bbl 3207 analysing metaphors. metaphor a metaphor is a process of mapping between two different...

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  • BBL 3207Analysing Metaphors

  • MetaphorA metaphor is a process of mapping between two different conceptual domains. The different domains are known as the target domain and the source domain. Target domain = the topic or concept that you want to describe through the metaphor Source domain = the concept that you draw upon in order to create the metaphorical construction.Domain = any coherent organization of experience

  • Examples of conceptual metaphorYour claims are indefensible.He attacked every weak point in my argument.His criticisms were right on target.I demolished his argument.

    ARGUMENT IS WAR

  • Your claims are indefensible.He attacked every weak point in my argument.His criticisms were right on target.I demolished his argument.

    ARGUMENT IS WARLinguistic metaphorsConceptual metaphorElements from the domain of WAR are mapped onto the domains of ARGUMENT.

  • I cant stomach that ideaYour theorys half-baked His story is pretty hard to swallowThats food for thought

    IDEAS ARE FOOD

  • Look how far weve come.Were at a crossroads.Well just have to go our separate ways.We cant turn back now.I dont think this relationship is going anywhere.Hell never let anyone get in his way.Shell go places in life.

    LOVE IS A JOURNEY

  • Conceptual MetaphorsLIFE IS A JOURNEY metaphorJOURNEY = source domainLIFE = target domain

    Some mappings from source to target domainThe person living the life is a traveller.Purposes are destinations.Difficulties are obstacles on the journey.Alternative life decisions are crossroads

  • Gibbs (1994): metaphor plays an important part in our everyday conceptual thought.

    Metaphors are not some kind of distorted literal thought, but rather are basic schemes by which people conceptualise their experience and their external world.

  • Conventional vs novel metaphorsLinguistic level

    LOVE IS A JOURNEYOur relationship isnt going anywhere / is off the track / is on the rocks (Conventional)

    Vs.

    Were driving in the fast lane on the freeway of love (Novel)

  • Conventional vs novel metaphorsConceptual level

    LOVE IS A JOURNEY(Conventional)Vs.LOVE IS A COLLABORATIVE WORK OF ART (Novel) e.g. Our relationship is a beautiful mosaic we have made together

  • Creativity in the use of metaphorTwo roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less travelled by, And that has made all the difference(Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken)It is usually interpreted as dealing metaphorically with options for how to live life, and that the speaker chose to do things differently than most other people do. The typical interpretation of Frosts lines does not depend on the poets genius, but derives from the readers implicit knowledge about the conceptual metaphor LIFE IS A JOURNEY.

  • Creativity in the use of metaphorWhat the Chronics are or most of us are machines with flaws inside that cant be repaired, flaws born in, or flaws beat in over so many years of the guy running head-on into solid things that by the time the hospital found him he was bleeding rust in some vacant lot.(K. Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest)

  • Creativity in the use of metaphorPoetry abounds in image-based conceptual metaphors that are rich in imagistic detail but do not use image-schemas. e.g. My wife . . . whose waist is an hourglass.(A. Breton, Free Union)Here we have two detailed images: one for the body of a woman, and one for an hourglass. The images are based on the shape of the two objects.

  • Creativity in the use of metaphore.g. My wife . . . whose waist is an hourglass.(A. Breton, Free Union)According to the metaphor, we take the image of the detailed shape of the hourglass and map it onto the detailed shape of the womans body. The words in the metaphor do not say anything about which part of the hourglass should be mapped onto which part of the womans body. Yet we know exactly which part maps onto which on the basis of the common shape. This is what makes image metaphors conceptual as well, rather than simply linguistic.

  • Understanding MetaphorsUnderstanding figurative language involve inferencing.Inferencing - a process of assigning a meaning to uses of language by making educated guesses based on evidence from the text and other sources.

  • The process of understanding metaphorsFirst, we notice that the literal meaning cannot be true. Second, we assume that the phrase must have a potentially true meaning and that we are required to invent or infer a non-literal meaning that is plausible for the sentence.

  • The process of understanding metaphorsThird, we set about trying to infer that plausible non-literal meaning. Plausibility depends on a number of factors: the meaning must be capable of being true, it must fit with the rest of the text, and it must have some relation to what is actually said the non-literal meaning must have some relation to the literal meaning.)

  • Tenor, vehicle, groundI.A. Richards - analysis of metaphor involves identifying the different components of metaphor tenor, vehicle and ground. The word or phrase in a sentence that cannot be taken literally in the context is called the vehicle.The meaning that is implied, or referred to, by the vehicle is called the tenor.To work out the ground of the metaphor we need to identify what vehicle and tenor have in common (their common ground) and filter out those aspects of the vehicle that do not relate to the tenor.

  • The man is a lion

    Tenor = The man Vehicle = Lion Ground = thevehicleof the lion indicates that thetenor('the man') possesses a quality or qualities that one associates with the lion, such as braveness (which is the traditional association in the English language), fierceness, having a voracious appetite, etc.

  • Tenor vs vehiclesource domain vs target domain

    The man is a lion PEOPLE ARE ANIMALS

  • Classifying metaphors: concretive, animistic, humanizingAnother important strategy for analysing and understanding a metaphor is to compare vehicle and tenor in order to identify what kind of transference of meaning goes on between them (Leech, 1969).

  • Concretive MetaphorsA concretive metaphor uses a concrete term to talk about an abstract thing. Giving physical substance to abstractionsSee pg. 92

    e.g. the burden of responsibility a vicious circle

  • Animistic MetaphorsA term usually associated with animate things (living creatures) to talk about an inanimate thing.e.g. leg of a table stinging rain

  • Humanising / anthropomorphic metaphorsSometimes called personification A term usually associated with human beings to talk about a non-human thing. e.g. hands of a clock The kettles sad song Humanizing metaphor is connected with the pathetic fallacy (the idea that the world reflects or participates in ones emotions): the kettles sad song might thus be used as a way of indicating a characters mood by implicitly describing how he or she perceives the kettles sound.

  • the nightclubs are full of sharksGiven that it is unlikely that this will be true, we infer that the statement means that the men (and/or women) in the nightclubs behave in predatory ways like sharks.In other words, human beings are metaphorically described as a kind of animal.

  • the dog flew at the intruders throatThe dogs action is described as if it were the action of a bird (hence we get an animalanimal transference).

  • Extended metaphorsWhen a piece of language uses several vehicles from the same area of thought (or semantic field) it is called an extended metaphor. A metaphor in which there is one primary subject and several other secondary objects used for comparison.

  • Extended metaphors"All the world's a stage and men and women merely players. " (William Shakespeare's play - 'As you like it)

    The world is described as a stage which is the primary entity and men and women are the subsidiary subjects who are a part of the stage.

  • Mixed metaphorA collection of metaphors which may not necessarily align well with each other. Their usage is most of the time deliberate and spontaneous. Sometimes they add a comic punch to the statements. "Driving down the dangerous terrains of Guatemala was nothing but playing with fire in the belly."

  • Mixed metaphorBooks on good style used to condemn the use of mixed metaphor (the combination of two or more metaphors whose vehicles come from different and incongruous areas or semantic fields) because they can have unintentionally ludicrous effects. For precisely this reason, corny jokes often exploit mixed metaphor.

    "All at once he was alone in this noisy hive with no place to roost." (Tom Wolfe,The Bonfire of the Vanities)Milking the temporary workers for all they were worth, the manager barked orders at them.

  • Mixed metaphorExpanding like the petals of young flowersI watch the gentle opening of your minds,And the sweet loosening of the spell that bindsYour intellectual energies and powersThat stretch (like young birds in soft summer hours)Their wings to try their strength.

    The effect of education on the pupils minds is figured as an expanding of flower petals, as an opening (a dead metaphor), as the release from a spell, and as the stretching of fledglings wings in order to get ready for first flight.

  • Mixed metaphorExpanding like the petals of young flowersI watch the gentle opening of your minds,And the sweet loosening of the spell that bindsYour intellectual energies and powersThat stretch (like young birds in soft summer hours)Their wings to try their strength.

    While these metaphors figure the pupils minds as flow