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Unformatted text preview: metaphors are. In fact,
poetic metaphors consist in the extension, elaboration, questioning and composition of the same patterns as those discussed in Lakoff – Johnson (1980).
The authors further develop CMT by positing the existence of generic-level
metaphors. These differ from the specific-level or basic metaphors in two
ways: their source and target domains are not fixed, and the entities that undergo mapping are not specified. This follows from the fact that “[g]eneric
level metaphors relate generic level schemas” (Lakoff – Turner 1989: 81).
As neither ARGUMENT nor WAR are generic level concepts, the fact that the
source and target domains are reversible in generic metaphors does not bear
on the reservations voiced above. Yet, a proposal that Conceptual metaphor and its implications for discourse 27
[t]here exists a single generic-level metaphor, generic is specific, which
maps a single specific level schema onto an indefinitely large number of
parallel specific-level schemas that all have generic level structure as the
source domain schema
(Lakoff – Turner 1989: 162). does seem to solve both the problem of domains that may serve as sources
and as targets, as well as that of the reversal of source and target domains
(as in LIFE IS ART and ART IS LIFE).
Another elaboration of CMT proposed in Lakoff – Turner (1989)
is the Great Chain Metaphor. This metaphor is built on an elaborate and
widespread belief that humans, animals, plants, things, or in short, the
world as we know it, can be ordered in a hierarchy from more to less
complex or advanced. Each level has characteristic properties, arranged in
such a way that the higher order beings share the properties of the lower
order, but not vice versa. For example, humans can have animal instincts,
but animals do not have morality. The Great Chain of Being Model performs two functions. The first one is to extend the GENERIC IS SPECIFIC
metaphor in such a way that it is possible to understand one level life
forms in terms of another level of life forms. The second function is performed in combination with the Maxim of Quantity, and consists in allowing the selection of the most relevant attributes available in the source
Interestingly, corpus studies can provide some if only indirect evidence for the existence of the Great Chain of Being. Stubbs (2002: 38
Such sets of words [corpse, body, victim] also provide an insight into the
way in which English categorizes a small part of the social world. There
are several terms for dead humans. There are terms for dead animals, if
they are useful as a food source. There are terms for large dead trees [lumber, timber], especially if they are useful and/or cultivated. But there are
no terms for dead insects or smaller dead plants. The vocabulary embodies
a hierarchy of importance and gives decreasing attention to humans, animals and plants. Jackendoff – Aaron (1991) in their review of Lakoff – Turner (1989)
stress the same drawbacks of presentation as was the case for Lakoff –
Johnson (1980). They point out that the bibliography of the book is inadequate even for students in the beginners’ course in lit...
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