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Unformatted text preview: horic potential 207 In sentence (4) attacks is used in its dictionary sense 3 – a thinker disagrees with an idea. In this context it is a metaphorical use.
(5) There are problems with the way the sodium attacks the materials
of the lamps and the very high temperature that the lamps have to
run at. [B73 783] In sentence (5) the verb is used in its sense 4, i.e. a chemical damages the
material of lamps. It is metaphorical.
(6) Because HIV attacks the immune system, such a vaccine may itself
cause an AIDS-like syndrome by suppressing the cells of the immune system. [CJ9 1933] Here again, sense 4 is used, in the meaning of a disease disrupting the
functioning of the immune system influencing it destructively. It is metaphorical.
(7) Sanchez-Vicario also, of course is equally tough and she attacks
every ball so well. [A0V 620] Sentence (7) represents the use of the verb attacks in accord with sense 6,
i.e. in a sport context. I consider this use metaphorical.
These were relatively clear instances, let us have a look at some
(8) (9) In terms of that deterrent, is it not right that when a submarine is
cruising anywhere in the world’s oceans, any potential aggressor
who attacks the United Kingdom will stand the risk of unacceptable
and devastating retaliation from us? [HHV 16344]
China attacks Patten ‘reforms’ [CFC 1397] Examples (8) and (9) show that analysing only agents or patients of an action would not be sufficient for determining the contextual meaning and
as a result the metaphorical/non-metaphorical status of the use in question. Example (8) shows a military context, while example (9) – political.
In (8) then, attacks is used non-metaphorically, while (9) is metaphorical.
This interpretation is of course possible only if we believe that the use in
sense 2, in the war context, is a non-metaphorical specification of sense 1. 208 Chapter V The examples above show how the Pragglejaz procedure is understood and employed in this chapter. It is applied to the word forms selected in a corpus-driven process described in Section 2.
5. The analysis of concordance lines: Frequency of literal and metaphorical uses
These considerations take us back to the verb attack used as an example
in the discussion on the Pragglejaz procedure. The physical sense was
given as number 1 and was considered basic. The status of sense 2 as a
non-metaphorical specification or metaphorical extension will be held in
abeyance until further evidence is accumulated.
When it comes to the noun attack, despite the mention of the disease
context in verb sense 4, the nominal use is singled out as a separate sense:
7. An attack of an illness is a short period in which you suffer badly from it
and cannot control it. Similarly to the verb, also in the case of noun sense 1 ‘physical violence’
is considered as basic.
A search in the BNC and an analysis of 200 random hits of the
particular POS forms rendered the following results:
Table 1. The frequency of uses of different senses of the lemma ATTACK, considering
its various morphological forms
attack, base form of a
lexical verb and the
infinitive (200 random hits out of 1457) 7 Literal
65 physical violence
48 military Metaphorical
16 other Labels used in this and the following tables are created on the basis of two sources: one
is the dictionary definition, often presenting a context sensitive synonym for a given sense;
the other is the researchers intu...
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