TRANS Internet-Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften 17. Nr. März 2010

Sektion 5.6. Vom kreativen Denken zum kreativen Handeln - Kreativitätsprobleme in der Sprache, Ausbildung und Erziehungionstitel
Sektionsleiterin | Section Chair: Tamara Janssen-Fesenko (Bad Zwischenahn, Deutschland)

Dokumentation | Documentation | Documentation

Creativity in Cognitive Taxonomic Modelling
by the example of English verbs of non-caused motion

Maxim G. V. Belau (Tambov, Russia) [BIO]



According to Wikipedia creativity is nothing else but a mental process involving the generation of new ideas or concepts and new associations [1]. From a scientific point of view, the results of creative thought usually have both originality and appropriateness. In other words creativity is a cognitive process or cognition. In this case creativity plays perhaps a key role in cognitive taxonomic modelling that is regarded as a new method of Cognitive Linguistics. Taking into account the fact that language is an unobserved phenomenon, modelling of language system seems to be one of the most active methods.

A model is an analogue of some original and based on a hypothesis about its probable organization. The method was used in many linguistic branches and schools. It is also used by cognitologists who transforms it into cognitive modelling that leads to construction of some linguistic structure (or model) based on conceptual hierarchy or taxonomy of its elements and includes the scale of ranks which are termed as superordinate level, basic level and subordinate level. [2, 3]

The term taxonomy comes from Biology and had been used as a synonym of systemization for a long period of time. Since 60-70s of the 20th century taxonomy has been defined as a branch of systematic that studies taxonomic categories. In Linguistics taxonomy is the whole complex of principles of classification of languages and linguistic units – texts, sentences, word combinations and words. Look at the definition:


By use of cognitive taxonomic modelling it is possible to investigate various concepts and its means of representation in language.

The paper particularly deals with conceptualization of such phenomenon as “non-caused motion” and the verbs that represent it in modern English. These verbs are: advance, achieve, amble, arrive, back, backtrack, bound, bowl, budge, burst, canter, career, come, corkscrew, crawl, creep,  dance, dart, dash, decamp, depart, dodge, drift, duck, edge, enter, ebb, eddy, file, flee, flicker, float, flock, flounce, fly, flow, follow, ford, forge, freewheel, gallivant, gallop, galumph, ghost, glide,  go,  hack, head, herd, hike, hobble, hop, hotfoot, hightail, hurry, hurtle, jaywalk, jet, jog, journey, kneel, leave, limp, manoeuvre, march, meander, mooch, move, mosey, motor, navigate, near, nudge, paddle, pass, pedal, pelt, plane, plod, plunge, prance, progress, quake, race, ramble, reach, reel, rebound, retrace, retreat, return, ride, roam, rock, rocket, roll, rub, rumble, run, rush, sail, saunter, scud, scramble, shake, shift, skip, slide, slink, slip, slope, snake, stalk, stroll, speed, spring, steam, step, surge, sweep, swim, swing, tail, taxi, teeter, tiptoe, toddle, totter, tootle, tour, trail, transfer, travel, tread, trip, trot, waddle, wade, walk, wander, weave, whizz, withdraw, zigzag, zoom  and some others [5, 6]. They are divided into several groups and verbalize different characteristics and aspects of non-caused motion. By means of creativity and conceptualization we determine the criteria for classifying these verbs and distribute them among various ranks of cognitive taxonomic model. [7 ]

According to prototypical approach to categories many verbs of non-caused motion are peripheral with respect to some kernel that is presented by such verbs as move, go, transfer, shift that are defined as «to change position in a way that can be seen, heard or felt». Examples:




This definition is the main characteristic of the concept Non-Caused Motion and the criteria of superordinate level. Thus the verbs move and go take places on this level. The belonging of these two verbs to superordinate level is caused by the fact that almost all English verbs of non-caused motion are defined by means of these so-called kernel verbs.

Basic level of the model is for the verbs that represent direction of motion such as rise, drop, swing, backtrack, advance, travel, bounce, revolve. Examples:


The verbs of subordinate level represent different aspects of non-caused motion above direction – manner, instrument, intensity and so on. These aspects are represented by the verbs with a specific semantics. For example, the verb motor represents motion of a high intensity, while semantic of the verb sail specifies instrument of non-caused motion.

Besides this level contains the number of verbs derived from nouns (substantives) – snake, dart, duck, ghost, taxi, knife and others. These verbs represent motion that is typical for the objects represented by appropriate nouns. Examples:

In consideration it becomes clear that creativity as a cognitive ability and a part of cognition allows to perceive and analyze outward things or different phenomena in full and then to investigate its lexical representation in language as a system.



5.6. Vom kreativen Denken zum kreativen Handeln - Kreativitätsprobleme in der Sprache, Ausbildung und Erziehung

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For quotation purposes:
Maxim G. V Belau: Creativity in Cognitive Taxonomic Modelling by the example of English verbs of non-caused motion - In: TRANS. Internet-Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften. No. 17/2008. WWW:

Webmeister: Gerald Mach     last change: 2010-03-05