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The conceptual metaphor theory Basic concepts and assumptions.

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Presentation on theme: "The conceptual metaphor theory Basic concepts and assumptions."— Presentation transcript:

1 The conceptual metaphor theory Basic concepts and assumptions

2 By the use of metaphors the ability to understand and to express in language the experience of the world unbelievably increases..

3 It allows people to go beyond the immediate experience and to extend the language in an unlimited way..

4 Conceptual metaphor Understanding one conceptual domain in terms of another conceptual domain.

5 Conceptual metaphor Understanding one conceptual domain in terms of another conceptual domain. A conceptual domain - any coherent organisation of experience. LIFE; LOVE; BEING SAD; LIGHT; ECONOMY; WAR, etc.

6 Conceptual metaphor Is that the foundation for your theory? The theory needs more support. We need to construct a strong argument for that. The theory will stand or fall on the strength of that argument.

7 Conceptual metaphor Is that the foundation for your theory? The theory needs more support. We need to construct a strong argument for that. The theory will stand or fall on the strength of that argument. THEORIES ARE BUILDINGS

8 Conceptual metaphor Is that the foundation for your theory? The theory needs more support. We need to construct a strong argument for that. The theory will stand or fall on the strength of that argument. THEORIES ARE BUILDINGS CONCEPTUAL DOMAIN (A) IS CONCEPTUAL DOMAIN (B)

9 Correspondences between domains SOURCE DOMAIN (BUILDING)TARGET DOMAIN (THEORY) the foundation of a buildingthe basis of the theory supportevidence strengthplausibility constructioncreation collapse of a buildingfall of a theory

10 mappings There is a set of systematic correspondences or mappings between the source and the target. It means that constituent conceptual elements of the source correspond to constituent elements of the target.

11 ARGUMENT IS WAR Your claims are indefensible. He attacked every weak point in my argument. His criticisms were right on target. I’ve never won an argument with him. If you use that strategy, he’ll wipe you out.

12 TIME IS MONEY You’re wasting my time. This gadget will save you hours. How do you spend your time these days? That flat tire cost me an hour. You don’t use your time profitably.

13 LIFE IS A JOURNEY He’s without direction in life. I’m at a crossroads in my life. She’s gone through a lot in life. He’s gone (= died).

14 metaphor vs. metaphorical linguistic expression metaphormetaphorical linguistic expression THEORIES ARE BUILDINGSIs that the foundation for your theory? ARGUMENT IS WARYour claims are indefensible. TIME IS MONEYYou’re wasting my time. LIFE IS A JOURNEYHe’s without direction in life.

15 Common source domains the human body (the heart of the problem) health and illness (a healthy society, she hurt my feelings) animals (a cow, a bitch) plants (the fruits of her labour, exports flourished) buildings and construction (he's in ruins financially) machines and tools (conceptual tools, she produces a book) games and sport (to toy with the idea) money and economic transactions (spending time, investing in a relationship) cooking and food (to cook up a story, a recipe for success) heat and cold (a cold reception, icy stare) light and darkness (a dark mood, a cloud of suspicion) forces (he's driving me nuts) movement and direction (he went crazy, inflation is soaring)

16 Common target domains emotion desire morality thought society/nation politics economy human relationships communication time life and death religion events and actions

17 Classification of metaphors conceptual metaphors are classified according to: – conventionality – cognitive function

18 Classification according to conventionality Conventional conceptual metaphors - well- entrenched ways of thinking about or understanding an abstract domain (often expressed by conventional linguistic expressions).

19 Classification according to conventionality Unconventional conceptual metaphors – unconventional linguistic expression – unconventional source-target connection

20 The cognitive function of metaphors Ontological metaphors Structural metaphors Orientational metaphors

21 The cognitive function of metaphors Ontological metaphors – They give ontological status to abstract or vague concepts (i.e. we think and talk of them as if they were THINGS). – They allow us to refer to, quantify, to identify more diffuse aspects of our experience.

22 The cognitive function of metaphors Ontological metaphors – examples – Give me a call. (an event is a physical object) – my mind (a possessed physical object) – in love (an emotional state is a container) – Life has cheated me. (life is a person; personification) Ontological metaphors can be elaborated into structural metaphors.

23 The cognitive function of metaphors Structural metaphors Their cognitive function is to enable to understand the target by means of the structure of the source (by means of conceptual mappings). The source domain provides a relatively rich knowledge for the target concept.

24 The cognitive function of metaphors Orientational metaphors Their cognitive function is to make a set of target concepts coherent in our conceptual system. They are based on human spatial orientations (e.g. up-down, centre-periphery, etc.)

25 The cognitive function of metaphors Orientational metaphors MORE IS UP: Speak up, please. SICK IS DOWN: He fell ill. CONTROL IS UP: He is under my control. RATIONAL IS UP: The discussion fell to an emotional level.

26 Practice Identify source and target domains. Label the metaphor. 1.His ego is very fragile. 2.Inflation has robbed me of my savings. 3.He’s rich in ideas. 4.She has a fertile imagination. 5.Life is empty for him. 6.My fear of insects is driving her crazy.

27 1.His ego is very fragile. THE MIND IS A BRITTLE OBJECT 1.Inflation has robbed me of my savings. INFLATION IS A PERSON 2.He’s rich in ideas. IDEAS ARE MONEY 1.She has a fertile imagination. IDEAS ARE PLANTS 1.Life is empty for him. LIFE IS A CONTAINER 2.My fear of insects is driving her crazy. FEAR IS AN OBJECT. FEAR IS A FORCE.

28 The partial nature of metaphorical mappings which parts of the source are mapped onto which parts in the target When a metaphor focuses on one or some aspects of a target concept, then it highlights that concept (those concepts). The other aspects of the concept remain hidden (out of focus).

29 The partial nature of metaphorical mappings e.g. in the metaphor ARGUMENT IS A BUILDING we do not utilise many elements of the source such as doors, windows, living in, etc.

30 The partial nature of metaphorical mappings Several metaphors are used to structure the concept of argument: – container metaphor – highlights the content – war – control over the argument – journey – progress, content – building – construction, strength

31 Exercise What aspects of the source and target domains are utilised and highlighted in the metaphors of love below: LOVE IS A JOURNEY It’s been a long bumpy road. Look how far we’ve come. LOVE IS A NUTRIENT I’m starved for love. LOVE IS A FIRE He is burning with love LOVE IS MAGIC I’m under her spell.

32 Exercise What aspects of the source and target domains are utilised and highlighted in the metaphors of love below: LOVE IS A JOURNEY It’s been a long bumpy road.(progress) Look how far we’ve come. LOVE IS A NUTRIENT I’m starved for love. LOVE IS A FIRE He is burning with love LOVE IS MAGIC I’m under her spell.

33 Exercise What aspects of the source and target domains are utilised and highlighted in the metaphors of love below: LOVE IS A JOURNEY It’s been a long bumpy road.(progress) Look how far we’ve come. LOVE IS A NUTRIENT I’m starved for love.(desire) LOVE IS A FIRE He is burning with love LOVE IS MAGIC I’m under her spell.

34 Exercise What aspects of the source and target domains are utilised and highlighted in the metaphors of love below: LOVE IS A JOURNEY It’s been a long bumpy road.(progress) Look how far we’ve come. LOVE IS A NUTRIENT I’m starved for love.(desire) LOVE IS A FIRE He is burning with love(intensity) LOVE IS MAGIC I’m under her spell.

35 Exercise What aspects of the source and target domains are utilised and highlighted in the metaphors of love below: LOVE IS A JOURNEY It’s been a long bumpy road.(progress) Look how far we’ve come. LOVE IS A NUTRIENT I’m starved for love.(desire) LOVE IS A FIRE He is burning with love(intensity) LOVE IS MAGIC I’m under her spell.(loss of control)

36 The concept of sadness: an analysis Identify the conceptual metaphors manifested by these examples. Which aspects of sadness are highlighted and which aspects are hidden? Waves of depression came over him. He brought me down with his remarks. He is in a dark mood. I am filled with sorrow. That was a terrible blow. Tim heals all sorrows. He was insane with grief. He drowned his sorrow in drink. His feelings of misery got out of hand. She was ruled by sorrow.

37 Waves of depression came over him. SADNESS IN A NATURAL FORCE Highlighted: passivity, lack of control Hidden: cause, attempt at control, behavioural responses (?)

38 He brought me down with his remarks. SAD IS DOWN Highlighted: negative character Hidden: cause, attempt at control

39 He is in a dark mood. SAD IS DARK Highlighted: negative character Hidden: cause, attempt t control

40 I am filled with sorrow. SADNESS IS A FLUID IN A CONTAINER Highlighted: intensity, attempt at control, loss of control Hidden: negative character

41 That was a terrible blow. SADNESS IS A PHYSICAL FORCE Highlighted: passivity, sudden impact Hidden: cause, attempt at control, behavioral responses

42 Tim heals all sorrows. SADNESS IS A DISEASE Highlighted: negative character, passivity, behavioral responses Hidden: attempt at control

43 He was insane with grief. SADNESS IS INSANITY Highlighted: lack of control Hidden: attempt at control

44 He drowned his sorrow in drink. SADNESS IS AN OPPONENT Highlighted: attempt at control Hidden: passivity

45 His feelings of misery got out of hand. SADNESS IS A CAPTIVE ANIMAL Highlighted: loss of control Hidden: passivity

46 She was ruled by sorrow. SADNESS IS A SOCIAL SUPERIOR Highlighted: lack of control Hidden: attempt at control


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