It is therefore not the case that metaphor is

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Unformatted text preview: on the on-line Chapter I 48 processing of the novel expressions or problems. I have a reservation concerning point (1). When Lakoff – Johnson (1980) mention mixed metaphors and the metaphorical entailments common to all the source domains involved in the ‘mixing’, they implicitly allow for a number of input spaces higher than two. Likewise, I disagree with the claim Grady et al. (1999: 110) later make: “conceptual metaphors are among the stable structures available for exploitation by the blending processes. (…) conceptual metaphors feed the blending processes by establishing links between elements in distinct domains and spaces.” Although the terms exploitation and feed seem a bit vague in this context, which may lead to a misrepresentation of the authors’ ideas (imperfect convergence of blends), it seems that blending is a theory of any creative mental process, and can well explain metaphoric conceptualization as well as many other processes: puzzle solving, mathematical problems creation and solving, understanding of jokes. It is therefore not the case that metaphor is responsible for the mappings in the blending process, but rather that blending may be a more general cognitive process, the result of which and not the cause of which is the metaphoric structuring of some concepts. Coulson (2001) employs BT, CMT and frame shifting (a reorganization of frame elements in semantic representations resulting from a restricted deployment of background knowledge on the part of the speaker) in order to explain a wide array of semantic leaps phenomena.18 In an ingenious way she explains elements of American popular culture rhetoric and shows how BT, CMT and frame shifting can help us understand social relationships. An important aspect which she brings forth in her discussion of the abortion debate is the framing of moral discourse. She stresses the fact that the nature of social perception is constructive and shows that “moral reasoning (…) largely involves the presentation of alternative framings for various aspects of a morally ambiguous scenario” (Coulson 2001: 228). She also points out that, unlike rhetoric theorists, 18 Coulson (2001: 2): Semantic leaps is not a technical term, but, rather, a family of interesting natural language phenomena. It includes all sorts of non-standard meanings absent from dictionaries and, typically, not computable by traditional parsers. Leaps include things such as metaphoric and metonymic expressions, hyperbole, understatement, and sarcastic quips. They also include things such as innuendo, subtle accusations, and the private meanings which arise when people live or work closely together. Conceptual metaphor and its implications for discourse 49 such as Black (1962) and Perelman – Olbrechts-Tyteca (1969), cognitive linguists rarely address the issue of values in such constructions. The development of the Blending Theory can contribute to conceptual metaphor studies in that it draws the attention of the analysts to the common underlying elements...
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This essay was uploaded on 02/24/2014 for the course LING 1100 taught by Professor Friedman during the Fall '09 term at Cornell.

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