Chapter published in:Studies in Figurative Thought and Language
Edited by Angeliki Athanasiadou
[Human Cognitive Processing 56] 2017
► pp. 253–271
Metaphor and metonymy as fanciful “asymmetry” builders
Langacker (1987: 469) remarks that “the asymmetry of an ‘event’ detected against an established background is fundamental to cognitive organization and not at all peculiar to language. It recalls not only figure/ground alignment […] but also the more general point that novel experience is structured and interpreted with reference to previous experience”. In this paper I argue that metaphor and metonymy are in a sense, if not par excellence, fanciful “asymmetry”-builders: their pertinent characteristic, i.e. association in terms of similarity and contiguity, always warrants that “novel experiences” (targets) are safely structured and interpreted with reference to “previous experiences” (sources); in other words, it always ensures that the imaginative, playful departure from an "established background" will not lead us astray.
Keywords: association, contiguity, exaggeration, imaginative departure, similarity
Published online: 26 April 2017
2014 From structure to context: Modern linguistics from a distance In studies in Greek linguistics, 35, 35–51. Proceedings of the 35th Annual Meeting of the Department of Linguistics, School of Philology, Aristotle University. 8–10 May 2014. Thessaloniki: Aristotle University. http://ins.web.auth.gr/images/MEG_PLIRI/MEG_35_35_51.pdf
Langacker, R. W.
Nerlich, B., & Clarke, D. D.
Panther, K.-U., & Radden, G.
Panther, K.-U., & Thornburg, L.
Ramachandran, V. S.
Ruiz de Mendoza Ibáñez, F. J., & Díez Velasco, O. I.
Traugott, E. C., & Dasher, R. B.