Ext and tran mea 2005

MEANING :Metaphor and Metonymy
Shelley dreamed it. Now the dream decays.
The props crumble. The familiar ways
are stale tears trodden underfoot.
The heart’s flower withers at the root.
Bury it, then, in history’s sterile dust.
The slow years shall tame your tawny lust.
(Song at the Year’s Turning by R.S Thomas,
1956 )
Group Work: Questions
Why do people continue to speak the
way they do or change the way they
Hoffman views language as inextricably
linked with identity. Explain how this is so.
A language can assume a symbolic
significance in what Clark Blaise refers to as
individual’s “moral landscape”. Consider the
ways in which language functions as symbol
in the article and the video.
Cultural Meanings are
transmitted by:
• The classification of words: kinship
• The focal meaning and prototypes:The best
example of a word
• The processes of semantic transfer and and
extension: metaphors and metonymies
Irony tries to capture the difference
between opinion and truth, revealing
two levels of meaning: a literal one
and a deeper one. Irony doesn't work
until you see the second meaning.
• Unspecified comparisons between entities
sharing some features: animal (lion) and
• Metaphor: an implied comparison between
entity or event and another based on their
sharing certain referential attributes.
Metaphors highlight features of similarity
between different entities.
You make my blood boil.
She got all steamed up.
He's just blowing off steam.
He erupted.
He boiled over.
He exploded
• I hold certain beliefs.
• He has strong beliefs.
• He clings to his beliefs
• Don't give up your beliefs.
Recurring Metaphors
• Our conceptual system:
metaphorical in nature
• We think and speak: conceptual
metaphorical models
Metaphorical Concept: Time is
She spends her time unwisely.
The diversion should buy him some time.
You don’t use your time profitably.
How do you spend your time these days?
This gadget will save you hours.
Orientational opposition: “up”
and “down”
Emotions:You’re in high spirits. He’s feeling low today.
Consciousness: Wake up!
She sank into a coma.
Health: He’s in top shape.
Her heath is declining.
Control: I’m on top of the situation. He fell from power.
Status: She’ll rise to the top. He’s at the bottom of society
Lineal Metaphors
• to set the record straight
• to straighten up, etc
• “Keeping to the straight and narrow”
(positive, indicates honesty)
• “Wandering from the path” (negative,
indicates untruthfulness)
Container images metaphors
• transfers non-physical, non-tangible entities
or processes into objects
• He’s out of his mind.
• She’s in love.
• I feel under the whether
Do metaphorical processes occur
• In Navajo Many events are described with verbs
that have the theme of movement as their focal
• one dresses: one moves into clothing
• one lives:
one moves about here and there
• one is young: one moves about newly
• to sing:
to move words out of an enclosed
Metaphors of movement in
• Less crucial for cultural meaning
• She followed in her mothers' footsteps.
• The business was about to take flight.
• His head was spinning with excitement.
Personification Metaphors
• personification (Latin persona: "character",
• It occurs in many languages
• Non-human entity is identified with a human one
or given human characteristics.
• Cricket has been good to me.
• The New Zealand dollar had a quiet month.
• Life dealt him a heavy blow.
• A figure of speech in which one word or
phrase is substituted for another with which
it is closely associated
• highlight one aspect of an entity while by
singling out one of its attributes
• Example: We need more arms in here. (arms
for people)
Metonymic entity associations
• part of an object to substitute or
represent the whole: Our company needs
more brains.
• Producer for the object produced: She
likes to read Margaret Atwood.
• Object used or owned by someone for
the user/owner: The ’54 Chevy lives
around the corner.
Common in many languages
Metaphorically refer to non-relatives
Express intimacy
Extended to plants and animals
Navajo: mother extended to earth,
agricultural fields, corn, sheep
Complex semantic transfers:
Amma (Kannada Language in
• 1 any adult women: adult women assumed to be
married, assumed to be mothers
• 2nd to Goddesses: like mothers can be benevolent
and punitive
• 3rd Metonymically the word Amma can mean
smallpox: association of some goddesses with the
cause and cure of the disease.
• To describe actions, states or to label
inanimate objects
• Could you give me a hand with these
boxes? action
• It is very important for us all to put our
heads together. action
• Can you keep an eye on things here until
I get back? action
• The backbone of society, The bowels of society.
• Spies are the eyes and ears of a society:
The seat of emotions e.g. heart vs. head; Being in
the midst of something
• Getting to the heart of the matter.
More rarely, as a metaphor for will e.g.
• He doesn’t have the heart to go on, his heart
isn’t in it.
• symbolic content of language expressed in both
metaphoric and metonymic extensions and
• Metaphor is: Understanding and experiencing one
kind of thing (anger or beliefs) in terms of
another: Time is money
• Metonymy: A process of replacing one entity with
another related entity
Why do we need to understand
metaphors and metonymies?
• Learn about relationship between speaker
and their physical and social environments
• Learn about cultural priorities
• Learning about cultural models
Study Question
• What is the difference between metaphor
and metonymy? What are their functions in
language and in culture?