By Réka Benczes
Metaphorical and metonymical compounds – novel and lexicalised ones alike – are remarkably considerable in language. but how will we make sure that while utilizing an expression reminiscent of land fishing in order to discuss steel detecting, the referent might be instantly understood whether the hearer had no longer been formerly accustomed to the compound? for this reason, this publication units out to discover even if the semantics of metaphorical and metonymical noun–noun mixtures may be systematically analysed inside a theoretical framework, the place systematicity relates to regularities in either the cognitive processes and the products of those tactics, that's, the compounds themselves. subsidized up by way of fresh psycholinguistic proof, the booklet convincingly demonstrates that such compounds should not semantically opaque because it has been previously claimed: they could actually be analysed and accounted for inside of a cognitive linguistic framework, by way of the mixed program of metaphor, metonymy, mixing, profile determinacy and schema concept; and characterize the inventive and associative note formation techniques that we frequently practice in daily language.
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Extra resources for Creative Compounding in English: The Semantics of Metaphorical and Metonymical Noun-Noun Combinations
One of Botha’s examples is middelmannetjie, which can be translated literally as “middle-man”, but has the meaning of ‘(central) ridge (in road)’. In his opinion, the syntactic features of the literal sense are +Animate and +Human, while in the metaphorical sense these change to ‑Animate and ‑Human. If these syntactic feature specifications are not represented explicitly in grammar, then it would be unable to generate the sentence Die middelmannetjie is uit gruis opgebou (‘The middle-man is built up from gravel’) as grammatical when the compound occurring within it is used in a metaphorical sense.
The head plays an important role in the semantics of the constructions as well; it is this member that denotes the class of elements to which the element denoted by the compound is a subset of. However, Selkirk points out that outside of verbal compounds14 the range of possible semantic relations between the member elements of compounds is so vast that it is impossible to properly characterise even the majority of cases. This comment is all the more surprising considering the fact that Selkirk’s monograph appeared after Levi’s (1978) and Pamela Downing’s (1977) highly influential and groundbreaking work on the semantics of nominal constructions (and also not forgetting that Levi aimed to accommodate the semantics of compounds within a generativist grammar).
99). It is up to the speaker (based on contextual information for example) to be able to pair abstract notions such as purpose or intent with more specific information regarding the entities involved in the relation (Coulson 2000). Coulson rightly criticises Levi’s theory for not being able to explain the highly specific interpretations that speakers give for nominal compounds. Levi (1978) bases her theory upon endocentric compounds and unfortunately touches upon the issue of exocentric compounds (which are defined as compounds where the referent does not denote a subset of the set of objects denoted by the head noun) only marginally.