Confronting Metaphor in Use. an Applied Linguistic Approach

By Herteg, Crina | The Journal of Linguistic and Intercultural Education, January 1, 2017 | Go to article overview

Confronting Metaphor in Use. an Applied Linguistic Approach


Herteg, Crina, The Journal of Linguistic and Intercultural Education


Mara Sophia Zanotto, Lynne Cameron, and Marilda C. Cavalcanti (Eds.) Confronting metaphor in use. An applied linguistic approach. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2008. Pp. vii-315. ISBN 978-90-2725417-7

The book edited by Mara Sophia Zanotto, Lynne Cameron and Marilda C. Cavalcanti is based on the conference Metaphor in language and thought held in Sao Paolo, Brazil, 2002. The editors share the idea that metaphors influence and dictate the way in which we understand ourselves and others, as well as Lakoff and Johnson's hypotheses that metaphors pertain to a large array of aspects, contexts and settings in our everyday life: classroom, professional settings, talks, or the workplace.

The book is preceded by an introduction and it is divided into four parts: Part 1 Investigating the nature of metaphor in use, Part 2 Examining metaphor in corpora, Part 3 Understanding metaphor in language education, Part 4 Using metaphor as a tool in professional development. At their turn all the four parts are divided into chapters. Part 1 comprises four contributions: 1. Opening Pandora's box: Multiple readings of 'a metaphor' by Mara Sophia Zanotto and Dieli Vesaro Palma, 2. Metaphor shifting in the dynamics of talk by Lynne Cameron, 3. Adding sound to the picture: motivating the lexical composition of metaphorical idioms in English, Dutch, and Spanish by Frank Boers and Helene Stengers, 4. Metaphor and positioning in academic book reviews by Graham Low. Part 2 encompasses four contributions as follows: 1. Brothers in arms: Contradictory metaphors in contemporary marketing discourse by Veronika Koller, 2. Metaphor probabilities in corpora by Tony Berber Sardinha, 3. Corpus linguistic data and conceptual metaphor theory by Alice Deignan, 4. Exploring metaphors in corpora: A study of "war" in corpus generated data by Solange Vereza. Part 3 is made up of two contributions: 1. Young learners' understanding offigurative language by Ana M. Piquer-Piriz. and 2. The relationship between associative thinking, analogical reasoning, image formation and metaphoric extension strategies by Jeannette Littlemore. Part 4 includes the following contributions: 1. The awakening of Sleeping Beauty. A teacher 's metaphor ofprofessional development of language teaching by Joao A. Telles, 2. En route through metaphors. Chatrooms as safe places to deal with difficulties in an online course by Marilda C. Cavalcanti and Ana Cecilia Bizon, 3. School teachers in favela contexts. Metaphors they live by by Fernanda Coelho Liberali, 4. Professional knowledge landscape. A metaphor to conceive of email practices in business settings by Maximina M. Freire.

The editors announce the key topics of the book that are related to variation in both linguistic and conceptual metaphors. The contributors try to offer a different perspective on conceptual metaphor: more connected to its role in discourse, as metaphors analysed in this book are captured in real language. The authors underline the previous pictures of metaphor as a matter of thought and they consider it is time to move to a higher level, that of embedding metaphor in discourse, the real lives across the very different cultures of Europe and Brazil. The authors consider that embedding metaphors in discourse offers a multi-faceted phenomenon, underlining that the understanding of metaphors would be incomplete without knowledge of how metaphor operates in its discourse environment. (Zanotto, Cameron, & Cavalcanti 2008: 2).

In Chapter 1 Mara Sophia Zanotto and Dieli Vesaro Palma offer multiple perspectives on metaphor. The authors interpret metaphor in a different key, starting from two principles governing metaphors: the determinacy principle and the indeterminacy principle. The authors consider that a deep theoretical and empirical investigation is necessary in order to map the different kinds of indeterminacy found in metaphor. The authors link indeterminacy of metaphors to semantics and pragmatics stating that the theoreticians in the field of semantics and pragmatics who deal with indeterminacy have not deeply discussed the specific case of metaphor. …

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