Course Content (Syllabus)
Metaphor and metonymy play a central role in human thought, understanding and reasoning in the creation of our social, cultural, and psychological reality. The purpose of this course is to challenge the traditional view that metaphorical language and thought is arbitrary and unmotivated. It offers the view that both metaphorical language and thought arise from the basic bodily (sensorimotor) experience of human beings. This notion of embodiment clearly distinguishes the cognitive linguistic view from traditional ones. In particular, it is claimed that (i) metaphor as well as metonymy are properties of concepts, and not of words; (ii) the main function of metaphor is to understand one thing in terms of another, while the main function of metonymy seems to be to provide mental, cognitive access to a target entity that is less readily or easily available; (iii) while metaphor is based on similarity, metonymy is based on
contiguity, that is on elements that are parts of the same domain; (iv) metaphor and metonymy are used effortlessly in everyday life by ordinary people, not just by specially talented people, and (v) metaphor and metonymy, far from being stylistic devices, are inevitable processes of human thought and reasoning.
metaphor, metonymy, embodied meaning, conceptualization, correlations in experience
Additional bibliography for study
1987 The Body in the Mind: The Bodily Basis of Meaning, Imagination and Reason. Chicago and London: Univ. of Chicago Press.
Lakoff, George & Mark Johnson
1980 Metaphors we live by. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.
1987 Women, fire, and dangerous things: What categories reveal about the mind. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.
2002 Metaphor. A Practical Introduction. Oxford UP.
1995 Linguistic Categorization. OUP.
Ungerer, F. & H.-J. Schmid
1996 An Introduction to Cognitive Linguistics. Longman. London and New York.