LoboVault Home

Figuration & Frequency: A Usage-Based Approach to Metaphor


Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/10908

Figuration & Frequency: A Usage-Based Approach to Metaphor

Show full item record

Title: Figuration & Frequency: A Usage-Based Approach to Metaphor
Author: Sanford, Daniel
Advisor(s): Travis, Catherine
Committee Member(s): Bybee, Joan
Cameron, Lynne
Croft, William
Morford, Jill
Department: University of New Mexico. Dept. of Linguistics
Subject: metaphor
LC Subject(s): Metaphor
Cognitive grammar
Functionalism (Linguistics)
Degree Level: Doctoral
Abstract: Two of the major claims of the cognitivist approach to metaphor, the paradigm which has emerged as dominant over the last three decades, are 1) that metaphor is a conceptual, rather than strictly linguistic, phenomenon, and 2) that metaphor exemplifies processes which are at work in cognition more generally. This view of metaphor is here placed within the context of the functionalist approach to language, which asserts that linguistic structure is emergent in nature, the use of language directly influencing the storage and representation thereof. The dissertation argues that metaphors, as conventionalized cognitive structures, are themselves highly influenced by frequency effects, and that metaphorical cross-domain mappings exist in the mind as conceptual schemata. Two corpus-based methods for assessing the frequency of overall metaphorical mappings are presented, both based on the use of key terms, attained using a survey method, for metaphorical source domains. These findings inform the hypotheses of a series of three experiments which test three key predictions of the view that metaphors are affected by frequency: that frequent metaphors should be more productive, accessible, and acceptable than infrequent ones. Both the corpus and experimental approaches, as well as data from previous research on metaphor at varying levels of conventionalization, support the view that metaphors are a usage-based phenomenon. The properties of various types of metaphorical utterances (e.g., idioms and novel metaphors) are best accounted for as arising from the interaction of the conceptual schemata that license cross-domain mappings, and syntactic schemata that link meanings to syntactic templates.
Graduation Date: May 2010
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/10908

Files in this item

Files Size Format View
Sanford_Dissertation.pdf 4.210Mb PDF View/Open

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show full item record

UNM Libraries

Search LoboVault


My Account