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Zooming In

Micro-Scale Perspectives on Cognition, Translation and Cross-Cultural Communication

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Edited By Wojciech Wachowski, Zoltan Kövecses and Michał Borodo

This book explores the influence of culture and cognition on translation and communication and brings together revised versions of papers delivered at the First International TransLingua Conference, organized in 2015 by the Institute of Modern Languages and Applied Linguistics and the Department of English at Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz, Poland. The volume investigates various languages and cultures (including Japanese, Hungarian, English, Czech, Polish, German and Swahili) and examines a range of linguistic and translation issues from a micro-scale perspective. Alongside these case studies, it also includes reflections by two internationally renowned scholars, Elżbieta Tabakowska and Zoltán Kövecses, on the interplay between language, culture and cognition and the influence of collective and individual memory on translation.

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3 Metonymic hiding and cross-cultural communication (Wojciech Wachowski)

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WOJCIECH WACHOWSKI

3 Metonymic hiding and cross-cultural communication

Introduction

In the classical theory, metonymy is often defined as a figure of speech which operates on names of things. In cognitive linguistics,1 however, metonymy is normally understood as a particular type of mental mapping and a very basic cognitive mechanism (probably more basic than metaphor) rather than a simple linguistic matter (e.g. Goosens 1990; Panther and Radden 1999; Nerlich and Clarke 1999, 2001; Barcelona 2003; Ruiz de Mendoza 2003; Panther and Thornburg 2004, 2007; Dirven and Pörings 2003; Haser 2005; Kosecki 2007; or Barnden 2010). Metonymy is also thought to serve a number of different functions. This chapter concentrates on one of them, that is, hiding the content. Metonymic hiding results from our perceptual limitations, that is, our inability to simultaneously highlight more than one element of a conceptual frame. Thus, when we are led to follow one metonymic path, we automatically mute all the others. In this chapter, two forms of metonymic hiding are discussed. In the first one (used, for example, as a way of dealing with taboo issues), in order to conceal the target, either a peripheral subdomain (in a source-in-target relationship), or a very inclusive (opaque) domain (in a target-in-source relationship) is selected for the source. In another form of hiding (used, for example, in verbal and visual humour), a “dummy” target domain is temporarily ← 33 | 34 → activated in order to divert attention from the other...

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