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Metaphors are events, not objects

Frank Brisard ; University of Antwerp

Puni tekst: engleski pdf 276 Kb


str. 17-39

preuzimanja: 960



This paper discusses the tension that exists between linguistic and psychological
approaches to metaphor. It aims to demonstrate that interdisciplinary
efforts are probably not all of equal value when it comes to
serving the ends of any individual discipline. In the case of psychological
research on metaphor, such interdisciplinarity may in fact be limited
to a heuristic relation, in which linguistics offers useful constraints in
defining an object of study that should allow psycholinguists to pursue
their own general goal of mapping the architecture of the language
processor. Thus, it may well be that the existing division of labor, between
linguistics and psycholinguistics, that holds for the study of
metaphor is a principled, instead of a merely contingent, reality. The
paper’s argumentation for this starts from the observation that the psycholinguistic
study of meaning phenomena in natural language is being
increasingly marked by a quasi-exclusive focus on properties of the
brain, as the seat of the mental lexicon, and not on the interpreter holding
that brain. I concentrate on methodological difficulties conjured up
by the “heteronomic” aspect of metaphor understanding, as well as on
theoretical problems with defining metaphor as an object of study in diverging

Ključne riječi

mental lexicon; metaphor; modularity; pragmatics; semantic processing

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