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Chapter 11

Chapter 11

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Marcel Danesi

Chapter 11Metaphor y Anthromorphism shows that we experience various things as extensions of the human body y The approach to the study of language as a system of concepts grounded in metaphor is known as cognitive linguistics CL WHAT IS METAPHOR y Unlike visible things life cannot be shown to someone directly example animals objects plants However by comparing it to a stage Aristotle suggested we gain a firm understanding of this concept nonetheless y Defining metaphor poses an interesting dilemma In the metaphor The professor is a snake there are two referents not one that are related to each other as follows o There is a primary referent the professor which is known as the topic of the metaphor o Then there is a secondary referent the snake which is known as the vehicle of the metaphor It is the referent chosen as a means to understand the personality of the professor o Their association in speechThe professor is a snakecreates a new meaning called the ground which is not the simple sum of the meanings of the two referents but rather a meaning that is transferred or projected from the vehicle on the topic As if by some cognitive metamorphosis we now imagine the professor metamorphosing into a snake y In the process of associating the two referents it is not the denotative but connotative meaning y Metaphor was a strategy for explicating or exemplifying an abstract notion such as life y Nietzsche divided human thought into two domainsthe domain of perception consisting of impressions and sensations and the domain of conception consisting of the ideas that the mind makes from perception y Nietzsche saw metaphor as a linguistic selffulfilling prophecy y A scientific theory is in effect a metaphorical inference It is an example of what the American philosopher Charles Peirce referred to as an abduction or informed hunch y We are inclined to glean metaphorical meaning from any wellformed string of words and that literal meaning is probably the exception in the interpretation of strings CONCEPTUAL METAPHORS y Two types of conceptsconcrete and abstract y For Lakoff and Johnson abstract concepts should not be viewed as being autonomous from concrete ones but rather as metaphorical extensions of them y Thus they renamed an abstract concept a conceptual metaphor y Lakoff and Johnson call the generic topic people the target domains and the generic vehicle animals the source domain
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