Edited By Małgorzata Fabiszak, Karolina Krawczak and Katarzyna Rokoszewska
Loss for Words & Words for Loss How Americans Talk About Loss When THey Grieve: Metaphor and Blend
The aim of this paper is to present how Americans talk about loss. The expressions they use are analyzed in terms of Fauconnier and Turner’s conceptual blending theory so as to identify conceptualizations of loss, and to see how much these are entrenched in the American culture. The data comes from the interviews conducted with a group of grieving Americans of different age and background. The paper is divided into an introduction on grief and loss, a brief comment of conceptual blending theory, and the analysis of selected fragments of interviews followed by some conclusions. Most of the conceptualizations are similar to those shared by people coming from other cultures. Nevertheless, there are some that refer to the American history and culture. Both conventionalized and ad hoc blends are a way of expressing complex negative emotions.
“It’s weird, I really don’t have words sometimes.”
The above motto comes from one of the interviews conducted for the purposes of this paper. Often, people who have lost a loved person at first find themselves at a loss for words. Once the feeling of shock gives way to other emotions, the bereaved begin to talk.
The aim of this paper is to study how Americans talk about their loss and grief, focusing on examples of conceptual blends (Fauconnier & Turner 1996). Such expressions are entrenched in the personal experience and the culture. The article is thus an attempt...
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