The position of lakoff johnson 1980 on the status of

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Unformatted text preview: slation mine, MF] Objectification then appears as one of the basic processes in human conceptualisation on a par with Talmy’s (2000) force dynamics, a crossdomain constant. It helps to clarify the relationship between various domains and facilitates cross domain mappings. The position of Lakoff – Johnson (1980) on the status of source and target domains remains unclear. They say: “… we typically conceptualize the non-physical in terms of the physical – that is, we conceptualize the less clearly delineated in terms of the more clearly delineated” (Lakoff – Johnson 1980: 59).9 Ten pages later they say something slightly different: “… it might seem as if there were a clear distinction between directly emergent and metaphorically emergent concepts and that every concept must be one or the other. This is not the case.” Moreover, they claim that both the defined and the defining are natural kinds of experience (Lakoff – Johnson 1980: 118). What, then, constitutes the difference between them? Lakoff – Johnson’s answer is that “these [source] con9 This observation is by no means novel. Ullman (1962), while discussing types of metaphoric extensions of meaning, enumerated ‘from the concrete to the abstract’ as one such possibility. 22 Chapter I cepts for natural kinds are structured clearly enough and with enough of the right kind of internal structure to do the job of defining other concepts” (1980: 118). Does this mean that WAR is more concrete and more clearly delineated than ARGUMENT? Why is it possible to have WAR both as the source and target of metaphors (ARGUMENT IS WAR vs. WAR IS A THEATRE)? What kind of embodied experience explains this fact? Or is there no explanation, but the circularity of ARGUMENT IS WAR, because ARGUMENT is less concrete than WAR. Is ARGUMENT less concrete than WAR because it is defined by WAR? An escape from this vicious circle would be to resort to a more basic concept, e.g. force (as in forcedynamics, see Section 5) underlying both argument and war. Force constitutes the more abstract schema, which has emerged from instantiations of its various guises, and which now serves as the commonality allowing the comparison between the two concepts. Lakoff – Johnson (1999) propose a slightly different solution. Within the Integrated Theory of Metaphor, consisting of Christopher Johnson’s conflation hypothesis, Grady’s Primary Metaphor’s Theory, Narayanan’s Neural Theory of Language and Fauconnier and Turner’s Blending Theory, the atomic primary metaphors are unidirectional, with the mappings going from the sensorimotor domain (source domain) to abstract domains (target domains). When these primary metaphors become inputs for blending processes, complex multidirectional links can be formed. If we employ this hypothesis to the task set forth in the present book, the elements of the sensorimotor schema of force can be unidirectionally mapped onto abstract domains of WAR, ARGUMENT, POLITICS, THE ECONOMY, etc.; however, the mappings b...
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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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