The object of analysis in the paper is semantic extension of a lexical unit. In order to approach it, the author chooses one of the cognitive linguistics theories – Cognitive Grammar (Langacker 1987; 1990; 2000a; 2000b; 2008, etc.). Two of the issues of semantic extension are emphasised. First, it is the grounding of semantic extension in the encyclopaedic knowledge shared by the interlocutors and second, the emergence of the schema implied by the relation of extension. The paper begins with an outline of the postulates of Cognitive Grammar, which are subsequently applied to an analysis of the French lexical unit corps [body], whose extended senses are found in the domain of the structure of musical instruments. In the conclusion the author discusses the dimensions of complexity of the process of semantic extension, one of which is a chain of relations based on metonymy and metaphor.
The present paper is situated within the Cognitive Linguistics movement, which claims that language is associated with certain cognitive abilities. One of them is the ability to conceptualise a situation at different levels of abstraction. This process is shown to apply, among others, in the process of forming patterns of metaphorical extension, as postulated within Cognitive Grammar (Langacker 1987, 1990, 2000b, 2008, etc.). The paper aims to discuss the process of emergence of these patterns and their pedagogical potential. In the fi rst part of the paper, the major processes engaged in the emergence of these patterns are discussed: schematisation and extension. Then, embeddedness of these schematic structures in bodily experience and culture is emphasised. All these considerations indicate the schemas’ pedagogical potential in the area of foreign language pedagogy. The paper is concluded with several suggestions made by the author about the possible applications of such schematic structures in class.