The fact that force dynamics may underlie our

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Unformatted text preview: , and still further notions not normally considered in the same context. (…) Force dynamic patterns are also incorporated in open-class lexical items and can be seen to bring any of these together into systematic relationships. Lexical items involved in this way refer not only to physical force interactions but, by metaphoric extension, also to psychological and social interactions, conceived in terms of psychosocial “pressures”. In addition, force–dynamic principles can be seen to operate in discourse, preeminently in directing patterns of argumentation, but also in guiding discourse expectations and their reversal. This view is of particular value to the present study, as one of the working hypotheses to be tested against corpus data is the hypothesis that the concept of ‘war’ is an extension of the more schematic notion of ‘conflict’, which, in turn, may be analyzed within the force-dynamic approach. The fact that force dynamics may underlie our conceptualizations of psychological and social phenomena may be the mechanism enabling speakers to Conceptual metaphor and its implications for discourse 43 create metaphoric mappings from the domain of ‘war’ to these social and psychological phenomena. Talmy himself elaborates this possibility in the description of the ‘divided self’ and the force-dynamic patterning of intrapsychological force-like urges (e.g. ‘refraining’). He expands this idea in the following passage (Talmy 2000: 432-433): The Agonist is identified with the self’s desires, reflecting an inner psychological state. It is being overcome by an Antagonist acting either as blockage – in this psychological context, one might say “suppression” – or as a spur. This antagonist represents a sense of responsibility or propriety and appears as an internalization of external social values. In effect, perhaps, a force-dynamic opposition originating between the self and the surroundings seems here to be introjected into an opposition between parts of the self. Correspondingly, the desiring part is understood as more central and the blocking or spurring part as more peripheral. The psychodynamics can be further extended to sociodynamics, where “[t]he base of the metaphor is one object’s direct imposition of physical force on another object toward the latter manifesting a particular action” (Talmy 2000: 438), as in ‘urging’, ‘persuading’, ‘refusing’, ‘resisting’. 6. Blending Theory Fauconnier (1997) presents his Blending Theory as an attempt to understand how language processing as well as other cognitive processes can be performed at such a staggering speed. He suggests that in thinking, and in understanding utterances, we build up mental spaces and conduct operations on them in order to decode the speaker’s meaning or to find a solution to a puzzle or to a mathematical formula. There are three types of mental spaces: generic space,14 input spaces and the blend. Generic space can be understood as a tertium comparationis for the input spaces. Fauconnier (1997: 149) defines it as follows 14 In a discussion on cogling in August 2005 Lakoff claims that the GENERIC IS SPEmetaphor he and Tu...
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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 University (Engineering School).

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