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Unformatted text preview: the verb have a weaker power of activating other potential metaphoric mappings from the same domain?
The next item to be analysed is fight in its various grammatical forms.
The CCELD defines verbal senses thus:
9. If you fight something, you try in a determined way to prevent it or
stop it happening
If you fight for something you try in a determined way to get it or
If you fight, 3.1 you take part in a battle or war. 3.2 you try to hurt
someone, for example by hitting them with your fists, while they try
to hurt you in a similar way. 3.3 you take part in a boxing match. 3.4
you quarrel with another person.
If you fight someone for something, for example for an important
job, you compete with them for it.
If you fight an election in a particular place you are a candidate in
an election and you try win it.
When you fight an emotion or desire, you try very hard not to feel it,
show it, or act on it. Senses 6, 7, 8 and 10, 11, 12, 13 explain the meaning of specific verb
phrases (e.g. to fight for breath) or noun phrases (fighting chance, fighting fit). When it comes to the nominal derivatives they do not have separate subentries, but follow the verbal senses. Senses 1, 2, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4
and 4 introduce nominal examples with the phrase used as a noun.
Sense 3.1. develops this phrase into a sense description: used as a noun,
especially to refer to a battle to get control over a particular place. It
also introduces a derivative uncountable noun fighting, with an example,
but no definition, indicating that it is very similar in meaning to the preceding verb sense. Sense 7 introduces an uncountable noun fight – the
desire or ability to keep fighting. Among these senses, sense 3.2 seems
to me to be the most concrete one. The military sense 3.1 can either be
considered as a literal extension of sense 3.2 or, more in line with the
metaphor WAR IS A HAND-TO-HAND COMBAT, as a metaphorical extension
of sense 3.2. If we reject the first of these two conflicting premises, then 220 Chapter V lexical realisations like (10) should not be considered as representing the
POLITICS IS WAR conceptual metaphor, but POLITICS IS A HAND-TO-HAND
(10) People can see how across there Israeli politicians fight each other
in parliament, and in Greece they bring to account a corrupt prime
minister. [A57 352]
Naturally, within blending theory we could possibly claim that the end
product of the WAR IS A HAND-TO-HAND COMBAT blending process became
the input for another blending process resulting in POLITICS IS WAR, but it
seems a bit stretched and against Ockham’s Razor Principle. An analysis
of the frequencies of the ‘physical violence’ and the military sense may
cast some light on this dilemma. The results of the analysis of the lexeme
fight are given in Table 5. The metaphorical uses are divided into target
domains often reported to be described in terms of war. The uses, whose
context does not point to any such specific domain, are dubbed ‘general’.
Table 5. The frequency of uses of different senses of the lemma FIGHT considering its
various morphological forms
Word Literal Other Metaphorical fight, base form
of a lexical verb
and the infinitive
(200 random hits
out of 3534) 36 physical violence
31 military 9 ambiguous
5 fight shy of sth. 81 general
1 chemistry fights, 3rd person
hits) 39 physical violence
4 military 12 nouns tagged as
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