Are there any norms in metaphors we live by ?

Abstract : The paper deals with the issues of knowledge processing and transmission via metaphorical representation. It should be noted that within the cognitive paradigm in modern linguistics metaphor is considered to be a universal mental mechanism that uses previously acquired knowledge. Through preliminary theoretical literature review one can observe a trend to regards metaphors as ubiquitous components of any discourse. Due to their omnipresence metaphors are assumed to be indeliberate, subjective and therefore ruleless. The development of the conceptual metaphor theory and implementation of metaphor modelling (Lakoff, Johnson 1980) contributed greatly to the reevoluation of their (metaphors) state-of-the-art. We assume that it is of potentially high significance to reveal regularities in metaphorization using metaphor modelling in different discourse types. There is good reason to believe that the most effective method of metaphorization sudy is the composition of a metaphors thesaurus. The language material in this thesaurus is organized on the basis of two sense complexes (denotative descriptor and significative descriptor, or metaphor model), which build the lexical meaning. The metaphor model is determined as a conceptual domain (a source domain), which contains elements connected by different semantic relations (those of function, cause, example etc.). The name of the basic concept connecting all the elements of the taxons becomes the title of the whole metaphor model. Since the metaphor model results from the non-professional categorization but not from the scientific one, the distinction of metaphor models was made using the definitions of dictionaries. The basic category proves to be metaphor schemata of the discourse, that is the set of basic metaphor models including all metaphors revealed in the particular discourse. The dominating metaphor models comprise the central part of metaphor schemata of the discourse, the less representative metaphor models - its peripheral part. Metaphor schemata of the discourse is to give uniform treatment to the many different metaphor models so that different types of discourse can be contrasted and compared. Discourse is defined as verbally mediated human action represented by purpose-built text corpus (Mishlanova S. 2004), that results in creating a concept, that is specific knowledge of differen levels of abstraction, from naive, empirical to scientific, theoretical level. The concept has a vast array of verbal representation that permit a great number of differentiations. According to Ju. Karaulov they fall into three forms: "language-system", "language-text", "languagecompetence" (Karaulov Ju. 1999). The aim of this study is metaphor modelling of two ways of verbal representation of the concept (texts and associative field) in Russian and English medical discourses. Material. The volume of the thesaurus consists of 2,500 examples of metaphors chosen by the method of entire selection from scientific medical texts in the Russian and English language; 645 examples of metaphors from medical blogs in the Russian and English language; 328 responses from 164 participants (72 Russian and 92 American participants).Results.The scientific medical discourse showed the shift of the metaphor schemata nucleus to the right (Table 1).Table 1. Metaphor schemata in the scientific medical discourse in the Russian, English and German language compared (%) Scientific medical discourse Human Being Animate Nature Inanimate Nature Social Subject Russian 15* 10 15* 60** English 7 10 15* 68** ** - dominating metaphor model * - second most representative metaphor model In the scientific medical discourse Social Subject (60% in Russian, 68% in English) is the dominating metaphor model; Inanimate Nature (15% in Russian and English) is the second most representative metaphor model; Human Being and Animate Nature are the less representative metaphor models (Mishlanova S. 2004). The medical blog analysis showed parallelism of the metaphor schemata both in the Russian and English language (Table 2).Table 2. Metaphor schemata in the Russian and English medical blogs compared (%) Popular medical discourse Human Being Animate Nature Inanimate Nature Social Subject Russian 18* 1 6 75** English 15* 2 5 78** ** - dominating metaphor model * - second most representative metaphor model The dominating metaphor model Social Subject both in the Russian and English language (75% in Russian, 78% in English) is shifted to the right while the second most representative metaphor model Human Being is shifted to the left (18% in Russian, 15% in English). To study the representation of the basic medical concepts health and disease 164 participants were asked to complete the sentences: Health is similar to ... , because ... ; Disease is similar to ..., because ... . The associative field was structured in the form of the metaphor schemata (Table3).Table 3. Metaphor schemata of associative field in Russian and American participants compared (%) Popular medical discourse Human Being Animate Nature Inanimate Nature Social Subject Russian participants 34** 28* 20 20 American participants 56** 5 11 28* ** - dominating metaphor model * - second most representative metaphor model In this case the popular medical discourse showed the shift of the metaphor schemata nucleus of the Russian participants to the left. The dominating metaphor model Human Being comprises 34% in the Russian participants and 56% in American participants whereas the second most representative metaphor model differs in the Russian participants (Animate Nature - 28%) and American participants (Social Subject - 28%), the latter taking up the very right position (Mishlanova S., Polyakova S. 2009). Conclusion. Different types of the medical discourse were studied. The comparative study was undertaken to analyse various ways of verbal representation of the concept - texts and associative field ("language-competence") in the Russian and English language. The research showed common characteristics of metaphorization in texts (in our study - scientific discourse and medical blogs) whereas metaphor modelling of the associative field revealed cultural differences.
Type de document :
Communication dans un congrès
Communiquer dans un monde de normes. L'information et la communication dans les enjeux contemporains de la " mondialisation "., Mar 2012, France
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Soumis le : mardi 2 juillet 2013 - 18:02:43
Dernière modification le : mardi 2 juillet 2013 - 18:02:43

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Mishlanova Svetlana. Are there any norms in metaphors we live by ?. Communiquer dans un monde de normes. L'information et la communication dans les enjeux contemporains de la " mondialisation "., Mar 2012, France. 〈hal-00840679〉

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