Editor-in-Chief: Kecskes, Istvan
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This paper discusses the role that culture plays in the configuration of one of the most crucial meaning mechanisms in cognitive linguistics, namely conceptual metaphors, which are defined as mappings between two different conceptual domains. These mappings are embodied, that is, grounded in our sensorimotor, cultural, and social experience of the world around us. This paper argues that culture is a key concept for the explanation of how conceptual metaphors emerge from our knowledge structures. It proposes the need of a culture sieve that manipulates culture elements in two ways. On the one hand, it “filters” those elements that are in accordance with the premises of a given culture, and on the other, it “impregnates” the mapping with touches of a culture in contrast with other cultural and social systems. The paper is divided in two main parts: First, an overview of the relationship between metaphor, embodiment and culture in cognitive linguistics is provided. Second, the importance of the culture sieve is illustrated with two case studies from two popular conceptual domains in metaphor studies: perception and body-parts.
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