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Cognitive Semiotics

Editor-in-Chief: Bundgaard, Peer F.

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Ways of Perceiving, Moving, and Thinking: Revindicating Culture in Conceptual Metaphor Research

Rosario Caballero / Iraide Ibarretxe-Antuñano
Published Online: 2014-01-18 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cogsem.2013.5.12.268


Metaphor in cognitive linguistics is understood as a mapping where properties from one domain - the source - are transferred onto another domain: the target. The conceptual associations between source and target have usually been considered universal, unidirectional, and usage-based. One of the issues generally taken for granted, yet often underexplored, is the critical role of the notion of culture when characterizing conceptual metaphor. In this paper, we revisit and problematize the concepts of universality, unidirectionality, and usage-basedness and argue in favour of a broader-scoped approach to metaphor that brings in the notion of culture as key to metaphor research. By ‘culture’, we mean two, related things: (a) shared beliefs, knowledge, and world view(s) characterizing national, ethnic, and speech communities; and (b) the discourse communities using metaphor: i.e., those subcultures within broader cultural frames that are characterized by specific knowledge schemas, needs, and interests. To do so, we look into metaphors used by non-Western cultures and the architectural community when expressing the ways they perceive and think about their worlds.

Keywords : culture sieve; perception; motion; genre; metaphor; COGNITION IS PERCEPTION

About the article

Published Online: 2014-01-18

Published in Print: 2009-12-01

Citation Information: Cognitive Semiotics, Volume 5, Issue 1-2, Pages 268–290, ISSN (Online) 2235-2066, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cogsem.2013.5.12.268.

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