By Eve Sweetser
This ebook deals a brand new method of the research of the a number of meanings of English modals, conjunctions, conditionals, and notion verbs. even if such ambiguities can't simply be accounted for through feature-analyses of observe which means, Eve Sweetser's argument indicates that they are often analyzed either with ease and systematically. that means relationships more often than not can't be understood independently of human cognitive constitution, together with the metaphorical and cultural elements of that constitution. Sweetser exhibits that either lexical polysemy and pragmatic ambiguity are formed by way of our metaphorical people figuring out of epistemic strategies and of speech interplay. comparable regularities will be proven to constitution the distinction between root, epistemic and speech act makes use of of modal verbs, a number of makes use of of conjunctions and conditionals, and sure strategies of historic swap saw in Indo-European languages. considering that polysemy is sometimes the intermediate step in semantic swap, a similar regularities observable in polysemy should be prolonged to an research of semantic switch.
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Additional info for From etymology to pragmatics: metaphorical and cultural aspects of semantic structure
For instance, consi der Melville's Moby Dick. There i s n o target mentioned or h inted t here. O f course, t he story is q u i t e meaningful as i t i s-as a conventional d e s c ri p t i o n of an imagined event . But ·it i s cer t ainly possible to interpret it metaphorically in many d i fferent ways i n many different domain s . N o w consider "Sincerity p lowed t h rough depravity," a n d ass u me t hat t he context does not help you at all i n identifying a target . What could the de- Chapt er 1: Characterizing Metaphor 17 scription b e about ?
The farmer keeps a st raight course w i t h her plow , u p rooting dead roots , weeds , small stones, and whatever happens to come i n her way. The chai rperson sticks to the agenda and summarily brushes aside pointless objections and d i scussions. H owever, the dictionary meani ng of ' plow ' also i n c ludes 'to p roceed steadi ly and laboriously, ' and w i t h t h i s meaning the description can be convention ally app lied to the target , and would no longer be considered metaphorical . statement as an example of metaphor.
For B uiiuel, their perpetual acti vity i s often m i n d le s s and without di rection . " [ H i ggin bot h am 1 9 7 9 , p . 1 72 . ] C r i t i c John Si mon , on the other h a n d , consi ders the sequence quit e trite, if not mean i ngless : " [T]he t h ree or fou r recu rren ces of t h e shot wi t h i n crem ent a l variations tel l us n o more than t h a t our b o u rgeo i se sextet is trudging down the r oad of l i fe with a d i ffe re n t expression on each face. " [Simon 1 9 78, p. 366 .