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English hearts and what they tell us about language and mind

Buerki, Andreas ORCID: 2004. English hearts and what they tell us about language and mind. SOAS Working Papers in Linguistics 13 , pp. 247-267.

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In this critical application of the Conceptual Theory of Metaphor (henceforth CTM) I will show that with help of the CTM it is possible to capture very significant generalisations about the English language. This will be demonstrated with respect to a set of data comprising 60 representative English expressions which include the word heart. These expressions account for what may reasonably be considered the vast majority of uses of the word heart in English, an area of the language which, although seemingly abundant with metaphor, has not previously been the focus of an analysis in the CTM framework. The expressions are taken from corpus data representing both spoken and written sources. Employing CTM-tools, I shall extract mappings and metonymies that motivate all these expressions from a small number of proposed mappings. Supported by findings of the analysis, I furthermore propose that certain adjustments to the CTM are necessary, including the following: - Not any possible hypothetical mapping fitting linguistic data is a plausibly psy- chologically real mapping - Whereas some contribution of mappings to understanding is likely, claims that mappings are necessary for conceptualisation, particularly the claim that target domain concepts can only be understood via source domain appears insufficiently supported. - Mappings can likely generate, not only motivate senses of words and expressions. - the addition of mapping rules (such as X AS PERSON) would enhance the ability of the CTM to capture generalisations. On the other hand, findings from the present study provide support for claims that mappings are cognitive, not simply linguistic and that the nature of mappings is per- manent not dynamic.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Publisher: SOAS University of London
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Last Modified: 28 Oct 2022 10:23

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