Metonymy: Hidden Shortcuts in Language, Thought and Communication (Cambridge Studies in Cognitive Linguistics)

By Jeannette Littlemore

'Metonymy' is one of those figurative language utilized in daily dialog, a kind of shorthand that permits us to exploit our shared wisdom to speak with fewer phrases than we might in a different way want. 'I'll pencil you in' and 'let me provide you with a hand' are either examples of metonymic language. Metonymy serves a variety of communicative capabilities corresponding to textual unity, humour, irony, euphemism and hyperbole - all of which play a key position within the improvement of language and discourse groups. utilizing real facts all through, this publication exhibits how metonymy operates, not only in language, but additionally in gesture, signal language, artwork, song, movie and advertisements. It explores the position of metonymy in cross-cultural communique, besides the demanding situations it offers to language newbies and translators. excellent for researchers and scholars in linguistics and literature, in addition to lecturers and normal readers drawn to the artwork of communique.

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The expression ‘have a roof over my head’ refers, in very easy phrases, to the belief of truly having a home, so at first sight there seems to be a excessive measure of contiguity among the motor vehicle time period and its referent. although, the expression additionally incorporates an additional which means of getting adequate cash to supply for one’s uncomplicated Theoretical versions of metonymy fifty three wishes, and right here we commence to work out much less continguity among the automobile and its referent. the precise measure of contiguity among a motor vehicle and its referent can hence be very difficult to spot whilst metonymies are utilized in context, as there will be a couple of referent. Moreoever, it isn't regularly transparent which referent(s) is/are meant as they can be obscure and underspecified. an identical should be stated for boundedness. we've already noticeable, in bankruptcy 2, that ‘a pair of legs’ does even more than just discuss with a lady, and that it consists of every kind of connotations a couple of woman’s sexuality and availability. those connotations usually are not simply lined via the inspiration of a ‘bounded entity’. back, as the metonymy doesn't have a transparent, unmarried referent, it's difficult to degree the level to which this referent is ‘bounded’. eventually, it may be difficult to figure out the extent of concreteness of a few metonymic expressions. We observed this in bankruptcy 1 with the ‘brothers wanted a few muscle’ instance. right here, let's imagine that ‘some muscle’ easily refers to a robust guy, during which case the referent is very concrete, or it can confer with a build-up of forces sooner than a fight, that is a touch much less concrete phenomenon. the most challenge with this version is that it assumes a one-to-one correspondence among the car time period and its referent, and actually this isn't regularly the case. on the other hand, it truly is priceless to determine metonymy as a radial class, and Peirsman and Geeraerts are correct to assert that types of metonymy can radiate out from the centre alongside assorted axes. consequently, the version turns out to be useful while analysing different senses of ambiguous metonymies in context. Langacker’s (1993) specialise in lively zones and what this implies for versions of metonymy probably the most influential cognitive linguistic theories of metonymy is that proposed through Langacker (1993). He argues that metonymy is concerned almost each time a various point of word’s that means (or the area that it represents) is highlighted via its use in a distinct context. This, he argues, is simply because a shift in profile is mostly concerned. for instance, there's a metonymic dating among using the observe ‘university’ to consult the particular constructions and using the be aware to consult the establishment or a school activities staff, as proven within the following 3 examples: [. . . ] former scholars residing toward the collage. (BofE) The college at present bargains measure programmes in Pharmacy, Occupational treatment, Midwifery [. . . ] (BofE) [. . . ] they performed a pleasant opposed to the college. (BofE) each one of those senses ‘profiles’ a unique point of the collage and for that reason includes metonymy.

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