Chapter published in:Studies in Figurative Thought and Language
Edited by Angeliki Athanasiadou
[Human Cognitive Processing 56] 2017
► pp. 18–40
Exploiting wh-questions for expressive purposes
This chapter offers a conceptual-pragmatic analysis of the construction Wh-x do you think [ complement clause …], which exhibits the morphosyntactic form of wh-interrogative sentences and may indeed be used with a question meaning, but in many contexts functions as a highly expressive speech act (of e.g. strong disapproval). We argue that the expressive sense (target) of the construction is derivable from the (literal) question meaning (source) via a series of metonymically motivated steps. In terms of Fauconnier’s and Turner’s conceptual integration theory, the expressive target meaning can be regarded as the result of conceptual compression. Notwithstanding, “decompression” is always possible, i.e., despite the high degree of conventionalization of the expressive sense, the literal question reading remains cognitively accessible.
Keywords: conceptual compression, conceptual decompression, conventionalization, metonymically motivated inference, source and target senses
Published online: 26 April 2017
Benczes, R., Barcelona, A., & Ruiz de Mendoza Ibáñez, F. J.
Fauconnier, G., & Turner, M.
Fodor, J. D.
Kay, P. C., & Fillmore, Ch. J.
Michaelis, L. A., & Feng, H.
Panther, K.-U., & Thornburg, L. L.
2004 The role of conceptual metonymy in meaning construction. metaphorik.de, 6, 91–116. (Published on-line at: http://www.metaphorik.de)
Forthcoming a. The role of inferencing in two expressive speech act constructions. In F. J. Ruiz de Mendoza, P. Pérez-Sobrino, & A. Luzondo-Oyón Eds. Constructing families of constructions Human Cognitive Processing Amsterdam & Philadelphia Benjamins
Forthcoming b. What kind of reasoning mode is metonymy? In A. Barcelona, O. Blanco-Carrrion, & R. Pannain Eds. The ubiquity of conceptual metonymy: From morpheme to discourse Human Cognitive Processing Amsterdam & Philadelphia Benjamins
Ruiz de Mendoza, F. J., & Galera Masegosa, A.
Searle, J. R.
Thornburg, L., & Panther, K.
Cited by 2 other publications
Panther, Klaus-Uwe & Linda L. Thornburg
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