Word-formation is the ‘border zone' between linguistic system and linguistic usage. Langacker's usage-based approach to language represents an attempt to describe and explain a linguistic system as a product of cognitive processes (e.g. perception, attention, categorization, memory). This paper proposes an alternative approach to the description and explanation of semantic characteristics of Czech verbal prefixes (of the prefix vy- in particular) using Langacker's ideas as the most important theoretical basis. The variety of semantic behaviour of the Czech prefix vy- is traditionally explained as a rich polysemy of this morpheme or as a loss of its meaning. This paper supposes a multi-level system of schematic verbal concepts (linguistic units) related to the most general meaning of the prefix vy-: ‘schematic vy-verbs'. Each of them is an abstraction of a category of real vy-verbs. For example, the verbal category vyzurit se, vyplakat se, vydovadet se, vypsat se, vypovidat se is represented by a schematic vy-verb ‘vy-V ('vent emotions') (se)'. These schematic verbal concepts are considered very important for the process of prefixation, especially in cases of significant semantic difference between simplex and prefixed verb. This approach should be able to identify previously unnoticed semantic relations.
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”.