3

METAPHOR AND THE DICTIONARY

Word-class and word-formation

In the first chapter, I argued that there is a metaphorical cline from the least active Dead and Sleeping metaphors to the most Active ones. And I gave examples of how, over time, meanings which were extremely metaphorical and dependent on pragmatic inferencing become conventionalized and so more dependent on semantic decoding. In Chapter 2 I demonstrated that classes of these “Inactive” metaphors pervade the lexicon and form networks by which we conceptualize abstractions in concrete terms. In this chapter I explore how the choice of word-class has consequences for metaphorical interpretation, and how derivational processes of word-formation are used to bring about such Lexicalization or semanticizing of metaphor.


3.1. WORD-CLASS AND METAPHOR

The most obvious way of classifying metaphors is to categorize them according to the word-class to which the V-term belongs. Metaphors can readily be found which fall into all the major word-classes.

Nouns

DM31

Director Matt Busby, the Godfather of the club

AL

the raindrop eye

GB1

The past is a foreign country.

Verbs

CEC520

There are certain areas of the syllabus that students queue up for.

MD832

the lines that seem to gnaw upon all Faith

PQ172

She did not so much cook as assassinate food. (S. Jameson)

Adjectives

DT6

‘I expect a treaty, a full-fledged treaty on medium-range missiles.’

DB

down the vast edges drear and naked shingles of the world

DN16

The air was thick with a bass chorus.

Adverbs

MD1291

Seat thyself sultanically among the moons of Saturn.

-82-

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The Language of Metaphors
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations ix
  • Tables x
  • Acknowledgements xi
  • Abbreviations xv
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Metaphorical and Literal Language 14
  • 2 - Metaphor and the Dictionary 41
  • 3 - Metaphor and the Dictionary 82
  • 4 - How Different Kinds of Metaphors Work 107
  • 5 - Relevance Theory and the Functions of Metaphor 137
  • 6 - The Signalling of Metaphor 168
  • 7 - The Specification of Topics 198
  • 8 - The Specification of Grounds 229
  • 9 - The Interplay of Metaphors 255
  • 10 - Metaphor in Its Social Context 283
  • Notes 329
  • References 335
  • Texts Used for Examples and Analysis (and Abbreviations Used in References) 342
  • Index 347
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