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Abstract

The conceptualization of space and its elements is manifested in language through diverse linguistic expressions. Space, one of the most signifi cant analytical categories not only in linguistics, introduces a variety of meanings and conceptual relations in communicative meaning construction. The paper endeavours to analyse the concept of the ‘door’ (‘porta’) in Italian discourse as the element of space around us, based on cognitive grammar of Ronald W. Langacker, with the central focus on conventional imagery in Italian language. It is an attempt to merge cognitive linguistics with text linguistics by investigating the concept from a discourse perspective, which takes into consideration the speech event and its elements, thus providing a broader context. The results of the research have shown that the concept of the ’door’ (‘porta’), used in various contexts with different meanings, belongs to four major profi les: entrance, access, possibility, and the social profi le. Firstly, the ‘door’ is conceptualized as the point of entrance or one that allows / bans access to a place. Secondly, it conceptualizes possibility: by opening / closing the door we get / lose a possibility to accomplish our objectives. Thirdly, the ‘door’ represents social relations and interactions by uniting / separating people. Finally, the ‘door’ appears in many metaphorical expressions conceptualizing time. Therefore, we can assume that the abundance of meanings and their interpretation will depend on the imagination and knowledge of the speaker and the hearer, the participants in the speech event.
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