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Unformatted text preview: is twisted towards the verb). The uncertainty concerning the role of
the verb attack as the indicator of a war metaphor will be cast over a
broader background after the analysis of the remaining verb – noun pairs.
Now we turn to the next cluster of morphologically related words, i.e.
bomb (N and V), bombing (N and V), bombard, bombardment. The
CCELD gives the following senses for the noun bomb:
1. A bomb is a weapon which explodes and damages or destroys a large
area. Some types of bombs are left in the place where they are intended
to explode, and other types are dropped from an aircraft.
2. People talk about the bomb to refer to the atom bomb when considering the possession of nuclear weapons as a political issue.
8 Attacking as an adjective does not appear either in the CCELD or in the MEDAL, so
its dictionary sense could not be used for reference. Words from the lexical field of war and their metaphoric potential 211 Senses 4,5,6 concern the use of the noun bomb in various idiomatic expressions:
4. If something costs a bomb, it costs a great deal of money.
5. If a car, bike, etc. goes like a bomb, it goes very fast indeed.
6. If an event goes like a bomb or goes down a bomb, it is extremely
successful. Senses 3 and 7 of this entry refer to a verb and are shown below:
3. If people bomb a place, they attack it by dropping bombs on it from an
7. If you bomb along, you move very quickly, usually in a vehicle. According to the CCELD the basic sense of both the noun and verb bomb
is its military sense. Senses 5, 7 are considered metaphorical extensions of
the basic sense along the dimension ‘speed’. When it comes to senses 4
and 6, I cannot see any link between this sense and the basic sense. I intended to single it out in column 3 in the results table as a separate sense,
but it did not appear in the analysed sample of 200 words.
When it comes to the noun bombing, it is added to sense 3 of the
bomb entry, but does not have a separate definition. The MEDAL offers a
an attack or attacks made using bombs. It, clearly, has only one, military sense, so if it occurs in any non-military
contexts, these occurrences can be considered metaphorical extensions.
The verb bombard is defined by the CCELD in the following way:
1. If people bombard a building or area of land, they attack it with continuous heavy gunfire or bombs.
2. If one thing bombards another it attacks this thing continuously and
with a lot of force, for example by hitting it with something.
3. If you bombard someone with questions, criticism, etc, you keep asking them aggressive questions or saying aggressive things to them. The noun bombardment is defined in a similar way in the CCELD with
the number 1 sense awarded to the military meaning, and number 2 to the
‘speaking’ meaning. The military sense is the basic sense here and the
‘speaking’ sense is its metaphoric extension. 212 Chapter V Let’s see the results of the identification of lit...
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