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Open scratch Pétur hjá Tolla 1 Oct 2008 Metaphor.

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1 open scratch http://www.etymonline.com

2 Pétur hjá Tolla 1 Oct 2008 Metaphor

3 Lakoff and Johnson There is no painless way to get inflation down. We now have an excellent foundation on which to build. Her career was in ruins.

4 How do they define ‘metaphor’? Source and target? Ever heard of a mixed metaphor? Lakoff and Johnson

5 Literal vs. figurative language? Lock (below) says: ‘All language is troped, which is to say that no word has precisely one “literal” meaning.’ The traditional approach: (Etymonline): ‘Technically, in rhetoric, [a trope is] a figure of speech which consists in the use of a word or phrase in a sense other than that which is proper to it.’ Lakoff and Johnson : … why they annoy me!

6 The traditional standpoint: There is ‘literal’ language which really means what it says, AND WHICH IS ORIGINAL AND PRIMARY and there is ‘figurative’ language, which is derived from ‘literal language’, and is ‘poetic’ and ‘secondary’. Lakoff and Johnson : … why they annoy me!

7 ’s approach: If anything, it’s the other way round: troped, poetic language is primary, ‘literal’ language derived. But Lock says: ‘All language is troped, which is to say that no word has precisely one “literal” meaning.’ We´ll come back to this. Lakoff and Johnson : … why they annoy me!

8 Literal vs. figurative language? Dead metaphors? Lakoff and Johnson : … why they annoy me!

9 Dead metaphors? Lakoff and Johnson seem to have decided that “dead metaphors” are no longer metaphoric – no longer tropes. (Tolli Handout 1) Following Barfield, Lock, Lecercle and others my contention in this lecture will be that an understanding of what ‘dead’ metaphors are is fundamental to our understanding of figurative language.

10 Dead metaphors? ‘ … one of the first things that a student of etymology… discovers for himself is that every modern language … is apparently nothing, from beginning to end, but an unconscionable tissue of dead, or petrified metaphors.’ (Barfield, see below) Dead metaphors (catachresis) seem to constitute the material of living language.

11 All these terms are dead metaphors: metaphor dead metaphor literal figurative fact and fiction trope verse

12 metaphor - translation Gk. metaphora "a transfer," especially of the sense of one word to a different word, lit. "a carrying over," from metapherein "transfer, carry over," from meta- "over, across" (see meta-) + pherein "to carry, bear" transfero, I transfer, -tuli –(t)latum PIE *tel-, *tol- "to bear, carry" Atlas "the Bearer" of Heaven;" L. tolerare "to bear, support," latus "borne;" O.E. þolian "to endure;" Icel. þola

13 From Lock’s Key to Reading http://englishstudies.ku.dk/upload/application/pdf/f51d6748/ Lock's%20Key%20to%20Reading%2009-2006.pdf http://englishstudies.ku.dk/upload/application/pdf/f51d6748/ Lock's%20Key%20to%20Reading%2009-2006.pdf Linguistic Tropes All language is troped, which is to say that no word has precisely one ‘literal’ meaning.

14 The meaning of ‘literal’?

15 From Lock’s Key to Reading http://englishstudies.ku.dk/upload/application/pdf/f51d6748/ Lock's%20Key%20to%20Reading%2009-2006.pdf http://englishstudies.ku.dk/upload/application/pdf/f51d6748/ Lock's%20Key%20to%20Reading%2009-2006.pdf Linguistic Tropes All language is troped, which is to say that no word has precisely one ‘literal’ meaning.

16 From Lock’s Key to Reading http://englishstudies.ku.dk/upload/application/pdf/f51d6748/ Lock's%20Key%20to%20Reading%2009-2006.pdf http://englishstudies.ku.dk/upload/application/pdf/f51d6748/ Lock's%20Key%20to%20Reading%2009-2006.pdf Linguistic Tropes The ways in which meanings deviate can be classed under two broad headings: Metaphor and Metonymy.

17 From Lock’s Key to Reading http://englishstudies.ku.dk/upload/application/pdf/f51d6748/ Lock's%20Key%20to%20Reading%2009-2006.pdf http://englishstudies.ku.dk/upload/application/pdf/f51d6748/ Lock's%20Key%20to%20Reading%2009-2006.pdf Metaphor works on the principle of likeness; Metonymy works on the principle of contiguity – no necessary likeness. The Crown. England collapses. A particular form of metaphor is the simile, indicated by the use of ‘like’ or ‘as’. Simile is explicit metaphor. Most metaphor is implicit: the face of the clock, and its hands.

18 From Lock’s Key to Reading http://englishstudies.ku.dk/upload/application/pdf/f51d6748/ Lock's%20Key%20to%20Reading%2009-2006.pdf Metaphor works on the principle of likeness; Metonymy works on the principle of proximity. A common form of metonymy is synecdoche, or the proximity of containment (whether container for contained, part for whole, or vice versa): pass the bottle, pass the salt; lend us a hand; use your head; a grin without a cat.

19 From Lock’s Key to Reading http://englishstudies.ku.dk/upload/application/pdf/f51d6748/ Lock's%20Key%20to%20Reading%2009-2006.pdf A large amount of metaphor works by personification (prosopopoeia), the comparison of the inhuman to the human: body, corporation, legs, chest, trunk, head and foot (capital, pedestal).

20 From Lock’s Key to Reading http://englishstudies.ku.dk/upload/application/pdf/f51d6748/ Lock's%20Key%20to%20Reading%2009-2006.pdf Most of the time metaphor and metonymy pass unnoticed. This, the daily waking slumber of the communicating mind, we call catachresis. When our attention is drawn to a trope, we are enjoying literature, and attending to language.

21 catachresis kata-khresis = abusio “The use of a word in a context that differs from its proper application.” This figure is generally considered a vice; however, Quintilian defends its use as a way by which one adapts existing terms to applications where a proper term does not exist. http://humanities.byu.edu/rhetoric/

22 Catachresis is usually interpreted as abusio, the misuse or abuse of metaphor; but Lock and other writers today use the term in its meaning “make full use of, thoroughly employ”. This usage is in accordance with the etymology of the word: catachresis

23 kataa-khresis, from kata-khraomai, make full use of, apply, use to the uttermost, use up, misuse, abuse kata down, from above. Khrao, to furnish what is needful. kata-khresis = ab-usio > ‘abuse’

24 Owen Barfield, 1898-1997 “The first and last Inkling” J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams “He towers above us all.” (C.S. Lewis)

25 Owen Barfield, 1898-1997 Poetic Diction: A Study In Meaning (Faber & Gwyer 1928)Faber & Gwyer Romanticism Comes of Age (1944) essays This Ever Diverse Pair (1950) as G. A. L. Burgeon Worlds Apart: A Dialogue of the 1960's (1963) Saving the Appearances: a study in Idolatry (1965) Unancestral Voice (1965) The Silver Trumpet (Eerdmans 1968)[1]Eerdmans[1] Speaker's Meaning (1971) c.1967 History, Guilt, and Habit (Wesleyan University Press, 1981) What Coleridge Thought (1971) The Rediscovery of Meaning, and other essays (1977) History in English Words (1985) with a foreword by W. H. Auden Owen Barfield on C. S. Lewis (1989) edited by G. B. Tennyson

26 Owen Barfield, 1898-1997 Poetic Diction: a study in meaning (1928) Saving the Appearances: a study in idolatry (1965) History, Guilt, and Habit (1981) What Coleridge Thought (1971) The Rediscovery of Meaning, and other essays (1977) History in English Words (1985) with a foreword by W. H. Auden

27 Owen Barfield, 1898-1997 Poetic Diction: a study in meaning (1928) Saving the Appearances: a study in idolatry (1965) The Rediscovery of Meaning, and other essays (1977) –‘The Rediscovery of Meaning’ –‘The Meaning of “Literal”’

28 Poetic Diction: a study in meaning (1928) Chapter III Metaphor Chapter IV Meaning and Myth

29 Poetic Diction: a study in meaning (1928). Chapter III Metaphor … one of the first things that a student of etymology… discovers for himself is that every modern language … is apparently nothing, from beginning to end, but an unconscionable tissue of dead, or petrified metaphors. 63

30 Poetic Diction: a study in meaning (1928). Chapter III Metaphor If we trace the meanings of a great many words … about as far back as etymology can take us, we are at once made to realize that an overwhelming proportion, if not all, of them referred in earlier days to one of these two solid things – a solid, sensible object, or some animal (probably human) activity. 63-4

31 Poetic Diction: a study in meaning (1928). Chapter III Metaphor abstract – abs trahere “afdraga” centre L. centrum "center," orig. fixed point of the two points of a compass, from Gk. kentron "sharp point, goad," from kentein "stitch," from PIE base *kent- "to prick" (Etymonline) goad, broddstafur til að reka naut

32 Poetic Diction: a study in meaning (1928). Chapter III Metaphor Look up abstract terms in http://www.etymonline.com inspirationnature pleasurecircle ideatruth

33 Does it make sense to say that “circle” is an abstract term? Eric Havelock, A Preface to Plato 1963

34 Poetic Diction: a study in meaning (1928). Chapter III Metaphor Anatole France L’âme possède Dieu dans la mesure où elle participe à l’absolu The soul possesses God to the extent that she participates in the Absolute Le souffle est assis sur celui qui brille, au boisson du don qu’elle reçoit en ce qui est tout délíé The breath is seated on something shining, in the container of the share it receives in what is completely untied.

35 example genos in Homer = “family, race” Plato also “sex, gender” Xenonphone use the word to mean “type” genus, genetic, kyn, kind, konr, kona etc

36 example genus –(pl. genera), 1551 as a term of logic (biological sense dates from 1608), from L. genus (gen. generis) "race, stock, kind," cognate with Gk. genos "race, kind," and gonos "birth, offspring, stock," from PIE base *gen-/*gon-/*gn- "produce, beget, be born" (cf. Skt. janati "begets, bears," janah "race," jatah "born;" Avestan zizanenti "they bear;" Gk. gignesthai "to become, happen;" L. gignere "to beget," gnasci "to be born," genius "procreative divinity, inborn tutelary spirit, innate quality," ingenium "inborn character," germen "shoot, bud, embryo, germ;" Lith. gentis "kinsmen;" Goth. kuni "race;" O.E. cennan "beget, create;" O.H.G. kind "child;" O.Ir. ro-genar "I was born;" Welsh geni "to be born"). SKIP:

37 Trojan War 12th or 13 cent ?if factual Homer 9th or 8th cent Hesiod around 700 Socrates 469 -399 Plato 428-347 Xenophon born ?431, historian, Memorabilia (defence of Soc). Aristotle 384-322 SKIP:

38 Summary so far Abstract words seem to have concrete original meanings The further we go back in time, the more ‘alive’ these ‘dead’ metaphors seem to be. In other words, the older the language, the more figurative it seems to be. Isn’t there a paradox here somewhere?

39 paradox We assume a time when mankind was a thinker of simple material thoughts, and had no figurative language. Then suddenly, humans started thinking abstract thoughts and became poets to express these thoughts. Isn’t there a paradox here somewhere?

40 Universal Metaphor Index (!) High Low Long, long, long long ago Still very long ago Homer Plato

41 paradox The paradox occurs when we make a distinction between literal and figurative language. This distinction leads us to assume that metaphor is derived language, and that non-metaphoric, ‘literal’ language is original and fundamental

42 Cf Lock (above): All language is troped, which is to say that no word has precisely one ‘literal’ meaning. Barfield, Lock, Lecercle, etc,. question the existence of literal language. ‘literal’ language without metaphor

43 Barfield: ‘The Meaning of “Literal”’ in The Rediscovery of Meaning and other essays Barfield: ‘The Meaning of "Literal”’

44 Barfield: ‘The Meaning of “Literal”’ in The Rediscovery of Meaning and other essays I.A Richards, The Philosophy of Rhetoric, 1936 –vehicle (literal or surface meaning) –tenor (the figurative meaning) To what extent do these terms correspond to L and J’s “source” and “target”?

45 Barfield: ‘The Meaning of “Literal”’ in The Rediscovery of Meaning and other essays Dead metaphors (Lock: catachresis) Repeat: Following Barfield, Lock, Lecercle and others my contention in this lecture will be that an understanding of what ‘dead’ metaphors are is fundamental to our understanding of figurative language.

46 Barfield: ‘The Meaning of “Literal”’ in The Rediscovery of Meaning and other essays ‘Etymologically, we find a kind of graduated scale in the relationships between vehicle and tenor’ in the following 4 words: (35) outsider noble gentle scruple v and t clearly distinguished the v ‘rank’ still in use the v ‘rank’ hardly in use the v ‘sharp stone’ (scrupulus) has disappeared

47 The traditional view: 4 stages 1. literary meaning → material object 2. concomitant meaning → vehicle and tenor 3. substituted meaning → the vehicle is vanishing 4. final stage → new (altered) literal meaning Barfield: ‘The Meaning of “Literal”’ in The Rediscovery of Meaning and other essays

48 Barfield: ‘born’ literal ‘achieved’ literal Barfield: ‘The Meaning of “Literal”’ in The Rediscovery of Meaning and other essays

49 Examples: pneuma → anima → âme ‘breath …. soul’ spiritus ‘wind’ → spirit Barfield: ‘The Meaning of “Literal”’ in The Rediscovery of Meaning and other essays

50 ‘Tens of thousands’ of such abstract words. Progress, tendency, culture, democracy, liberality, inhibition, motivation, responsibility -these are ‘now just “literal” words – the sort of words we have to use, when we are admonished not to speak in metaphors.’ (38) Barfield: ‘The Meaning of “Literal”’ in The Rediscovery of Meaning and other essays

51 Barfield rejects this view of the origin of metaphor. Scenario: ‘I am a primitive man, who has just become aware of a sort of immaterial something within me, but I have no word for it. In my experience up to now, it is not even the sort of thing for which there are words. What I have got available is a bunch of strictly literal labels for things like sun, moon, cloud, rock, river, wind, etc. None of these words has any immaterial overtones at all [or else they could not be ‘born’ literal]. The word Barfield: ‘The Meaning of “Literal”’ in The Rediscovery of Meaning and other essays

52 wind, for instance, simply means what we today call air or oxygen, the physical stuff which keeps on coming into or going out of me. I now take the step of substituting my word for, and with it my thought of, wind for my wordless thought for the sort of something. That is the picture.’ p.40. - Metaphor-making is a common way to express new thoughts in modern society – figurative language comes easy to us. but ‘what we are trying to imagine now is the first metaphor in a wholly literal world.’ Barfield: ‘The Meaning of “Literal”’ in The Rediscovery of Meaning and other essays

53 …. ‘what we are trying to imagine now is the first metaphor in a wholly literal world.’ An impossible scenario; because ‘consciousness and symbolization are simultaneous and correlative.’ (40) We are asked to believe that the new concept of ‘spirit’ came into being in primitive man’s mind without a symbol, and so he used another existent symbol for it. This existing symbol was a vehicle, and the new tenor must have been conceptually separable from its vehicle. - Bullshit! (vehicle = moooo, tenor = smelly language) Barfield: ‘The Meaning of “Literal”’ in The Rediscovery of Meaning and other essays

54 Alternative: there were already some connotations in the word wind which primitive man recognized. Wind was the life of the world; inside him was the same life. From its very beginning, the word ‘wind’ was a vehicle with a tenor. If everything – the forest, the stones, the sunset, the animals – were part of the same reality that man was part of – if everything was alive, concepts were already metaphorical from the beginning. Barfield: ‘The Meaning of “Literal”’ in The Rediscovery of Meaning and other essays

55 Universal Metaphor Index High Low Long, long, long long ago Today (revised version)

56 Barfield’s conclusions: ‘Literalness is a a quality which some words have achieved in the course of their history; it is not a quality with which the first words were born.’ (41) Most words which signify objects began life as vehicles with tenor – if they are literal now, it is because they have lost their tenor. ‘Just as our immaterial language has acquired its literal meanings by dropping the vehicular reference, so our material language has acquired its reference by dropping the tenorial reference.’ 41

57 Barfield’s conclusions: Examples: Spirit originally meant the wind in the forest and in ourselves. It has lost the material meaning. Heart was originally the pulsating organ in the breast with its connotations of emotion. In medical language today it has lost its immaterial meaning, but we retain this meaning day to day: ‘No one has the heart to tell him she has run off with Steve.’ We call this metaphorical usage, and if we keep to this terminology we must also say that the word heart also has this metaphorical meaning from the very beginning of language.

58 Barfield’s conclusions: The implicationalist vs. the explicationalist view of metaphor: explicationalist: normal language is literal: there is ‘some sort of unclouded correspondence’ (43) between an external reality and literal language. All metaphors have a literal vehicle (Lakoff’s source) and a figurative tenor (L’s target) which can be detached from each other. Any metaphor can also be expressed with ‘literal’ language. implicationalist: normal language is metapahorical, and always was.. ‘What we call literalness is a late stage in a long-drawn- out historical process’ (43).

59 Barfield’s conclusions: And finally: ‘If the word on its very first appearance was already a vehicle with a tenor, then the given affinity which I suggested between the concept of wind and the concept of spirit must have been “given” in the nature of things and not by some kind of friction in language.’ 42 ‘.. the mind of man is not, as Coleridge put it, “a lazy onlooker” on an external world but itself a structural component of the world it contemplates.’ 42

60 Next on the agenda The role of literacy in this development.


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