The phenomenon of clarifying the polysemy in word meaning has been an ongoing issue between cognitive linguists for so long. Words are the type of units that contains more than one meaning most of the time. The field cognitive semantics, which studies word meanings and their internal mind structures, is built on the system called Idealized Cognitive Models (ICM) which belongs to the pioneer of the field. Lakoff (1987) identifies these wider semantic networks which words represent as Radial Categories. With this grouping methodology, he suggests the existence of a central prototypical meaning and about the order how lateral meanings occur which derives from them. In this study, the radial categories of Turkish prepositions “üzerine, üzerinde, üzerinden” and their semantic central schemas are analyzed through the Lakoff’s central prototype approach (Lakoff & Brugman, 1988). The examples which involves the abstract and spatial references of related prepositions are also listed and the comparisons were applied to both Turkish and English languages. On the other hand, within the scope of Langacker’s (1987) cognitive grammar approach, it is also aimed to explain the mental backgrounds of these two languages. At the same time, the ICMs and the relationships of figureground concepts which Lakoff had been suggested are presented in the study. In addition to this, it is among the further goals of this study to describe that what type of spatial associations these prepositional structures represent.
Cognitive Linguistics, Cognitive Semantics, Word Semantics