In this paper, the author makes an attempt to reconstruct the linguistic image of the notion denoted by fej 'head' in Hungarian. The analysis is based on the Hungarian National Corpus, relevant dictionaries and encyclopaedias, proverbs, phraseologisms, as well as linguistic data collected from everyday speech. The prototypical features of 'head' yielded the following aspects of description: (1) the situation of the head within the human or animal body (the head is part of the body, hence the word fej activates the whole human/animal body and profiles the body part concerned); (2) the external appearance of a head: its shape and structure (we refrained from a detailed anatomical analysis presupposing a scientific perspective of orientation and restricted our attention to the linguistic image); (3) the function of the head that is categorized, in the most general structure, as activity (a domain from which several subdomains can be derived by concretisation or specification); and (4) ways of conceptualising the notion of 'head'. The analysis provided makes it clear that, in order to reconstruct the linguistic image of the notion of head in Hungarian, a cognitive basis consisting of several domains has to be taken into consideration. The richness and multifariousness of the linguistic material, the multiplicity of polycategorial manners of conceptualisation suggest that the view of the world emerging behind the word fej faithfully reflects the extraordinary significance of that body part in peoples' lives.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.