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Unformatted text preview: f Language, which implements neural programming for testing hypotheses
about language. They constitute what Lakoff – Johnson (1999: 38) call
existence proofs for a potential for metaphoric mappings from sensorimotor domains to abstract domains. That is, in neural programming Narayanan managed to show that general motor control schemas can be used for
computations about such abstract notions as verb aspect or the meaning of
the MORE IS UP metaphor.
Going back to the original proposal of CMT, Lakoff – Johnson
(1980), in their study of ARGUMENT, first tried to create a folk model of
the concept, then to discover the metaphors structuring the concept and
the relationships between them. It turned out that metaphors often create
coherent, but not necessarily consistent complexes (metaphor mixing).
One concept can be organized around more than one conceptual metaphor, as shown in Lakoff – Johnson’s (1980: 92) example: At this point
our argument doesn’t have much content. This is possible because various metaphors (in the present example: ARGUMENT IS A JOURNEY, ARGUMENT IS A CONTAINER) can share some of their metaphorical entailments in this instance: As we make more argument, more of a surface is
created. These entailments ensure the coherence of the conceptualization (As more of a surface is created, the argument covers more ground:
JOURNEY; As more of a surface is created, the argument gets more content: CONTAINER). It also seems that they are akin to the notion of tertium comparationis, necessary in any comparative definition of metaphor, sometimes referred to as the abstract schema (for standard and target in Langacker 1987, 1991) or the generic space (Fauconnier – Turner
8 More on Blending Theory in Section 6 below. Conceptual metaphor and its implications for discourse 21 Szwedek (2000, 2004, 2005) demonstrates that, unlike in Lakoff –
Johnson (1980), it is not so much shared entailments, but the inheritance of
properties that is responsible for metaphor coherence. He links this observation smoothly with his theory of objectification, stemming from Kotarbiński’s reism. The basic tenet of the theory holds that any abstract entity
must first be objectified before any metaphoric mappings can obtain between domains. It is firmly experientially grounded in the sense of touch.
This primacy of objectification allows Szwedek to suggest a hierarchical
topology of metaphors, in which ontological metaphors are viewed as more
basic than structural or orientational metaphors. Szwedek (2005: 238)
makes an eloquent general observation following from his theory:
Our immaterial worlds are perceived, or rather constructed in terms of material things. We can understand all other elements of our lives (processes,
phenomena) only by assigning material features to these abstract elements
– without in fact knowing what exactly we are talking about. (…)
Undoubtedly, what keeps a variety of our worlds in unity, in cohesion
with our basic world, as well as in harmony with our primitive physical
experience of matter, is objectification. [tran...
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