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Today’s program Part 1 of the series: Meaning generative devices, Devices that help create meaning. We construct realities and identies: – Part 1: Metaphors.

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Presentation on theme: "Today’s program Part 1 of the series: Meaning generative devices, Devices that help create meaning. We construct realities and identies: – Part 1: Metaphors."— Presentation transcript:


2 Today’s program Part 1 of the series: Meaning generative devices, Devices that help create meaning. We construct realities and identies: – Part 1: Metaphors – Part 2: Stories Talk about “Metaphors” How metaphors influence not only our language but most important our thinking Language as a window to our mind

3 Before we start… I want you to think about how you experience love. If you would describe how you perceive and experience something so abstract as love… What metaphor would you use?


5 Love… “ I have been waiting all my life to be with you. My heart slams against my ribs when I think of the slaughtered nights I spent all over the world waiting to feel your touch. The time I annihilated while I waited like a man doing a life sentence. Now you’re here and everything we touch explodes, bursts into bloom or burns to ash. History atomizes and negates itself with our every shared breath. I need you like life needs life. I want you bad like a natural disaster. You are all I see. You are the only one I want to know”

6 Love as described by Henry Rollins (Black Flag)

7 Love as destructive & aggressive… Here Henry Rollins, spoken word artist and a former band member of “Black Flag” describes the experience of love in terms of destruction and aggression metaphors: he uses words as slam, slaughtering, explosion, bursting, natural disaster etc. Read it and experience how powerful these metaphors describe and paint (oops an other metaphor) the experience of love…

8 Another metaphor (Haruki Murakami)

9 What is this metaphor referring to? “Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn’t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn’t get in, and walk through it, step by step. There’s no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That’s the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine. An you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades. People will bleed there, and you will bleed too. Hot, red blood. You’ll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others. And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”

10 Life events as transformative for who you are…. The protagonist in ‘Kafka on the Shore’ goes on a journey that will transform his life forever….

11 What is a Metaphor? A figure of speech in language concisely expressed by comparing two things, saying that one is the other (rhetoric device) “a comparison that shows how two things that are not alike in most ways, are similar in another important way – E.g. ‘Life is like a journey’, ‘in Love there’s a loser and a winner’ A language device that we use to replace "normal" words in order to help others understand or enjoy our message. – E.g. we use the phrase “sun kissed" to describe a nice brown as if your skin has been kissed by the sun. – The popular software "Windows" is named for the rectangular units that show information in much the same way as the windows on our houses allow us to look outside in different directions and see different things.

12 Metaphor: transfer, carry over Word orgine: metaphora “carrying over”, Greek (μεταφορά) metaphorá “transfer” These are metaphors for metaphors “We compare something a man does not know with something he does know in order to help him to understand” said Hui Zi. “If you won't let me use parables (metaphors), how can I make things clear to you?”

13 More than just a figure of speech… Not only are metaphors a figure of speech, in which a term of phrase is applied to something, but it also has another context, a cognitive and experiential dimension: Metaphors are pervasive in everyday life. Not just in language, but also in thought and action. (Lakoff & Johnson, 1980) Metaphor reshapes our thinking, making “Play-Doh” of our conceptual frameworks

14 The essence of metaphor The essence of metaphor is understanding and experiencing one kind of thing in terms of another Understanding Experiencing “ Metaphors we live by” (book title by Lakoff & Johnson) They were the first to see metaphors in the light of cognitive terms.

15 Conceptual metaphor In the cognitive linguistic view metaphor is defined as understanding one conceptual domain in terms of another conceptual domain Examples of this include when we talk about: – Life in terms of journeys – Arguments in terms of wars – Ideas in terms of food – Social organizations in terms of plants Conceptual metaphor=Conceptual domain (A) is Conceptual domain (B) LOVE IS A JOURNEY = LOVE is a JOURNEY

16 What is a conceptual domain? A conceptual domain is any coherent organization of experience Thus, for example we have coherently organized knowledge about JOURNEYS that we rely in order to understand in this case LOVE

17 We understand/experience things in terms of other terms LOVE The experience of love/loving LOVE The experience of love/loving JOURNEY The experience of traveling JOURNEY The experience of traveling

18 Conceptual metaphors as a set of mappings Source: the conceptual domain from which we draw metaphorical expressions to understand another conceptual domain Target: the domain we try to understand through the use of the source domain

19 Mediation of Experience Target domain Target domain Source domain Source domain e.g. LOVE e.g. JOURNEY Mappings Transfer Transfer of Meaning

20 Love is a journey

21 Linguistic metaphor is the linguistic expression of conceptual metaphors Conceptual metaphor: LOVE IS A JOURNEY Linguistic manifestations: – “ look how far we have come” – “ We are at a crossroads” – “ We will just have to go our separate ways” – “ We can’t turn back” – “ I don’t think we can turn back” – “ Where are we?” – “Our marriage is on the rocks”


23 Metaphor has a generative function: it creates social realities


25 Metaphors highlight and obscure

26 Metaphors have an generative function: they create meaning The very creation of new connections is always accompanied by constraining a particular view Because attention becomes focused on specific features at the expense of others The use of metaphor can make us see the world in a particular way by emphasizing certain aspects of subject domains But is also hides other features There is a tension between similarity and difference This is way metaphors are the main carriers of ideologies (specific systems of ideas)

27 Other conceptual metaphors for LOVE Love is a chance game (gamble)

28 ABBA:“The winner takes it all” I don't wanna talk About the things we've gone through Though it's hurting me Now it's history I've played all my cards And that's what you've done too Nothing more to say No more ace to play The winner takes it all The loser standing small Beside the victory That's her destiny I was in your arms Thinking I belonged there I figured it made sense Building me a fence Building me a home Thinking I'd be strong there But I was a fool Playing by the rules

29 The winner takes it all The gods may throw a dice Their minds as cold as ice And someone way down here Loses someone dear The winner takes it all The loser has to fall It's simple and it's plain Why should I complain. But tell me does she kiss Like I used to kiss you? Does it feel the same When she calls your name? Somewhere deep inside You must know I miss you But what can I say Rules must be obeyed The judges will decide The likes of me abide Spectators of the show Always staying low The game is on again A lover or a friend A big thing or a small The winner takes it all (…) The winner takes it all The winner takes it all...

30 Argument is War

31 Linguistic expressions of the CM Argument is War War Your claims are indefensible. He attacked every weak point in my argument. His criticisms were right on target. I demolished his argument. I've never won an argument with him. You disagree? Okay, shoot! If you use that strategy, he'll wipe you out. He shot down all of my arguments.

32 Shakespeare: World is a stage All the world is a stage and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances As you like it 2/7

33 up

34 He is high-minded She has high standards She is up right She is an up-standing citizen. Feeling: Up I'm feeling up. That boosted my spirits. My spirits rose. You're in high spirits. Thinking about her always gives me a lift.

35 down

36 Feeling: Down I'm feeling down. I'm depressed. He's really low these days. I fell into a depression. My spirits sank. Low: That was a low trick. Don't be underhanded. I wouldn't stoop to that. That would be beneath me. He fell into the abyss of depravity. That was a low-down thing to do.

37 Time is money

38 You're wasting my time This gadget will save you hours I don't have the time to give you How do you spend your time these days? That flat tire cost me an hour. I've invested a lot of time in her I don't have enough time to spare for that You're running out of time You need to budget your time Put aside some time for ping pong Is that worth your while?

39 Conduits

40 Conduits (ideas, information, words) It’s hard to get that idea across to him I gave you that idea Your reasons came through to us It's difficult to put my ideas into words When you have a good idea, try to capture it immediately in words Try to pack more thought into fewer words You can't simply stuff ideas into a sentence any old way The meaning is right there in the words Don't force your meanings into the wrong words His words carry little meaning The introduction has a great deal of thought content Your words seem hollow.

41 Communication theories based on the conduit metaphor Communication is static

42 Communication is dynamic

43 Metaphor for dreams…(1) A poem on Dreams BY WISŁAWA SZYMBORSKA Despite the geologists’ knowledge and craft, mocking magnets, graphs, and maps— in a split second the dream piles before us mountains as stony as real life. And since mountains, then valleys, plains with perfect infrastructures. Without engineers, contractors, workers, bulldozers, diggers, or supplies— raging highways, instant bridges, thickly populated pop-up cities.

44 Metaphor for dreams…(2) Without directors, megaphones, and cameramen— crowds knowing exactly when to frighten us and when to vanish. Without architects deft in their craft, without carpenters, bricklayers, concrete pourers— on the path a sudden house just like a toy, and in it vast halls that echo with our steps and walls constructed out of solid air. Not just the scale, it’s also the precision— a specific watch, an entire fly, on the table a cloth with cross-stitched flowers, a bitten apple with teeth marks.

45 Metaphor for dreams…(3) And we—unlike circus acrobats, conjurers, wizards, and hypnotists— can fly unfledged, we light dark tunnels with our eyes, we wax eloquent in unknown tongues, talking not with just anyone, but with the dead. And as a bonus, despite our own freedom, the choices of our heart, our tastes, we’re swept away by amorous yearnings for— and the alarm clock rings.

46 Metaphor for dreams…(4) So what can they tell us, the writers of dream books, the scholars of oneiric signs and omens, the doctors with couches for analyses— if anything fits, it’s accidental, and for one reason only, that in our dreamings, in their shadowings and gleamings, in their multiplings, inconceivablings, in their haphazardings and widescatterings at times even a clear-cut meaning may slip through. TRANSLATED FROM THE POLISH BY CLARE CAVANAGH AND STANISLAW BARANCZAK


48 What does this metaphor refer to?

49 Women’s biological clock Conceive magazine asked an illustrator to illustrate a full page and two half pages, for a feature about women who are using techniques to “stop the fertility clock” and take control of their fertility.

50 Personal metaphor

51 The metaphor represents Human’s potential through lifelong learning The metamorphosis metaphor – A transformation, as by magic or sorcery. – A marked change in appearance, character, condition, or function. – Biology. A change in the form and often habits of an animal during normal development after the embryonic stage. – Metamorphosis includes, in insects, the transformation of a maggot into an adult fly and a caterpillar into a butterfly and, in amphibians, the changing of a tadpole into a frog. – Pathology. A usually degenerative change in the structure of a particular body tissue.

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