptual element (HUMAN BEING) becomes backgrounded with the simultaneous highlighting of the value (INANIMATE OBJECT) that becomes cognitively prominent for the novel sense.
The lexicographic works register the rise of the early 17th century sense G 'various categories of human being', as evidenced first by the early 17th century OED context (1633 Disease and Death know no faces. > 1922 Now this face was the ideal man for me to have a deal with.). Nowadays, the word is commonly used in this sense in slang, chiefly as a term of address with varying degrees of either contempt or admiration. The account of the rise of this historical sense justifies positing links to the relevant locations specified earlier for the source sense which--in this case--is assumed to be sense A 'the front part of head from forehead to the chin in men'. Thus, sense A the construal of which involves the activation of various CDs with the relevant attributive values becomes metonymically extended following the cross linguistically evidenced part-for-whole pattern < PART OF BODY FOR THE WHOLE BODY>.
The historically latest sense H of face 'the mouth' may be said to have followed parallel line of semantic change to the development of sense B of face 'the eyes'. Here, one deduces the existence of the meronymic relation between the two secondary senses of face, and their source sense, that is the historically primary sense A of face. Note that the meronymic relation may be said to be conditioned by structural contiguity. To be precise, sense H 'the mouth' may be said to be structurally embedded in sense A, that is 'the front part of the head from forehead to the chin in men', the latter of which not only embraces larger referential area than mouth, but also includes the semantics of many other HEAD-related lexical items, such as lip, nose, chin and cheek.
To account for the construal of sense H which is rooted in the conceptual macrocategory BODY PARTS one feels justified to set in motion the same set of CDs that were specified earlier for the explication of the historical source sense A. The matrix of conceptual domains involved in the account of sense H 'the mouth' includes DOMAIN OF BEING [...], DOMAIN OF SHAPE [...] and DOMAIN OF RELATIVE POSITION [...] with the attributive value (ANIMAL) postulated originally for the attributive path of DOMAIN OF BEING [...] backgrounded. The sense analysed here is a clearly contemporary semantic innovation, and its currency is confirmed by the well-evidenced context to feed one's FACE, lit. 'to feed oneself > 'to eat' first registered by the end of the 20th century (RHHDAS).
[FIGURE 2 OMITTED]
2.1 Conceptual category ATTITUDES
As the analysis of the historical data reveals, for the E.Mid.E. period one can speak of the development of cognitive relation between phraseological units and the target conceptual category ATTITUDES. The idiomatic senses that may be said to be most abundantly represented and most telling both in the comparative and diachronic perspective are the sense 'to be persevering', expressed by the idiomatic expression to make a good/great FACE, and the sense 'to be sad/disappointed', encoded by the idiom to draw/wear/pull a long FACE.
It seems that the idiomatic senses in question may be assumed to be A-related, since their semantics may be proved to be linked to the attributive values specified for sense A 'the front part of the head from forehead to the chin in men'. Moreover, it seems that the mechanism of change is based on metaphorical extension, whereby certain physical gestures become translated metaphorically into abstract reactions and attitudes. For example, the physical act of giving one's face somewhat elongated appearance has become encapsulated lexically in the semantics of several idiomatic phrases, such as to draw/wear/pull a long FACE, to make/pull a (croked/pitifull,wry) FACE, to have FACE as long as a fiddle that serve to convey the abstract senses of disappointment and/or sadness.
Also, the sense discussed here emerges from the semantics of the proverb Long FACE shortens the list of your friends which features a well-grounded belief that the main prerequisites of being an amiable person is good humour, and it shows as specific type of countenance. (6) Some lexicographic works claim that the elongated countenance on somebody's face that is associated with disappointment and/or sadness alludes to the convicts' habit of distorting their facial features under the photographic lens to mislead the photographer encoded in the discussed phraseological formations (see DU and DPF). Finally, the conceptual motivation that has led to the rise of the sense may be said to be culturally conditioned in that elongated grimace on somebody's face that echoes the nominal sense A and is lexicalized phraseologically in the idiom to have a Friday FACE refers to the religious habit of having fast days on Fridays (see TEM).
In the E.Mod.E. period we find other face-based phraseological formations that echo nominal senses of face, and those may be linked to the conceptual category ATTITUDES, namely through the sense 'to be persevering' which may be said to evoke the image of positive countenance and, therefore, it may be claimed to echo the nominal sense A, even if the facts are contrary to what we expect. The relevant idiomatic phrases are to put a FACE to suit the occasion, to put a good FACE on something, and to make a good/great FACE. (7)
In terms of chronology, most face-based idiomatic expressions linked semantically to the conceptual category ATTITUDES are 20th century innovations, and these are found in numerous contemporary 20th - 21st century lexicographic works. The oldest example of ATTITUDES-related idiomatic sense is 'to be sad/disappointed' of the phraseological unit to make/pull a FACE, as evidenced by the OED 16th century context (1570 The poore Birde when he saw hir make that FACE to him was halfe afraide. > current in present-day English).
Cross-linguistically, we find several intriguing parallels. Let us compare, for example, the semantics of the French idiom prendre un VISAGE ('face') de circonstance, Italian phraseological unit fare una FACCIA ('face') di circostanza which--together with the English idiom to put a FACE to suit the occasion--may be postulated to fall in the category of lexico-syntactic symmetry complemented by HEAD equivalence of semantically parallel phraseological formations used in the sense 'to be persevering'. Likewise, the sense 'to be sad/disappointed' has analogical phraseological embodiments both in French, Italian and German which--taken together--form a set that fits in the category of cross-linguistic equivalence. Here, compare the English idiomatic expression to pull/make/wear a long FACE with the French equivalent faire un visage long, allonger le VISAGE ('face'), Italian idiom avere il VISO ('face') lungo, fare la FACCIA ('face') lunga and the three German idioms ein langes GESICHT ('face') machen, ein langes GESICHT ('face') ziehen, mit einem langen GESICHT ('face') wieder abziehen (9) It seems that the idiomatic sense discussed here rests on the notion that long may imply 'sad', although long does not need to be overtly present in the structure of the phraseological formation. Take, for example, the Mod.E. expression FACE like a milkman's road, where the idea of 'long face' is implicitly suggested by the covert long-lasting road that every milkman must cover on a day-to-day basis (see TEM).
Note that most of the phraseological units have alternative variants, whereby the cross-linguistically taken body-part terms, that is Mod.E. face, French face, visage, Italian faccia, viso come to be substituted by various synonyms (see the Italian muso, Italian aria, German Mine). Compare, the French idiom avoir MINE ('countenance' > 'face') longue, Italian avere il MUSO ('muzzle' > 'face') lungo, and the idiom avere una ARIA ('countenance' > 'face') triste. (10) Also, compare the Mod.E. formation to put a good FACE ('face') on something, Italian fare buon VISO ('face') a cattiva sorte, German gute MIENE ('countenance' > 'face') zum boesen Spiel machen, eine falsche MIENIE ('countenance' > 'face') aufsetzen. (11)
It needs to be pointed out that some of the ATTITUDES-related idiomatic senses have counterparts in various European languages. Here, we can speak about yet another pattern of equivalence; namely the category of lexico-syntactic hiatus complemented by the HEAD equivalence of semantically parallel phraseological units. The examples that may be classified in this manner are the German phrase ein GESICHT ('face') wie drei Tage Regenwetter machen, (12) lit. 'to have a face like three days of rainy weather', French faire un VISAGE ('face') long comme un jour sans pain, lit. 'to have face like a day without bread' and Italian fare una FACCIA ('face') funerale, lit. 'to make a funeral face', that are all employed in the idiomatic sense 'to be sad/disappointed'. (13)
Finally, the data linked to the conceptual category ATTITUDES include those phraseological units that fit conceptually in yet another pattern that emerges from our fragmentary comparative analysis, that is the category of lexico-syntactic hiatus complemented by the HEAD=(face) A (nose) A (head)/face) A (heart) disparity of semantically parallel phraseological units. The factual data is formed by the phraseological embodiments of the sense 'to be sad/disappointed', that is Mod.E. idiom to pull/make/wear a long FACE, French phraseological formation faire un NEZ ('nose'), lit. 'to make a nose', faire une MINE ('countenance' > 'face') de dixpieds de long, lit. 'to make a grimace like six feet; faire la TETE ('head'), lit. 'to make a head', faire une FIGURE ('shape' > 'face') longue d'une aune, lit. 'to make a grimace as long as an elbow', faire une drole de la TETE ('head'), lit. 'to make a stupid head' (see PIDF and DI).
Another pertinent example involves the idiomatic sense 'to be persevering' which in the languages compared is lexicalised by formally distinct phraseological formations. Compare the French expression faire contre mauvaise fortune bon COEUR ('heart'), lit. 'to make good heart to an adverse situation', Mod.E. idiom to make a good/great FACE, to put a good FACE on something, the Italian idiom fare buon VISO ('face') a cattiva sorte, lit. 'to make good heart to an adverse situation' and German phraseological formation gute MIENE ('countenance' > 'face') zum boesen Spiel machen, lit. 'to make good heart to the adverse situation'.
2.2 Conceptual category MORALS
Another conceptual category the link to which may be identified in the semantics of the phraseological formations analysed here is that of MORALS. The most representative idiomatic sense is 'to be bold' that emerges from the English phrase to have a brazen FACE. (14) Likewise, one may speak of the sense 'to be respected' that is expressed by the idiomatic phrase to save one's FACE (15) Finally, there is the sense 'to be insincere' expressed, for example, by the phraseological formation to carry/bear two FACES in one hood, and the sense 'to lose respect' that emerges from the idiomatic phrase to lose one's FACE. (16)
It appears that the idiomatic senses singled out here may be said to be A-related, since their cognitive structure allows one to postulate an entrenchment link to the attributive paths of those CDs that are essential for the construal of the primary sense A, whereby face in its original sense translates metaphorically into the symbol of honour and dignity. Note that the plausible basis of the metaphorical transfer is the Asian concept of saving and losing face, whereby the physical act results from the loss of dignity. (17) This symbolic value of face is confirmed by the semantics of the current phraseological unit with egg on one's FACE which clearly relates conceptually to sense A 'the front part of the head from forehead to the chin in men' by featuring the image of rotten eggs thrown at actors or politicians when disregarded and booed. Another possible explanation of the origin of this idiom lies in farm-house environment. Foxes and other predators are known for their habit of sneaking into henhouses at night to steal eggs. Obviously, to come out with an egg on their faces would display all the evidence of their wrongdoing.
Careful scrutiny of language data with respect to the time parameter allows us to formulate certain conclusions regarding the identification of the periods of the most intense phraseological coinage that led to the enrichment of the number of expressions linked historically to the conceptual category MORALS. It turns out that the conceptual category in question is one of those where the increase in the number of phraseological units has been most significant. Namely, proportionally, the greatest number of relevant idioms are evidently contemporary formations registered only in most recent lexicographic sources, such as, for example, the proverbial phrases Female is one head with two FACES, to have two complexions on one's FACE, to have as many FACES as a churchyards, to have a brazen FACE and to be bare-FACED.
The chronology-related observations that emerge from the analysis of the face-based idioms linked to the conceptual category MORALS allow us to single out the earliest registered face-based late Mid.E. sense 'to be insincere' that emerges from the idiom to carry/bear two FACES in one hood (c1475 Two FASES in a hode is neuer to tryst. > current in present-day English). (19)
From the comparative angle, the analysis covers much phraseological material that fits in the cross-linguistic category of lexico-syntactic symmetry complemented by the HEAD equivalence of semantically parallel phraseological units that convey the senses 'to be bold', 'to be insincere' and 'to lose/save respect'. Compare the following sets of idioms that encode the above mentioned senses in the order they were listed: Mod.E. to have the FACE to do something, Italian avere la FACCIA ('face') di dire qualcosa (20), Mod.E. to have two FACES, French avoir double VISAGE ('face'), Italian avere due FACCE ('face'), German zweiGESICHTig ('face') sein; Mod.E. to lose/save one's FACE, French sauver/perdre la FACE ('face') (21), Italian perdere/salvare la FACCIA ('face'), German sein GESICHT ('face') verlieren/wahren/bewahren. (22)
Another pattern that may be discerned is that the senses are embodied phraseologically by those idiomatic expressions that fall in the category of lexico-syntactic hiatus complemented by the HEAD equivalence of semantically parallel phraseological units. A case in point is the set of idioms that encode the sense 'to be bold'; that is Mod.E. to have a brazen FACE, German ein GESICHT ('face') da braucht einer Waffenschein haben, lit. 'to have a face that needs a gun', ein GESICHT ('face') zum Reinschlagen haben, lit. 'to have a face for smacking', Italian essere una FACCIA ('face') schiaffi, lit. 'to be a face to smack'. (23)
In turn, some of the idiomatic senses related to the target conceptual category MORALS are encoded by means of those phraseological formations that involve other lexical items as their constitutive HEAD element, and thus they may be classed within the category of lexico-syntactic hiatus complemented by the HEAD=(face) A (forehead) A (stomach) disparity of semantically parallel phraseological units. Here, let us point to the set formed by a number of idiomatic expressions used in the sense 'to be bold', such as Mod.E. to have/to bear the FACE to do something, German die STIRN ('forehead') haben etwas zu tun, lit. 'to have the forehead to do something' and French faire quelque chose a l'ESTOMAC ('stomach'), lit. 'to have the stomach to do something'. Also, in this case the phraseological embodiments of the sense 'to be bold' form a cross-linguistic set that fits in the category of lexico-syntactic hiatus complemented by the HEAD=(face) A (head) disparity of semantically parallel phraseological units. This set includes Mod.E. idiom to have/to bear the FACE to do something, French Etre une TETE ('head') a gifles, lit. 'to be a head to blow with a fist' and Etre une TETE ('head') a claques, lit. 'to be a head to blow with a fist'. (24)
2.3 Conceptual category PERCEPTION
Yet another conceptual category to which the semantics of many face-based phraseological units is related is that of PERCEPTION. On our interpretation, the face-based idiomatic senses may be viewed as either A-, B- or D-related, which means that certain historical nominal senses of face are echoed in the semantics of face-based idiomatic expressions. Hence, the sense 'to be obvious' conveyed by the idiomatic phrase to be written all over somebody's FACE may be conjectured to be semantically related to the sense A of face that pertains to the part of head. In turn, the sense 'to be invisible' that emerges from the phraseological formation to flee from the FACE of somebody may be said to be B-related by virtue of being linked to the attributive matrix of sense B defined as 'the eyes' (see the OED). Finally, the nominal sense D that pertains to the non-physical features of something is clearly echoed in the idiomatic sense 'to change the image of something' that emerges from the phraseological unit to put on a new FACE upon something. Simultaneously, the nominal sense D is reflected in the idiomatic sense 'to disguise the real image of something' communicated by the idiom to put a good FACE on something, and its earlier variants that have already fallen into oblivion, namely to bear out/set a good FACE on the something (c 1489 Lete vs bere oute a good FACE as longe as we ben alyve. > 1748 That she may set the better FACE upon her gestation.). (25)
A magnifying-glass-in-hand study of the phraseological material allows us to identify both the historically oldest senses encapsulated in idiomatic formations, and the most recent phraseological formations. Hence, the B-related idiomatic sense 'to be invisible' of the expression to flee from the FACE of somebody is clearly the earliest Mid.E. expression that enriched the body of lexical items linked to the conceptual category PERCEPTION, which is abundantly evidenced in the OED since the beginning of the 14t century (a 1300 3ee sal be flemed fra mi FACE. > 1781 Judah's promised king Driven out an exile from the FACE of Saul.).
On the contrary, the two D-related idiomatic senses, that is 'to change the image of something' (to put on a new FACE upon something), and 'to disguise the real image of something' (to put a good FACE on something) can be successfully proved to be chronologically later Mod.E. innovations, and they both may be said to be historically dynamic in the sense that they acquired somewhat novel phraseological realisations with the passage of time. The sense referring to altering images expressed by the idiomatic phrase to put a new FACE on something was first registered in the late 16th century and has been present in the English lexico-semantic system ever since (1587 To stirre up such an exquisite FACE of the church as we imagine. > current in the present-day English). Currently, the body of idiomatic expressions that encode the discussed sense includes such phraseological units as to put a different COMPLEXION on something, to change the FACE of something and to give somebody/something a FACE lift.
With respect to other D-related idiomatic formations linked to the conceptual category PERCEPTION through the sense 'to disguise the real image of something', one may speak about further evidence for the mechanism of historical differentiation, and (possible) disappearance of those expressions that are synonymous at a certain stage. Hence, the idiomatic formation to bear out/ set a good FACE on something registered first in the late 15th century (c 1489 Lete vs bere oute a good FACE as longe as we ben alyve. > a 1680 They set a FACE of civil Authority upon Tyranny.) with time gave way to the historical variant to put a good FACE on something registered from the mid 19th century (1867 Richer puts as good a FACE as he can on Hugh's discomfiture. > current in the present-day English lexicon.).
The search for equivalent idiomatic senses in other European languages provides us with idioms that fit into the categories of cross-linguistic equivalence of phraseological units that are related to the conceptual category PERCEPTION. In particular, the sense 'to change the image of something' lexicalized as to put a new FACE on something may be cross-linguistically coupled with the syntactically, semantically and lexically equivalent French changer le VISAGE ('face'), German ein anderes GESICHT ('face') bekommen/kriegen, Italian assumere un altro VOLTO ('face'), and all these idioms fall in the category of lexicosyntactic symmetry complemented by the HEAD equivalence of semantically parallel phraseological units. (26) Furthermore, the Mod.E. phraseological formation that encodes the Arelated sense 'to be obvious', namely to be written all over one's FACE ('face'), is both formally and semantically equivalent to the Italian idiomatic expression avere qualcosa scritto in FACCIA ('face') and the German idiom jemandem ins GESICHT ('face') geschrieben stehen (see DIID and DI).
Also, for the phraseological unit that encodes the sense 'to be obvious', that is to stare in the FACE of somebody cross-linguistic counterparts may be found, and they alternatively fit in the category of cross-linguistic equivalence labelled as the category of lexico-syntactic symmetry complemented by the HEAD=(face) ^ (eye) disparity of semantically parallel phraseological units. The set that emerges here includes the French idiomatic phrase sauter aux YEUX ('eye') a quelqu'un, Italian idiom saltare agli OCCHI ('eye') a qualcuno and German jemandem in die AUGEN ('eye') springen, all meaning literally 'to jump to the eyes of somebody'. (27)
2.4 Conceptual category MENTAL CAPACITY
Our case analysis evidently points to the fact that the conceptual category MENTAL CAPACITY profited significantly from the idiomatic potential of the lexical item face that has been a constitutive part of various phraseological formations coined in the history of English. The idiomatic senses meant are 'to ignore' of the phraseological unit to know no FACES, 'to misunderstand' linked to the idiom to interpret words to a wicked FACE, the sense 'to confront' encoded in the expression to come FACE to FACE with a problem, the meaning 'to judge by appearances' that emerges from the idiom at/in/on the first FACE, and the sense 'to assume that somebody's physical appearance is indicative of his personality' communicated by various proverbs and sayings, such as, for example, the FACE is the index of the mind. (28)
Traditionally, the semantics of the idiomatic phrases is conjectured here to be either A-, B- or E-related, and such tentative assignment reflects various cognitive associations that contribute to the rise of the relevant idiomatic senses encoded by face-based phraseological formations. To be more precise, the A-related idiom-embedded senses 'to ignore' and 'to misunderstand' apparently echo the nominal sense A of face in that they emerge from the images formed by face used with reference to the body part and translated onto the abstract plane when collocated with other symbolically pregnant lexical items that build up idiomatic senses. Thus, we may assume that the sense of wicked associated with an unfriendly grimace one one's face becomes translated metaphorically into ill will, and thus the idiom to interpret words to a wicked FACE conveys the sense 'to misunderstand'. In turn, the B-related senses, that is 'to confront' encoded in the idiomatic expression to come FACE to FACE with a problem, and the sense 'to judge by appearances' expressed by the idiom at/in/on the first FACE may be said to be linked to the secondary sense B of face identified in the history of the noun in that they neatly fit into the well-documented pattern, whereby the process of visual perception becomes equivalent with certain easily definable mental processes. Finally, the idiomatic sense 'to assume that somebody's physical appearance is indicative of his personality' that emerges from the proverbial saying the FACE is the index of the mind takes its shape by virtue of its reference to face that stands for somebody's appearance, and - on these grounds--it may be said to be E-related (cf. sense E 'the representation of physical features of human visage').
With regard to the chronology parameter, we see that most of the idioms are late Mid.E. phraseological innovations. The earliest of all, as documented by the OED, is the sense 'to judge by appearances' encoded by the expressions prima FACE, and its 14th century variant at/in/on the first FACE (c 1374 This accident was so lyke a soth, at prime FACE. > 1826 In the very first FACE and showing of the thing.).
The E.Mod.E. idiomatic senses related to the target conceptual category MENTAL CAPACITY include the metonymically derived sense 'to ignore' of the idiomatic expression to know no FACES, as evidenced by the following OED context from the early 17th century (1633 Disease and Death know no FACES. > current in present-day English), as well as the sense 'to misunderstand' expressed by the now much outdated phraseological formation to interpret words to a wicket FACE, as testified by the following 16th century quotation taken from the OED (1533 He interpret thir wourdis of Posthumius to sa wikkit FACE, that the said Posthumius suld be odius to the hale ordoure.).
With contrastive aim in mind, we find semantically and formally intriguing parallels here. Notably, the English idioms used in the sense 'to confront' may be said to have equivalent phraseological embodiments in the three European languages covered by our analysis, and the set of phraseological units that are obtained fits in the category of lexicosyntactic symmetry complemented by the HEAD equivalence of semantically parallel phraseological units. Compare, the shape of Mod.E. to look in the FACE of something, French regarder quelque chose en FACE ('face'), Italian guardare qualcosa in FACCIA ('face') (il pericolo) and German die Tatsachen ins GESICHT ('face') sehen (29) Likewise, let us point to the well-pronounced formal and semantic equivalence that obtains between the phraseological embodiments of the B-related sense 'to confront', that is English to come FACE to FACE with something/a problem, Italian idiom trovarsi FACCIA ('face') a FACCIA ('face') con qualcuno and the French idiomatic formation se trouver FACE ('face') a FACE ('face') avec quelque chose. (30)
The idiomatic senses that are targeted at the conceptual category MENTAL CAPACITY fit in yet another pattern of equivalence, that is the category of lexico-syntactic symmetry complemented by the HEAD=(face) A (nose) A (head) disparity of semantically parallel phraseological units. The case in point is evident in the semantics of the following phraseological units used in the sense 'to confront': Mod.E. FACE to FACE items, French NEZ ('nose') a NEZ ('nose'), TETE ('head') a TETE ('head') and German AUGEN ('eye') in AUGE ('eye'). (31) The category of lexico-syntactic symmetry complemented by the HEAD=(face) ^ (eye) disparity of semantically parallel idioms includes the following phraseological formations that convey the sense 'to assume that somebody's physical appearance is indicative of his personality': Mod.E. proverb The FACE is the index of the mind, its Italian equivalent L'OCCHIO ('eye') e lo specchio dell'anima, lit. 'the eye is the mirror of the soul', and the face-based variant idiom that exists alongside the former one La FACCIA ('face')/il VISO ('face') e lo speccio dell'anima (see DdPI). Moreover, for the English phraseological unit that encodes the E-related sense that serves the purpose of passing judgments on human personality we may supply the German counterpart that clearly falls in the category of lexico-syntactic hiatus complemented by the HEAD equivalence of semantically parallel idioms. Compare the Mod.E. proverbial saying the FACE is the index of the mind that corresponds to the German das GESICHT ('face') luegt nicht, lit. 'the face does not lie', both employed in the sense 'to assume that somebody's physical appearance is indicative of his personality' (see SL).
2.5 Conceptual category COMMUNICATION
Another target conceptual category singled out in our analysis is the conceptual category COMMUNICATION and the historical idioms that convey the category-related senses are to give a slap/smack in the FACE meaning 'to talk abusively', to shoot off one's FACE used in the sense 'to make an incautious remark', to shut the door in somebody's FACE employed in the sense 'to stop talking', to open one's FACE meaning 'to start talking', to set one's FACE against somebody that means 'to oppose somebody verbally', and the formation to wash one's FACE that is employed to express the idiomatic sense 'to explain'. (32)
The idiomatic senses that emerge from the phraseological formations may be said to be related to two historical nominal senses of face. The idiomatic senses of to shut the FACE, to open one's FACE and to shoot off one's FACE may be justifiably related to sense H of face, that is 'the mouth'. To draw another parallel, note that in Polish we say Pokaz BUZKE,, lit. 'Show me your mouth' where, in fact, BUZKA may mean either 'mouth' or 'face', while Polish Daj BUZI, lit. 'Give me (your) face' is referentially unambiguous and it is used solely in the sense 'kiss me'. Note the above COMMUNICATION-related sense 'to make an incautious remark' has yet another mouth-based phraseological realisation (to shoot off one's MOUTH), and this may be considered to be a variant of the phrase to shoot off one's FACE. It is our interpretation that the co-existence of the two alternative forms may be accounted for by the hyponymic relation existing between the HEAD units of these phraseological formations, (i.e. face > mouth).
Other senses that may be proved to be linked to the conceptual sphere COMMUNICATION are assumed to be A-related in that they are conjectured to be based upon the attributive potential of the set of CDs specified for the sense A 'the front part of the head'. Thus, for example, the idiomatic sense 'to oppose somebody verbally' encoded by the phraseological formation to fly in the FACE of somebody is taken to be related to the physical sense of face that refers to body part. Note that the metaphorical extension that affected the historically primary sense A of face may have been helped extra-linguistically by allusion to animal life. In animal kingdom there exists a suicidal image of a bird or insect flying in the face of a predator, thus acting against its basic instincts (see BI). Likewise, the animal kingdom offers an alternative explanation that says that the meaning of the idiomatic phrase to fly in somebody's FACE is linked to the image of dog attacking someone (see ODWH).
In terms of chronology, a significant number of the face-based idioms are E.Mod.E. formations. For example, the earliest relevant phraseological coinage evidenced in lexicographic works is to fly in the FACE of somebody, first recorded in the middle of the 16th century (1553 Lette hym have his will, and he will fie in thy FACE.), and--as evidenced by contemporary dictionaries--the idiom is still current in present-day English. (33) The idiomatic expression to shut the FACE, used in the sense 'to stop talking', was first recorded in the 19th, century and its present-day currency is confirmed by RHHDAS (1893 Shet yer FACE, an' come home, yeh old fool! > 1992 Shut your FACE).
Given the core--periphery distinction most of the present-day phraseological coinages may be said to be peripherally located within the limits of the category COMMUNICATION, as they chiefly serve to express emotionally laden manners of communication, such as, for example, 'to talk abusively', which allows us to conclude that language of emotions belongs to the lexical area where the growth of HEAD-related idioms has been significant. The examples in point are to get a slap in the FACE, to get a smack in the FACE and the imperative Wash you FACE. (34)
In comparative perspective, the phraseological data linked to the conceptual category COMMUNICATION provides us with several instances of idiomatic senses of face-based phraseological units that are equivalent on the lexical, semantic and syntactic planes in the languages considered. A case in point is the set of face-based idiomatic expressions fitting in the category of lexico-syntactic symmetry complemented by the HEAD equivalence of semantically parallel phraseological units that serve to convey the sense 'to talk abusively' by means of by the following set of idioms: Mod.E. to throw/thrust something in somebody's FACE, Italian spiatellare/buttare/gettare qualcosa (la verita) in FACCIA ('face') a qualcuno, French jeter/lancer quelque chose (la verite) a la FACE ('face')/au VISAGE ('face') de quelqu'un. (35) Also, let us draw reader's attention to the apparent formal and semantic parallels existing between the two pairs that fit in the discussed category of equivalence; that is Mod.E. to shut the door in somebody's FACE, and the Italian chiudere la porta in FACCIA ('face') di qualcuno (see DFIIF), both used in the sense 'to stop talking', and--on the other hand--Mod.E. to wash your FACE and Italian lavarsi la FACCIA ('face'), employed in the sense 'to explain'. (36)
Once we juxtapose the phraseological moulds used in the sense 'to stop talking', namely the Mod.E. to shut the door in somebody's FACE and the Italian chiudere la porta in FACCIA ('face') di qualcuno with the French idiom fermer la porte au NEZ ('nose'), as well as those idiomatic expressions that express the sense 'to talk abusively', that is Mod.E. to throw/thrust something in somebody's FACE, Italian spiatellare/buttare/gettare qualcosa (la verita) in FACCIA ('face') a qualcuno, French jeter/lancer quelque chose (la verite) a la FACE ('face')/au VISAGE ('face') de quelqu'un with the French head-based phraseological variants jeter/lancer quelque chose (la verite) a la TETE ('head') de quelqu'un we come up with sets that fit in yet another pattern of cross-linguistic equivalence. Here, one may speak about the category of lexico-syntactic symmetry complemented by the HEAD=(face) A (nose)lface) a (head) disparity of semantically parallel phraseological units. (37)
2.6 Conceptual category CAUSE/EFFECT
The conceptual category targeted in the process of metaphorical extension of the semantics of face that--to varying extent - has become framed in the semantics of various phraseological units is the conceptual category CAUSE/EFFECT. Here, the relevant idiomatic senses 'to fail to achieve', encoded in the phraseological formations to fall (flat) on one's FACE, and something blew up in the FACE of somebody, as well as the sense 'because' that emerges from the prepositional phrase in the FACE of something (danger) are assumed to be A- (38) and B-related respectively by virtue of the semantic link that obtains between these idiomatic senses and the nominal senses A and B. (39) With a certain degree of approximation, the metaphorically-conditioned idiomatic sense that pictures futility of human action, that is 'to fail to achieve' may be said to have come into being by associating failure (of one's plans) with the physical face-front fall, whereby the value (FRONT) highlighted for the source sense A 'the front part of the head from forehead to the chin in men' plays a most prominent role in that falling on one's face bears a well-pronounced connotation of a total collapse and utter failure. In case of the idiomatic sense 'because' that is historically linked to the body of lexical items related to the conceptual category CAUSE/EFFECT, it may be conjectured that its rise was triggered by the process of association with the nominal sense B 'the eyes'. Here, the relevant idiom in the FACE of something (danger) is literally understood as an act of perceiving the danger, which may be said to translate as 'because of the danger'. Let us stress that the discussed senses related to the category CAUSE/EFFECT are by no means documented in the OED, and--as the dictionaries of contemporary English evidence--they are clearly the products of processes that took place during the course of the 20th century.
Also here certain patterns of cross-linguistic equivalence may be found between English and Romance languages. Namely, the Mod.E. idiomatic phrase in the FACE of danger, Italian guardare in FACCIA ('face') il pericolo and French Etre FACE ('face') a cette menace form a set that fits in the category of lexico-syntactic symmetry complemented by the HEAD equivalence of semantically parallel phraseological units. Also, the pair of idioms that serve to encode the sense 'to fail to achieve a result', that is Mod.E. it blew up in the FACE and Italian mi scoppio in FACCIA ('face') are considered equivalent on both formal and semantic levels, and thus they fall in the discussed category of cross-linguistic equivalence (see DII). Another pattern of equivalence, whereby the corresponding sense in the two languages is conveyed by those phraseological formations that are HEADed by distinct HEAD-related lexical items is represented by the German idiom auf die NASE ('nose') fallen and the Mod.E. to fall on one's FACE the pair that fits in the lexico-syntactic symmetry complemented by HEAD=(face) A (nose) disparity of semantically parallel phraseological units. (40)
3. Concluding remarks
The face-related data allows one to formulate certain conclusions on the notion of the directionality of the semantic alterations, and the cognitive processes operative in the construal of the individual historical senses. The history of face seems to confirm the basic linguistic fact emerging from the theory of language sign that meaning, unlike form, is arbitrable and, in the diachronic perspective, face proves to have wandered in the human conceptual space. being anchored in various - frequently very divergent--conceptual categories as a result of the multitude of individual sense developments. Yet, however farfetched and intricate the associative processes behind them might seem to be, the account of the secondary senses of face follows along the specific conceptualisation paths that have been identified in the analyses of other body-part terms (Wieclawska 2009, 2010, 2011) and, thus, makes the sense developments--at least in the lexico-semantic sector targeted here - if not subject to a hard and fast rule than at least highly predictable. After all that is the main and reasonably phrased purpose conventionally set to diachronic studies, namely to prepare language users to anticipate linguistic phenomena that the future may herald.
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(1) Among others, the comparative task will be carried out with reference to five categories of crosslinguistic equivalence, where the concept of HEAD is understood as the major part of phraseological unit realised by various lexical items pertaining to body parts, and we understand the term phraseological unit much in the same manner as Kavka and Zybert (2004:54-55).
(2) Earlier attempts at investigating the body-part nomenclature include the synchronic analyses conducted in the 1970s and 1980s, among others, by Liston (1972), Ultan (1975, 1976), Lehrer (1974) and Witkowski and Brown (1985). The more recent studies regarding the conceptual macrocategory BODY PARTS are often conducted in the cognitive spirit and they deal with the issue of the perceptive salience of certain body-part terms which translates into their cognitively privileged status (Krefeld 1999), or their categorisation with reference to the conceptualisation processes involved (Blank and Koch 1999). The most recent publications also offer a valuable source of etymological information that either results from a detailed study of a specific period (Norri 1998), or emerges from the cross-linguistic analysis of the semantic evolution of certain body-part terms carried out under the auspices of cognitive linguistics that joins the onomasiological and etymological perspectives (Blank, Koch and Gevaudan 1998).
(3) The Rzeszow tradition of studying semantic change is also known as the Rzeszow School of Diachronic Semantics. The main works incorporating cognitively-couched analyses include studies of the synonyms of the nomenclature linked to the field of BOY, HUMAN BEING, FEMALE YOUNG HUMAN BEING (Kleparski 1988, 1990, 1996, 1997), PROFESSIONS (Cymbalista 2008), ANIMALS (Kieltyka 2008), MAN/MALE HUMAN BEING (Grygiel 2007) and RACIAL TERMS (Kudla 2011), to mention but a few.
(4) Buckley, in Flint, produces coarse red earthenware (see TEM).
(5) The phrase refers to the Greybeard bottles which were produced with a hideous, bearded visage on the neck. In the time of King James they were called Bellarmines in ridicule of Cardinal Bellarmine who informed James that oaths of allegiance of Catholic subjects to a Protestant were invalid (see TEM).
(6) Examples taken from, among others, TEM, DPF, RHHDAS, DSUE, BI, AP, DU and the OED.
(7) Language data taken from BI, the OED, TEM and CRUD.
(8) Examples taken from BI, DFIIF and GFIIF.
(9) Phraseological material borrowed from DAF, DII, DIID, LGFDDF and DFIIF.
(10) See DAF, DIID and DFIIF.
(11) Examples quoted after GWE, DIID and DII.
(12) Note the discussed expressions have some variant forms which vary as to the numeral, that is ein GESICHT ('face') wie vierzehn Tage Regenwetter haben (see DIID), ein GESICHT ('face') wie sieben Tage Regenwetter haben (see LGFDDF, DAF and BBID), ein GESICHT ('face') wie sieben/acht Tage Regenwetter haben (see PIDF and DI).
(13) Examples taken from, among others, in DIID, DAF, LGFDDF, PIDF, DI and BBID.
(14) Examples taken from the OED, BI, DPF, EAI, PI, RHHDAS and TEM. Note the following alternative, formal lexicalisations of the discussed sense 'to be bold': to be bare-FACEd, to have/to bear the FACE to do something, to push/show one's FACE, to travel upon one's FACE, to run one's FACE, to tell something to somebody's FACE.
(15) Examples borrowed from the OED, FF, TEM, PE, EAI and BI. The alternative phraseological embodiments of the scrutinised sense 'to be respected' are as follows: to carry a great/good FACE, to pick up one's FACE, with an egg on one's FACE.
(16) Evidenced by the OED, TEM, DPF, BI and PI. The lexicographic sources testify to the following phraseological variants of the sense, that is 'to be insincere' emerging from to have two FACES, to have two complexions on one FACE, to have as many FACES as a churchyard and 'to lose respect' encoded by to laugh on the other side of one's FACE.
(17) Pikor-Niedzialek (2007: 63) distinguishes different categories of the concept of face: (1) private self face, (2) public self face, (3) public group face and (4) private group face. The concepts of private and pubic face refer to the context or setting of a specific discourse while the concepts of self and group face depend largely on who the participants of an interaction happen to represent.
(18) Pikor-Niedzialek (2005:372, 2007:63) distinguishes different categories of the concept of face: (1) private self face, (2) public self face, (3) public group face (4) and private group face. The concepts of private and pubic face refer to the context or setting of a specific discourse while the concepts of self and group face depend largely on who the participants of an interaction happen to represent.
(19) Note that the existence of the alternative present-day variant of the discussed phrase, i.e. to have two FACES under one hat (see AP).
(20) Some lexicographic sources testify to the existence of the variant forms of the quoted phraseological unit, that is Italian avere la FACCIA ('face') tosta di dire qualcosa, lit.'to have a tough face to do something' Italian avere una bella FACCIA ('face') tosta, lit. 'to have a pretty tough face to do something', Italian avere FACCIA ('face') di bronzo, lit. 'to have a bronze face', Italian avere una bella FACCIA ('face') di bronzo, lit. 'to have a pretty bronze face', or 'to have a bronze face' all employed in the same figurative sense 'to be bold' (see DdPI, DFPEAC, DMdPEeL and VDLI).
(21) The lexicographic works of today evidence the existence of the following Italian variant encoding the sense 'to keep respect, i.e. Italian conservare la FACCIA ('face') (see DFPEAC).
(22) Examples taken from DFIIF, VDLI, DFPEAC, DFPEAC, DdPI, DIID, GWE and PIDF. Note the polysemous nature of the German sein GEISCHT ('face') verlieren also used in the sense 'to lose sight' (see FDDF and DAF).
(23) Examples taken from DFIIF, DIID, DII, PIDF and DI.
(24) Lexical material quoted after DIID, DFIIF and DII.
(25) Examples taken from EAI, PI, TEM, BI, the OED, DPF and DAHP. Note the following variant, phraseological formal embodiments of the above quoted sense: to be as plain as the nose on somebody's FACE or to stare in the FACE of somebody encoding the A-related sense 'to be obvious' and to put a different COMPLEXION on the matter, to change the FACE of something or to give something a FACE-lift conveying the D-related sense 'to change the image of something'.
(26) Illustrative material taken from FDDF, PIDF, DI, LGFDDF and DIID.
(27) Examples taken from DI, DIID and PIDF. Some lexicographic sources testify to the existence of the alternative form of the German phraseological unit, namely im/ ins GESICHT ('face') springen/fallen, lit. 'to jump to the face' > 'to be obvious' (see PIDF).
(28) Examples taken from the OED, AP, DPF, BI, MED, EAI and DAHP. Note the alternative, phraseological representation of the phrase-embedded sense 'to judge by appearances'; that is to take something at FACE value and on the FACE of something.
(29) Language data taken from FDDF, DII, DMFA and CRUD.
(30) Phraseological material taken from LGFDDF, CRUD and FDDF.
(31) Examples taken from LGFDDF, CRUD, DFIIF, FDDF and DIID.
(32) Examples taken from DPF, BI, PI, the OED, TEM, RHHDAS and DAHP.
(33) Examples acquired from BI, PE and DPF.
(34) Examples quoted after BI, PI and TEM.
(35) Illustrative data quoted after PIDF, VDLI, DFIIF and DIID. This phraseological formation has the variant form that employs the colloquial synonym of face, that is French jeter/lancer quelque chose (la verite) a la FIGURE ('shape' > 'face') (see PIDF).
(36) Examples acquired from TEM and DII.
(37) Examples taken from PIDF and DFIIF.
(38) Note the wording of the sense A 'the front part of the head from forehead to the chin in men' and sense B 'the eyes'.
(39) Examples borrowed from BI and CRUD.
(40) Examples taken from GWE, DII, DMFA and CRUD.
Edyta Wicclawska Department of English The University of Rzeszow, Poland Uniwersytet Rzeszowski Instytut Filologii Angielskiej Zaklad Translatoryki ul. Rejtana 16B 35-959 Rzeszow Poland e-mail: edytaw firstname.lastname@example.org
Grzegorz A. Kleparski Department of English The University of Rzeszow, Poland Uniwersytet Rzeszowski Instytut Filologii Angielskiej Zaklad Jezykoznawstwa Teoretycznego i Historii Jezyka ul. Rejtana 16B 35-959 Rzeszow Poland e-mail: email@example.com
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|Author:||Wieclawska, Edyta; Kleparski, Grzegorz A.|
|Publication:||SKASE Journal of Theoretical Linguistics|
|Date:||Dec 1, 2012|
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