Word Order (Research Surveys in Linguistics)

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But they simply have not said how this is done.

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Metaphor research would be greatly enhanced if such guidelines could be provided. Cameron , Steen , this volume and others have begun taking preliminary steps in trying to provide more concise methods for identifying metaphor in language and thought. Their methods are far more inductive than is the deductive way that cognitive linguists tend to work in identifying conceptual metaphors. Yet the problems these scholars from literature and applied linguistics raise about cognitive linguistic methods are right on the mark and merit serious discussion.

Psychologists interested in metaphor often seek my advice on what constitutes a metaphor in language and how to infer conceptual metaphors because they have received no guidelines from the cognitive linguistic work.

Cognitive linguistics would do well to focus explicitly on providing a set of guidelines, which can be empirically tested and shown to be reliable and reproducible see Steen, this issue. I make this suggestion in a very positive spirit in the aim of broadening cognitive linguists' influence on the study of metaphor.

After all, there are many metaphor scholars who are not cognitive linguists, but who wish to engage in various research based, partly, on the identification of metaphor in language and conceptual metaphors in thought. These people cry out for accessible guidelines that they can reliably employ in doing empirical research that tests specific hypotheses e. Some of the confusion about the definition of metaphor in language and thought arises precisely because there is no public document that suggests how these identifications can be made.

The time is ripe for such a document that can serve the broad metaphor community. A different concern, again, about cognitive linguistic work is that this research is unable to specify what occurs in ordinary, fast, mostly unconscious language use. Of course, cognitive linguists, like scholars from any academic field, are limited in the work they do given the empirical methods they employ in arguing for specific theories of language and thought, for example.

Linguists are not psychologists who have an array of techniques for uncovering the fast, unconscious mental processes used in producing and understanding language. Conscious introspections, even those of a trained linguist, are unable to provide the kind of evidence on the psychology of language use, including how thought shapes linguistic interpretation. But, in fact, contrary to the complaints of many psychologists, there is a growing body of experimental research that presents evidence in support of certain cognitive linguistic claims on metaphor in language and thought.

This work generally examines the hypothesis that metaphoric thought motivates real-life, contemporary speakers' use and understanding of why various words and expressions mean what they do. Evaluating this hypothesis requires objective evidence studying people who are not familiar with the particular theory at stake. Various psycholinguistic experimental methods have been devised to assess whether a people conceptualize of certain topics via metaphor, b whether conceptual metaphors assist people in making sense of WHY verbal expressions, particularly idioms and metaphors mean what they do, and c whether people access conceptual metaphors during their immediate, online production and comprehension of conventional and novel language.

Let me briefly discuss this last line of evidence, because this work embraces a research strategy to deal with the problem of circularity of reasoning in cognitive linguistic analyses. Psychologists have argued that cognitive linguistic work says little about human thought because all of its analyses are language-based. Thus, cognitive linguists start with metaphorical conventional expressions, infer the presence of some conceptual metaphor motivating the meanings of these conventional expressions, which is then tested by seeing if other conventional and novel expressions are also explained by a particular conceptual metaphor.

This language-thought-language reasoning processes never really explores the true nonlinguistic, conceptual basis for metaphors. But aspects of my work have attempted to do just this by systematically examining people's nonlinguistic knowledge about source domains, independently of the way these source domains are employed in linguistic expressions. The data from these independent analyses of embodied source domains are used to make predictions about what gets mapped onto different target domains in conceptual and primary metaphors.

For instance, Gibbs examined people's intuitions of the bodily experiences of containment and several other image schemas. These image schemas serve as the source domains for several important conceptual metaphors e. Participants imagined their bodies to be container filled with fluid, and then answered questions about the causes and consequences of the fluid exiting the container.

These responses provided a rough image-schematic profile of the source domain e. Follow-up studies showed that people had precise understanding for idioms, like blow your stack , which could be predicted from the independent analysis of the source domain. Thus, people understand expressions such as blow your stack not to generally mean "get very angry," but something far more specific, namely "one gets angry when feeling intense internal pressure, and exhibits that anger unintentionally in a violent manner.

Other experimental studies showed that people's understandings of metaphorical expressions about abstract human desires e. Participants in both California and Brazil Campinas filled out a detailed survey about their experiences of hunger. The survey enabled us to determine what aspects of embodied hunger were most salient and which parts were less prominent.

We then showed that people map their salient hunger experiences onto their understanding of the abstract domains of human desires i. This is why people rate statements like I craved her affection and I'm completely dizzy for my wife to be more sensible than expressions such as I realized my feet hurt for you. These various psycholinguistic studies provide independent evidence on the role of embodied metaphorical thought in people use and understandings of conventional language.

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This information was then used to make experimental, falsifiable prediction about people's intuitions of linguistic meaning. In this way, the psycholinguistic studies provide objective evidence on the role that metaphoric thought plays in conventional language use, but also shows that people are actually accessing conceptual metaphors when interpreting certain kinds of figurative language Gibbs, , and importantly, may be doing so automatically Gentner et al.

My general argument here is that psycholinguistic studies adequately respond to some of the skeptical challenges about cognitive linguistic claims on metaphor. It is important to note that the skeptical claims raised earlier are valid, because cognitive linguistic work by itself is insufficient to conclusively demonstrating metaphors role in thought and realistic language use.

But in combination with psycholinguistic evidence, cited and described above, cognitive linguistics has made tremendous strides toward overcoming the restrictive, traditional view of metaphor that still, to some extent, exists among certain scholarly communities. The cognitive linguistic revolution on metaphor continues, although the debates over the role that metaphor plays in language, thought, and culture will surely continue.

There are several specific challenges that all metaphor scholars should strive to meet in their respective theoretical and empirical research. Let me briefly outline some of these. First, metaphor scholars must be explicit in the theoretical goals motivating their work. Scholars too often assume that everyone interested in metaphor is pursuing the same set of questions, or that research findings from one's own field of study should necessarily extend to theoretical concerns of scholars in all disciplines.

For instance, cognitive linguists often assume without comment that their ideas on "metaphor understanding" pertain to any theory of metaphor processing, recognition, interpretation, and appreciation.


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Yet each of these different aspects of metaphoric language use requires different theoretical accounts, and can only be properly described using appropriate research methods from many fields of study. Thus, cognitive linguistic methods are most relevant to demonstrating the ubiquity of metaphor in language, and can suggest conceptual reasons for why this may be so. But cognitive linguistic work can not make definite claims about ordinary speakers' use of metaphorical knowledge in everyday language use and in on-line metaphor production and comprehension. Second, in light of the above suggestion, metaphor scholars must recognize the limitations of their own methods.

This recognition requires that scholars first firmly establish the identity of their methods, their reliability, and their replicability e. This concern may be cognitive linguistics' most significant, immediate challenge, but one that these scholars themselves can address without needing to look for additional evidence from neighboring disciplines although issues of establishing reliability of methods is a key element in psychological research.

Third, researchers need to know the limits of their respective theories, given the types of metaphoric language they study. Scholars too often assume that accounts of their favorite linguistic examples e. But the diversity of metaphoric language suggests that different metaphorical mechanisms may be needed to explain the motivation and use of different kinds of metaphorical language.

Grady , in fact, has nicely described how there are, at least, two motivations for metaphor: resemblance and correlation, each of which underlies different kinds of linguistic statements. Fourth, as noted above, cognitive linguistic work on metaphor mostly focuses on constructed linguistic examples, and has not examined the interpersonal dynamics that make particular metaphors salient in some discourse context. One observation from conversational analysts is that people mix their metaphors frequently when they talk, and conversational partners even negotiate which metaphors best characterize some emotion, idea, or situation.

Research in sociolinguistics and educational linguistics has presented remarkable findings on the subtle dynamics of real-talk, but too often ignore the constraining presence of metaphorical thought because they have no method available for illuminating pervasive schemes in discourse. My hope is that cognitive linguists, and others, will expand their empirical work to explore the socio-cultural dynamics of conceptual metaphor.

Finally, little cognitive linguistic work has been devoted to understanding the cultural basis for metaphor in language and thought. Much of the research that does exist examines the extent to which particular conceptual metaphors motivate the existence of specific patterns of conventional expressions in varying languages Cienki, ; Emmanation, ; Kovecses, This work is important in demonstrating the ubiquity of metaphor in thought across culture. Moreover, some of the cognitive linguistic research suggests that the similarities of conceptual metaphors across languages are related to commonalities in embodied experience Koveceses, ; Yu, But there is still insufficient attention paid to the exact ways that cultural beliefs shape both people's understandings of their embodied experiences and the conceptual metaphors which arise from these experiences.

There is a need for better understanding the cultural grounding not only for the metaphors people use in talking about their experience, but also for the very embodied experiences that often underlie these metaphors. The roles of body and mind in abstract thought. Psychological Science, 13 , Defining, knowing, and describing metaphor.

LOW Eds. Researching and applying metaphor pp. New York: Cambridge University Press.

A Survey of Linguists and Language Researchers: Harassment, Bias, and What We Can Do About It

Metaphor in educational discourse. New York: Continuum. Metaphor and cultural models as bases and profiles. Amsterdam: Benjamins. Congruence by degree: On the relation between metaphor and cultural models. Metaphor in cognitive linguistics pp. The way we think. New York: Basic Books. Journal Pragmatics, 24, As time goes by: Understanding time as spatial metaphor. Each book offers the reader relatively tight structuring in sections and subsections, and a detailed index for ease of orientation.

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