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Evolving Nature of the English Language

Studies in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics


Edited By Robert Kiełtyka and Agnieszka Uberman

This volume presents a collection of interdisciplinary papers pertaining to the most thought-provoking problems in the areas of both theoretical and applied linguistics. The contributors focus on contemporary developments in morphological, semantic and pragmatic theorizing. The contributions are also devoted to various aspects of the methodology of teaching English as well as some intricacies of translation.

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Verbal Zoosemy Revisited (Robert Kiełtyka)


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Robert Kiełtyka

Verbal Zoosemy Revisited

Abstract: The paper sheds some light on the complexity of the mechanism of zoosemy in relation to its extension into the category VERB. It is devoted to the discussion of the mechanics of metaphor-metonymy interaction couched in terms of the conceptual metaphor theory where animal-related verbs are used with reference to human beings or those qualities and actions that are related to human beings. The language data subject to analysis are collected from a variety of lexicographic sources such as The Oxford English Dictionary and The Historical Thesaurus of English.

Keywords: zoosemy, metaphor, metonymy, animals, human beings


The term zoosemy (animal metaphor) has been around in linguistic literature for a relatively short period of time as it was coined by Rayevska (1979) and later adopted by a number of authors (see, among others, Kleparski (1997, 2002), Ben (2013), Kiełtyka (2005, 2008a, 2016)) who analyse the mechanism in hand from different angles. Other scholars analysing the phenomenon in question speak of animal metaphor, for example Wilkins (1981), Martsa (1999, 2001), Ervitia (2012), Aliakbari and Faraji (2013)). Thus zoosemy is traditionally defined as a mechanism by which animal names come to be employed to designate human characteristics of varied kinds. In contrast to earlier studies, such as Kleparski (1997), Kiełtyka (2008a), Górecka-Smolińska and Kleparski (2012) where the terms zoosemy and animal metaphor were frequently put on equal footing,...

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