Manusya, Journal of Humanities

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The study surveys eating terms in Thai to find out complexities of the way the Thai people really categorize. It employs devices of a new view that takes more complex categorization as the main way in which we make sense of experience. That is, categories in this study are characterized depending on the bodily nature of the beings doing the categorizing, with imaginative mechanisms such as metaphor, metonymy, and mental imagery, on the one hand, and the theory of prototypes, on the other hand. The findings show that there are a large number of terms (up to 43 words) used to express the sense ?to eat? in the Thai language. Such words form the eating category which is complex in nature. There is a small number of the category members inherently containing the eating sense. Others are used via idealized cognitive models like metonymy and metaphor. The category also shows the relationship among its members, where non-prototypical members are extended from the prototypical scenario in the form of radial structure. Furthermore, it is also found that the prototypical cases are in accordance with polite terms. The understanding of how the Thai people categorize eating as such is, we believe, central to any understanding of how they think and how they function and, therefore, central to an understanding of their mind.

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