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Categorization in Discourse and Grammar


Edited By Małgorzata Fabiszak, Karolina Krawczak and Katarzyna Rokoszewska

This collection of papers addresses new trends in Cognitive Linguistics. Three parts of the book focus on Conceptual Metaphor Theory and Integration Network Analysis. Both the theoretical contributions and the empirical case studies stress the importance of contextual factors in the meaning making processes. They employ qualitative methods to analyze the use of metaphor in political discourse and in the conceptualization of emotions. The data sets include multimodal data, sign languages and co-speech gestures. The fourth part of the book contains two corpus-based studies. The fifth part concentrates on the grammatical categories of passive voice and aspect. One contribution discusses the problem of categorization in phonology.
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A Few Remarks on the Distinction between Metaphor, Metonymy, and Synecdoche


The general aim of this article is to point to certain problems related to the distinction between metaphor, metonymy, and synecdoche. First, this article discusses various points of difference between metaphor, metonymy, and synecdoche proposed in the cognitive linguistic literature. It shows that there is no agreement among cognitive linguists on certain points of difference (e.g., on how broadly the concept of contiguity should be understood). Secondly, this article argues that since cognitive domains are understood as “encyclopedic” domains and since they normally vary in breadth from speaker to speaker, the classification of a given linguistic expression as metaphoric, metonymic, or synecdochic based on the one- and two-domain principle may only be possible from an individual (subjective) perspective. Finally, this article points to yet another obstacle in the classification of a given linguistic expression, i.e. to the fact that metaphor, metonymy, and synecdoche frequently operate together.

1.  Introduction – Metaphor, Metonymy, and Synecdoche

To date numerous different classifications of tropes have been proposed, in which their number ranges from as few as two to as many as thirty. In antiquity (in the work of Aristotle), metaphor, metonymy, and synecdoche were not strictly differentiated (see Figure 1).1, 2 ← 43 | 44 →

Figure 1:  Figures of speech – antiquity (Nerlich & Clarke 1999: 198).

In classical rhetoric three (sometimes four) main tropes were distinguished (metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, and sometimes irony) (see Figure 2).3

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