Show Less
Restricted access

Metaphoricity of Conventionalized Diegetic Images in Comics

A Study in Multimodal Cognitive Linguistics


Michał Szawerna

This book offers a cognitive-semiotic approach to metaphoricity of visual representations in static visual narratives referred to as comics. It implements this approach in an exploration of conventionalized visual signs depicting diegetic situations, motion events, sound events, and diverse psychological experiences in such narratives. With his focus on the intersection of comics studies, conceptual metaphor theory, and Charles Sanders Peirce’s theory of signs, the author analyzes a broad array of attested data retrieved from comics exemplifying various publication formats, generic conventions, and cultural traditions. His exploration situates the metaphoricity of the analyzed visual signs against the backdrop of their overall semiotic makeup and in relation to the metaphoricity of their linguistic counterparts.

Show Summary Details
Restricted access

1.4. On the compatibility of Peirce’s conception of metaphor with conceptual metaphor theory


From the perspective of Peirce’s semiotics, metaphor is a kind of sign, characterized by Nathan Houser (1991: 437) as a variety of rhematic iconic legisign. Being a kind of sign, metaphor is necessarily a psychological entity because, on Peirce’s account, all signs presuppose the operation of the interpretive mind: “Nothing is a sign unless it is interpreted as a sign” (CP § 2.308). Peirce’s mentalistic and dynamic conception of metaphor as a legisign, that is, a generalized pattern of semiosis residing in the mind of the interpreter which involves a unique cooperation of the sign, the object, and the interpretant, seems readily compatible with the equally mentalistic and dynamic conception of metaphor advocated by the proponents of conceptual metaphor theory, to whom metaphor is “a general cognitive mechanism” (Gerraerts 2006: 12) or “a general cognitive process” (Müller 2008: 26) whereby one conceptual complex, the target domain, comes to be seen in terms of another conceptual complex, the source domain. The particulars of the overall compatibility between the two conceptions of metaphor are insightfully characterized by Jappy (2013: 118–120) on the example of the classic verbal metaphor Achilles is a lion.

According to Jappy (2013: 118), the two domains presupposed by the verbal metaphor Achilles is a lion, the source domain constituted by the conceptual category LION and the target domain constituted by the conceptual category ACHILLES, make up the object of this metaphorical hypoicon. Jappy (2013: 118–119) explains that the two domains feature a...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.