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Original scientific paper

Branimir Belaj

Goran Tanacković Faletar



This paper sets out to analyze the semantic aspect of Croatian counterfactual expressions in the context of Conceptual Integration Theory (CIT) as a theory that most elegantly and most thoroughly explains their meaning and their logic. On the corpus of Croatian counterfactuals and in the light of the automatic nature of the process of conceptual integration we also examine the cognitive–conceptual status of the four types of mental spaces and their elements: the input spaces, the generic space and the projection space (the blend). On the basis of the differences obtained between the four types of mental spaces, we divide them into background, highlighted and focal mental spaces. In the context of the analysis of Croatian counterfactuals, we further discuss the place and manner of interpretation, most frequently, of metonymy type WHOLE FOR PART and propose the introduction of a fifth mental space where some expressions of this metonimic type would be interpreted, namely the pre-input space.



counterfactuals; mental spaces; metonymy; metaphor; conceptual integration theory; cognitive linguistics


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