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Abstract

In this paper we shall discuss the semantics of the lexical items which have been employed with reference to nakedness. The theoretical framework adopted in this article is that of cognitive linguistics, whose emergence in the second half of the 20th century gave a new impetus to semantic research. In particular, we shall discuss the words which denoted nakedness in the past, but which fell into oblivion (e.g. unbehelod, nscrȳdd), we shall also focus on the similes (e.g. as naked as a jaybird, naked as a robin, naked as a worm, naked as a needle) as well as the phrases and idioms (e.g. mother naked, belly naked, in the buff, in stag, in the altogether, in the nude, in one’s birthday suit, in a state of nature, in the raw) which pertain to the conceptual category NAKEDNESS. Furthermore, we attempt to answer the following research questions: (1) What processes are the most productive in terms of creating new synonyms of nakedness? (2) How many metaphorical schemas can be formulated on the basis of the analysis? (3) How many and which conceptual domains play a crucial role in the rise of the new lexical items whose senses are connected with the conceptual category NAKEDNESS?
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