A Cognitive Semantics Approach to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution

23 1. Theoretical Background: Cognitive Semantics is more, such criticism could be fully justified only in the case of the initial stages of CMT studies, which drew their data mainly from language, but as it was mentioned earlier, the scope of investigation since has been extended to cover diverse modes of human communication, such as mathematics, music, gestures and graphics, which have confirmed the existence and functionality of conceptual metaphors. 1.2. Blending Theory An important complement to the conceptual metaphor theory is the Blending Theory (BT) presented by its creators and proponents in many publications, most notably, Fauconnier (1997), Fauconnier and Turner (2002), and Turner (2007). The most obvious contribution BT makes is the idea of conceptual integration, also called blending, a basic mental operation that works over multiple mental spaces. Mental spaces, in this theory, are to be understood as small conceptual packets constructed as we think and talk, for purposes of local understanding and action […] which are connected to long-term schematic knowledge called ‘frames,’ such as the frame of walking along a path, and to long-term specific knowledge, such as a memory of the time you climbed Mount Rainier in 2001. (Fauconnier & Turner 2002: 40, italics in original) Mental spaces are used in BT to model dynamic mappings in thought and language, including metaphorical mappings. Following the assumptions of BT, conceptual integration conforms to a number of constitutive principles of conceptual integration. In the first place, counterpart elements in the input spaces (conventionally represented by circles in diagrams as in Fig. 1.1.) are connected by cross-space mappings (represented by solid lines). Secondly, there is a generic space which maps onto each of the inputs. It “reflects some common, usually more abstract, structure and organization shared by the inputs and defines the core crossspace mapping between them” (Fauconnier 1997: 149). Then there is the blended space (or the blend) containing elements selectively projected from the inputs as well as emergent structure, which is represented as a square in the diagram. According to Fauconnier (1997), Fauconnier and Turner (2002: 42) and Turner (2007: 379), the blend develops emergent structure, a new structure not copied from the inputs, in three ways: