beyond conceptual metaphor theory: towards a usage-based account of figurative language vyv evans...

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Beyond Conceptual Metaphor Theory: Towards a Usage-based Account of Figurative Language Vyv Evans University of Brighton Slide 2 Aims To develop an account of the range of linguistic phenomena often described as constituting metaphor and metonymy Metaphor (1)a. Achilles is a lion b. Time whizzed by Metonymy (2)a. France beat New Zealand in the Rugby world cup b. The ham sandwich has wandering hands To highlight problems with the received view: CMT To situate my account within a modern usage-based approach to meaning-construction. This approach is grounded in a novel approach to lexical structure, and a concomitant cognitively realistic account of semantic composition--LCCM Theory Slide 3 Aims contd To address issues from workshop 1: to operationalise the distinction between figurative and literal langauge to operationalise the distinction between metaphor and metonymy to account for systematicities in metaphoric thought and language to do so from the perspective of regular processes of meaning-construction, semantic change and language use(rs) to do so while reflecting psychological reality Slide 4 My Claims Figurative thought makes use of the semantic resources of the semiotic system in which it is grounded, i.e. language--Imagining for speaking (Evans & Zinken 2005), rather than sub-symbolic (i.e., language-independent) knowledge structures The process of imagining for speaking is contrained by embodied cognition (not determined by it, cf. Lakoff and Johnson 1999) Figurative language arises from regular meaning- construction processes, which are, in principle, no different from those that give rise to non-figurative language Slide 5 My claims contd Figurative meaning derives from a meaning-construction process, rather than constituting pre-existing sub-symbolic knowledge structures which are assembled Figurative thought and understanding is a consequence of the expression of situated communicative intentions--a function of language use Slide 6 Presentation Structure CMT An overview of LCCM Theory Metaphor and metonymy as access phenomena The communicative functions of metaphor and metonymy Whats not metaphor Comparison with the two-domain approach of CMT Workshop questions Summary Slide 7 Conceptual Metaphor Theory Figurative language is licensed by a system of cross- domain and within-domain knowledge structures: conceptual metaphors and metonymies Some of these knowledge structures are universal (super-schematic schemas/primary metaphors). Others (compound metaphors) are language-specific. In both cases, these knowledge structures are a function of the embodiment of cognition (e.g., association between correlations within elemental primary scenes) Moreover, both kinds of metaphor are independent of language, i.e., sub-symbolic Figurative language is a function of using this system of knowledge structures Slide 8 What this view leaves out... Emphasis on figurative language as an outcome of a sub- symbolic knowledge system leaves out: The usage-based nature of figurative language: e.g., The role of figurative language in expressing communicative intentions, expression of specific discourse goals (Nerlich et al; 2004; Zinken et al., To appear; e.g., discourse metaphors) The nature of conceptual evolution (e.g., Musolff, Nerlich, etc.) The role of language as a semiotic system (e.g., linguistic conventions for expressing meaning) The role of language in the construction of meaning Slide 9 Some problems with CMT CMT relies (mainly) on linguistic evidence which is increasingly distant from the sub- symbolic knowledge structures it posits (Evans 2004a) Received view of motivation for asymmetry between target and source concepts/domains is cognitively implausible (Evans 2004a, b) Incompatible with much recent work on semantic change (e.g., Traugott and Dasher 2002; Rice et al. 1999) Slide 10 Some problems with CMT contd Out-of-date wrt to recent work on conceptual representation (e.g., Barsalou 1999; Croft 1993; Langacker 1987 Circular reasoning makes it difficult to falsify (uses language to point to sub- symbolic structures, which, in turn license the language patterns called on as evidence) Slide 11 Lexical concepts for time TEMPORAL LEXICAL- CONCEPT MOTION EVENTEXAMPLES 1. (Magnitude of) Duration: i) protracted duration ii) temporal compression Slow motion Stationariness Rapid motion Imperceptible motion drag, move slowly, etc. stand still, stop, freeze, etc. move fast, fly, whiz, zoom, etc. disappear, vanish, has gone, etc. 2. Temporal MatrixNon-terminal motionflow, move on, go on, etc. 3/4. Temporal Moment/ Temporal Event Deictic/ terminal motion come, arrive, approach, get closer, move up on, etc. Slide 12 Levels of temporal processing Temporal mechanisms and processes are central to perceptual and bodily function. These are hard- wired, and attributable to specific brain regions and biochemical processes. i) Microsecond processing: sound localisation, echolocation ii) Millisecond processing: speech generation/recognition, motion detection, motor coordination iii) Second processing: conscious time estimation iv) Circadian rhythms: appetite, wake-sleep Slide 13 Embodiment and language CMT provides an oversimplistic view of language and embodied cognition: e.g., time derives from event comparison Embodied cognition provides a constraining function on langauge qua semiotic system exx. Time conceptualised as motion thro space -central function of many perceptual systems is to detect motion, e.g., what and where visual systems -neurological mechanisms employ timing mechanisms for perceiving motion events -time is phenomenologically real, and correlates with perception of motion -elaboration patterns for temporal concepts is not predicted by conceptual metaphors, and are language-specific Slide 14 LCCM theory: Assumptions Meaning is not a structure or structures which can be assembled --the received Fregean view of compositionality. Meaning is a process or an act. That is, words (and other linguistic units) do not mean in their own right. Meaning emerges from: i) the way in which words are deployed in utterances, ii) the way they prompt for and draw upon conceptual (or encyclopaedic) knowledge, iii) the way this knowledge is integrated, in service of the expression of speaker (communicative) intentions. Slide 15 LCCM theory: Background The account of lexical representation builds on previous work with Andrea Tyler (Tyler & Evans 2003), and work on temporal cognition (Evans 2004). The account of meaning-construction builds on previous encyclopaedic approaches to meaning, in particular Langacker (1987), Cruse (e.g., 2002), and Crofts (1993) Domain Highlighting model. The account of meaning-construction is also informed by joint collabortion with Jrg Zinken in developing a unified account of figurative language. Slide 16 LCCM Theory Lexical representation Lexical concept integration lexical concepts cognitive models lexical concept selection fusion integrationinterpretation An overview of the architecture of LCCM Theory Slide 17 A Modern Account of Lexical Representation Semantic structure consists of representations which are specialised for encoding conceptual structure by making use of the symbolic resources available in a communication-focused system such as language Two components: i) lexical concepts, which provide access to ii) Cognitive models Slide 18 Lexical Concepts Lexical concepts are representations which encode conceptual structure in a form specific to language They have a number of properties : i) form-specific, ii) resolved and unresolved phonetic forms. iii) Combinatoriality (by virtue of fusion, discussed later) iii) A semantic network profile Slide 19 Lexical Concepts Contd iv) Each lexical concept has a lexical profile, a unique biometric identifier; consisting of semantic and formal selectional tendencies v) Semantic value: a. Informational characterisation (afford access to non- linguistic conceptual structure, aka cognitive models) b. Encapsulation (serve to define an idea) c. Relationality (non-relational vs relational) d. Temporal structure, aka mode of access (of relational lexical concepts) e. Referentiality (denotational vs deictic vs anaphoric) Slide 20 Examples Licensed by Lexical Concepts (1)a. The relationship lasted a long time[duration] b. The time for a decision has come[moment] c. Her time [=death] has come[event] d. British Summer Time begins today[measurement-system] (2)a. The picture is over the sofa[above] b. The picture is over the hole[covering] c. The government handed over power[transfer] d. She has a strange power over me[control] (3)a. The plane/bird is flying (in the sky)[self-propelled aerodynamic motion] b. The pilot is flying the plane (in the sky) [operation by agent of entity capable of aerodynamic motion] c. The child is flying the kite (in the breeze)[control of lightweight entity by agent] d. The flag is flying (in the breeze)[suspension of lightweight object] Slide 21 Cognitive Models Lexical concepts provide access to cognitive models Cognitive models are multi-modal knowledge structures, they are i) stable, yet ii) yet continuously updated (so not rigid), iii) they form the basis for categorisation judgements, and give rise to experiential simulations and conceptualisation (cf. Barsalou, Prinz, Zwaan, etc.). Lexical concepts, can, in conjunction with compositional processes, facilitate access routes through cognitive model profile: thus they provide semantic potential Cognitive models consist of: i) attributes (or facets), ii) relations (or structural invariants) Slide 22 Slide 23 Meaning Construction Meaning construction involves the combination of lexical concepts These representations are integrated in service of providing a conception, a situated meaning which expresses a specific communicative intention associated with the speaker Meaning construction proceeds by virtue of t


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