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double-scope network

A type of integration network in which both input spaces also contain distinct frames but the blended space is organized by structure taken from each frame, hence the term ‘double-scope’. One consequence of this is that the blend can sometimes include structure from inputs that is incompatible and therefore ‘clashes’. It is this aspect of double-scope networks that makes them particularly important, because integration networks of this kind are highly innovative and can lead to novel inferences.

An example of a double-scope network in which the two organizing frames clash is prompted for by the following example: You’re digging your own grave.

This idiomatic expression relates to a situation in which someone is doing something foolish that will result in unwitting failure of some kind. For instance, a businessman who is considering taking out a loan that stretches his business excessively might be warned by his accountant that the business risks collapse. At this point, the accountant might say: You’re digging your own financial grave. This double scope blend has two input spaces, each structured by a frame: one in which the businessman takes out a loan his company can ill afford and another relating to grave digging. Both these frames are projected to the blended space, the loan proves to be excessive and the company fails: the businessman and his business end up in a financial grave. In this example, the frames projected clash in a number of ways. For example, they clash in terms of causality. While in the business input the excessive loan is causally related to failure, in the grave digging input, digging a grave does not cause death; typically it is a response to death. Despite this, in the blended space, digging the grave causes death-as-business failure. Because the accountant’s utterance gives rise to the deathas- business failure interpretation, the businessman is able to understand that the loan is excessive and will cause the business to fail.

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  • Category: Linguistics
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