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Language − Literature − the Arts: A Cognitive-Semiotic Interface


Elżbieta Chrzanowska-Kluczewska and Olga Vorobyova

The book offers an interdisciplinary discussion of the cognitive-semiotic interface between language, literature, and the arts, with a special focus on creativity and imagination. It brings together international contributors suggesting a wide range of innovative perspectives on the correlation between verbal discourse and creative artefacts. The book reveals the specificity of such phenomena as parallax, transparency, corporeal imagination, and multimodality. Alongside interpreting artistic texts, the contributors search for cognitive and semiotic manifestations of creativity in political and everyday discourse.

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The Art of Metaphoric Political Insult within the Cognitive Framework (Alla Martynyuk)


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Alla Martynyuk

V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, Ukraine

The Art of Metaphoric Political Insult within the Cognitive Framework

Abstract: The study uses a heuristic apparatus provided by the Conceptual Integration Theory to establish criteria for differentiating effective/humorous and non-effective/non-humorous metaphoric political insults. It shows that cognitive evaluation of humorous stimuli for metaphoric political insults cannot be fully accounted for by the incongruity resolution – the idea underpinning most theories of humour. Appreciation of humorous stimuli for metaphoric political insults involves a switch from the serious mode of communication, where the speaker is assessed as a violator of ethological norms, to the joking mode of communication. where violating ethical norms is seen as just a game. The switch is made possible by global contrariety of incongruous attributes within a metaphoric blend when specific attributes of the referent are perceived as opposites to generic attributes of a prototypical/ideal POLITICIAN. Global contrariety triggers a situated cognitive re-evaluation of the incompatible conceptual structure against the background of wider encyclopaedic knowledge (ontological/ethological), which gives rise to qualifying and/or behavioural inferences of rational and emotional nature. Such inferences sanction the estimation of humorous stimuli for metaphoric political insults. The speaker’s failure to achieve global contrariety results in his/her negative rational and emotional assessment of and sympathy for the referent of the insult on the part of the interpreters.

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