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Cognitive Explorations into Metaphor and Metonymy

Frank Polzenhagen, Zoltan Kövecses, Stefanie Vogelbacher and Sonja Kleinke

This volume presents selected contributions to an annual symposium on metaphor and metonymy held at the English Department of Heidelberg University. It brings together papers by lecturers, PhD students and graduates from three universities – Heidelberg University, Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, and the University of East Anglia in Norwich. The contributions illustrate the plurality of perspectives and methods in current cognitive-linguistic research on metaphor and metonymy and exemplify some of the ways in which they can be combined. The papers also attest to the wide range of domains and topics to which metaphor- and metonymy-based research can be applied, including emotion terms, political and scientific discourse, morphology, cross-cultural variation and internet communication.
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Metaphor and metonymy in the conceptual system: Zoltán Kövecses

1. Introduction


Metaphor and metonymy in the conceptual system

    Zoltán Kövecses (Budapest)

In recent years, several important issues have been discussed in connection with metaphor in a cognitive linguistic framework (for an overview, see Gibbs 2008). For example, it has become clear that, in addition to its cognitive function, metaphor has a crucially important communicative role in discourse (see, e.g., Goatly 1997; Cameron 2003; Semino 2008; Ritchie 2004; Musolff 2004, 2010; Steen 2007, 2011). Furthermore, several scholars have worked out new ways of analyzing metaphor in natural language use. This has become known as the corpus linguistic study of metaphor (see, e.g., Charteris-Black 2004; Deignan 2005; Gries & Stefanowitsch 2006). Others have shown that metaphors are “widely distributed” and can be found outside the human head (see, e.g., Gibbs 1999; Forceville & Aparisi 2009; Cienki & Müller 2008). A large amount of work has been done on the cultural specificity of many metaphors (see, e.g., Yu 1998; Kövecses 2005). These results are just some of the ways in which conceptual metaphor theory has been refined and enriched in recent years.

In the present paper, I would like to return to the “roots” and explore further one of the basic claims of conceptual metaphor theory: the idea that metaphor is a major part of the human conceptual system (see, e.g., Lakoff 1993; Lakoff & Johnson 1980, 1999). Interestingly, very little has been said concerning this claim (but see Croft 1993). No actual, explicit,...

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