Metaphor and Metonymy at the Crossroads: A Cognitive Perspective

Metaphor and Metonymy at the Crossroads: A Cognitive Perspective

Metaphor and Metonymy at the Crossroads: A Cognitive Perspective

Metaphor and Metonymy at the Crossroads: A Cognitive Perspective

Synopsis

Written by some of the best known specialists, this collection of articles investigates in great detail a number of metaphorically and/or metonymically structured conceptual and linguistic domains and discusses in new, provocative ways the nature of these cognitive-linguistic mechanisms, their operation, and their interaction.

Excerpt

This new edition will make the basic notions of the cognitive theory of metaphor and metonymy, and a sample of its applications, available to more students and scholars of English linguistics as well as other fields. I am grateful to the series editors of Topics in English Linguistics, Bernd Kortmann and Elizabeth Closs Traugott, for proposing to Mouton de Gruyter to re-issue the book in this format, and to Anke Beck, its editorin-chief, for accepting the idea. My gratitude also goes to Birgit Sievert, the managing editor of the series, for her careful work, and for inviting me to write this preface.

With the exception of this preface, the present paperback edition does not constitute a revision of the contents of the book as it was published two years ago. Such a brief time span since its publication did not justify altering the contents of the book or adding some extra essays. On the other hand, having the various contributors revise their articles, or inviting and editing some additional ones, would have delayed the publication of this re-issue enormously, thus frustrating its main purpose, namely, to make the book immediately accessible to a larger potential readership. Another reason for keeping the contents unchanged is that the theoretical positions and the methodologies reflected in the book are still completely valid and fairly representative of the major trends in metaphor and metonymy research from a cognitive linguistic perspective. Finally, it would be very difficult in a collection of essays to cover every important topic or line of research in the field, and adding two or more essays would hardly bring us any closer to exhaustiveness. The book is still completely adequate for its purpose as it stands, and its references to other major books and articles remain relevant today, and will remain so for some time.

The Cognitive Theory of Metaphor and Metonymy is still at the three “crossroads” specified in the introductory chapter of this book, which will frame future research in the field for a number of years. The first crossroads concerns the important changes the theory is undergoing. Some of these are the attempts to provide more precise definitions of metaphor and metonymy, especially of the latter, the new proposals regarding the perennial issue of the distinction between metaphor and metonymy, and the attempts to account more precisely for the experiential motivation of metaphor. Concerning this last issue, two different but complementary proposals are the hypothesis of the metonymic motivation of metaphor, discussed in some detail in the present volume, and the theory of primary metaphor put forward by Grady (e. g. Grady 1999). All of these topics and proposals . . .

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