A Proverb in Mind: The Cognitive Science of Proverbial Wit and Wisdom

By Richard P. Honeck | Go to book overview

2
The Tangle of Figurative Language

There are several forms of figurative language besides the proverb. The major alternatives are metaphor, simile, idiom, metonymy, and oxymoron. Some scholars would include sarcasm, irony, hyperbole, understatement, and rhetorical questions, although these are better treated as linguistic functions than as unique linguistic forms. There are related uses of language such as indirect speech acts. There is also a very long list of figures of speech, many with strange sounding names, like asyndeton, by which conjunctions are omitted between phrases as in "She ate, she talked, she left."

This chapter focuses on the major forms because they are clear cases of figuration and have been the most thoroughly analyzed. First, however, let us back up and place figurative language within an even larger framework.


INDIRECTNESS

The human species distinguishes itself from other animals in many ways. One way is in terms of intelligence, most especially intelligence made manifest through language. Another related way is in terms of indirectness. We humans are highly skilled at reaching goals by symbolic and generally roundabout means. Nonhuman animals have primitive abilities in this realm: camouflage, traps that look enticing to prey but turn out to be foodmakers, and mock displays of aggression. Animals show great intelligence in these endeavors, but the level of complexity does not compare to that exhibited by humans. Moreover, indirectness

-44-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
A Proverb in Mind: The Cognitive Science of Proverbial Wit and Wisdom
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • 1 - Views of the Proverb 1
  • 2 - The Tangle of Figurative Language 44
  • 3 - Cognitive Foundations 85
  • 4 - Theories of Proverb Cognition 122
  • 5 - Under, Inside, and Outside the Proverb 175
  • 6 - Brain, Development, and Intelligence 214
  • 7 - New Horizons 247
  • Appendix: Proverb Source Materials 278
  • References 282
  • Author Index 299
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 308

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.