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Figurative Meaning Construction: From Cognitive Operations to Thought and Culture

Ghsoon Reda
Published Online: 2016-12-30 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opli-2016-0033


This paper examines the construction of figurative language within the approach to metaphoric complexes provided by the Lexical Constructional Model (LCM). This approach specifies the ways in which metaphors or metaphors and metonymies operate together at different levels of meaning construction, forming metaphtonymies, metaphoric amalgams and metaphoric chains. The study introduces a pattern of metaphoric complexes that involves two different kinds of comparisons operating together: Comparison by resemblance and comparison by contrast. The observations obtained from the study are: i) metaphoric complexes can be more complex than indicated by the LCM approach to the phenomena and ii) the cognitive operations (or conceptual mappings) involved in the construction of complex figures do not simply underlie a plausible interpretation of such figures; they can also bear illocutionary force and thus affect thought and culture. The points are demonstrated by examining the above-mentioned pattern in some religious figures, analysing the effect the construction of such figures has had on readers’ beliefs and behaviour (i.e. thought and culture).

Keywords: Lexical Constructional Model; metaphoric amalgams; metaphoric chains; metaphtonymy


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About the article

Received: 2016-05-11

Accepted: 2016-11-07

Published Online: 2016-12-30

Citation Information: Open Linguistics, Volume 2, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 2300-9969, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opli-2016-0033.

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© 2016 Ghsoon Reda. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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