The formalist definition of relative clauses as a clearly distinct construction with two syntactically linked clauses has been recently questioned by cross-linguistic evidence. It is here further undermined by a discussion of constructions in Modern Greek, which although deviating from the structural definition conform nonetheless to a semantic-pragmatic one. Above all, acquisition data is presented as independent support for a unified approach to relatives, which can be based on conceptual integration. Syntactically underspecified relatives are shown to appear as early as syntactically-driven ones, with those based on more transparent semantic linking of clauses preceding those based on pragmatic linking. This suggests early handling of the metonymic nature of grammar but also a growing cognitive ability for more indeterminate grammatical relationships.
In this paper I consider the ways in which a metaphor that was first introduced in an article on pain mechanisms published in Science has been adapted and developed in a selection of texts that can be broadly described as `educational': a neuroscience website aimed at children, a self-help guide for chronic pain sufferers, and a book aimed at medical professionals. In the course of the discussion I point out both the advantages and potential disadvantages of these developments. As such, this paper aims to make a contribution to a growing body of research on metaphor in actual contexts of use, and particularly on variation in the use of metaphor across genres that are aimed at different audiences.
This paper deals with the conceptual semantics and the discourse functions of Spanish epistemic adverbs and/or adverbial phrases such as quizá, tal vez, a lo mejor, igual, lo mismo 'maybe/perhaps' in informal conversation. The study is based upon the following hypothesis: the best basis for a modal adverb to be 'successful' in spontaneous conversation is having a 'dynamic' semantic profile with an 'instructional' role in speaker-participant interaction. It will be shown that the conceptual profiles of grammaticalized adverbial expressions such as a lo mejor allow for specific interactional functions in conversation. The argument is corroborated by striking semantic and frequency differences with the less grammaticalized but more productive modal adverbs ending in -mente (posiblemente and probablemente). My corpus analysis also indicates that, from an interactional point of view, a lo mejor, igual and lo mismo have consistent discourse functions which quizá(s) and the adverbs in -mente clearly lack.
In this paper we carry out a study of multimodal metaphors in a corpus of 52 ICT advertisements published in English-speaking magazines during the period 1999-2002. The general theoretical framework adopted for this purpose is a combination of text world theory and of a multimodal approach to metaphor in discourse, which in turn draws from the principles of conceptual metaphor theory and of discourse theories. The main argument presented in this study is that metaphor is a key instrument in the presentation and negotiation of conventional and creative meanings in advertising discourse as a type of public discourse. More specifically, ICT advertisements during the time period 1999-2002 are particularly interesting for the study of metaphor because of the combination of conventional and innovative underlying concepts which are grounded in the specific socio-cultural context of recent advances in new technologies. In this sense, metaphor contributes to the discourse functions of display, by inviting the receiver to identify with fantasy worlds which are rooted in assumed patterns of socio-cultural behaviour and which are presented in the ad, and to the functions of persuasion and of cognitive change. First, we have identified and classified multimodal metaphors in the corpus according to their cognitive-functional type, then, following Semino (2008) we have identified predominant discourse patterns of metaphorical occurrences. Finally, we have identified the main resources for creativity in the advertisements. We have also studied how the combinations of individual micro-propositional metaphors give rise to extended metaphors which revolve around the megametaphor LIFE IS A CYBERSPACE JOURNEY. This megametaphor invites the receiver to reinterpret the more conventional metaphor LIFE IS A JOURNEY in terms of the new advances and experiences in society regarding IC technologies.
This article offers a Cognitive Semantic approach to antonymy in language and thought. Based on a series of recent empirical investigations using different observational techniques, we analyze (i) the nature of the category of antonymy, and (ii) the status of its members in terms of goodness of opposition. Our purpose is to synthesize these empirical investigations and provide a theoretical framework that is capable of accounting for antonymy as a mode of thought in language use and meaning-making. We show that antonymy has conceptual basis, but in contrast to other lexico-semantic construals, a limited number of words seem to have special lexical status as dimensional protagonists. Form–meaning pairings are antonyms when they are used as binary opposites. Configurationally, this translates into a construal where some content is divided by a BOUNDARY. This configuration (or schema) is a necessary requirement for meanings to be used as antonyms and all antonyms have equal status as members. In contrast to categorization by configuration, categorization by contentful meaning structures forms a continuum ranging from strongly related pairings as core members to
couplings on the outskirts. In order to explain why some lexico-semantic couplings tend to form conventionalized pairs, we appeal to their ontological set-up, the symmetry of the antonyms in relation to the boundary between the meaning structures, their contextual range of use and frequency.
Discourse coherence can be approached as one of the variables that allow both the writer and the reader to cope with the meaning of texts. It will be hypothesised that this is possible because coherence integrates both cognitive and textual aspects. In fact, most of contemporary linguistic and pragmatic theories have laid emphasis on the need to go beyond the sentence and enter into the realms of text and discourse so as to grasp meaning. Hence, meaning results from an ongoing process of negotiation among language users. An important consequence of this is the need to approach discourse formation and comprehension as a cognitive process, which in turn entails that the notion of coherence, as the key defining trait of discourse and of texture, must also be cognitively grounded. It is for this reason that a cognitive approach to interpersonal communication, like the one supplied by relevance theory, appears to be in a position to provide suitable proposals for the explanation of the production, processing and interpretation of discourse. This paper will therefore aim to examine critically the proposals on coherence contributed in the framework of relevance theory and assess them in relation with other discourse and cognitive approaches. Its main underlying contention is that these proposals are best understood as complementary rather than mutually excluding.
In this article I review studies published between 1996 and 2010 in which the effectiveness of Cognitive-Semantics informed second language pedagogy was put to the test. Altogether, the published evidence is manifestly favourable, although questions remain as to the scope of application of the approach and the precise properties that produce its positive effects. It must also be recognised that Cognitive Semantic ventures into language pedagogy stand a lot to gain from a closer collaboration with `mainstream' applied linguistics, not only with regard to general insights into the nature of second language acquisition but also with regard to this type of research methodology.
This paper argues that a cognitive account of metaphor comprehension needs to include awareness of metaphoricity in order to fully explain the processes involved. In Relevance Theory as well as in other cognitively oriented approaches, much can be gained by making explicit the difference between conscious and subconscious processing: whether a communicator is aware of an expression's metaphoricity or not may have an impact on the type of cognitive processing involved. A theoretical investigation is offered which explores the potential role of reflective reasoning in metaphor understanding. The discussion is based on the relevance-theoretic account, which explains the subconscious inferential processes involved. However, it leaves open the question of the potential impact of conscious availability of the tension between literal and figurative meaning, which is reminiscent of domain mappings in Cognitive Linguistics. Within metaphor research, a focus on awareness offers valuable findings for cognitively oriented schools of thought.
Death is a timeless taboo in which psychological, religious and social interdictions coexist. In consequence, human beings feel reluctant to deal with the subject of death using straightforward terms and therefore tend to soften the effect of what they really wish to communicate. With this in mind, it is the aim of this paper to explore the euphemistic language on a sample of epitaphs from the Eastern Highgate Cemetery in London. As figurative language constitutes a potent source for death-related euphemism, the present study proceeds to trace an account of the different conceptual metaphors in epitaphs within the framework of Lakoff and Johnson's Conceptual Metaphor Theory. The results obtained support the idea that most of the conceptualizations of death observed in the gravestones imply a positive value-judgment of human mortality and aim at assisting those left alive in coping with the pain of loss and the fear of dying.
Although metaphor has always been a main concern in TS, little has been done to apply a far-raging cognitive theory of metaphor and metonymy to translation. As a rule, the few authors that have tried to deal with it are eclectic in their cognitive approach and show a prescriptive bias as concerns translation theory. However, thanks to the influence of disciplines like Cognitive Linguistics, among others, Descriptive Translation Studies (DTS) can undertake a more realistic study of metaphor translation which reflects the true nature of metaphor and the underlying regularities of its interlinguistic transfer, including cases excluded a priori by traditional studies for being `unfaithful', `anomalous' or `incorrect' renderings.
The present contribution argues that illocutionary interpretation is not only metonymic (Panther & Thornburg, 1998, 2003), but also a matter of active zone/profile discrepancy (Langacker, 1987, 1999). The theoretical framework is the Lexical Constructional Model propounded by Ruiz de Mendoza & Mairal (2008, 2011) and Mairal & Ruiz de Mendoza (2009). In this study I examine active zone/profile discrepancy in a number of expressions that are constructionally polysemous from an illocutionary perspective. Such is the case of the utterance
Stay away from me if you don’t want to get in trouble
, which profiles an instruction to avoid some negative consequences and can be understood either as a threat or a warning depending on the active zone. The results of the analysis provide evidence of the need to consider cognitive construal operations in the approach to illocution adopted by the Lexical Constructional Model.
This study examines Spanish verb-noun compounds in terms of the role played by, and the relationship between, metonymy and metaphor in generating them. After exploring different referent types denoted by Spanish verb-noun compounds such as instrument, agent, place, plant, animal/insect, and causer event, sample examples are analyzed in each referent type for their conceptualization patterns. The analytical tools are based on the notion of domain-internal and domain-external conceptual mappings for metonymy and metaphor, respectively, as well as on the model proposed in the Combined Input Hypothesis for the analysis of metaphors involving multiple inputs. The analysis of the data shows that there are at least four metonymic and metaphoric patterns involved in Spanish verb-noun compounds and that these patterns are productive. The four patters are: (i) only metonymy is involved; (ii) target-in-source metonymy is derived from metaphor; (iii) metaphor is derived from target-in-source metonymy, and (iv) metonymy is derived from a metaphor which is derived from metonymy. This study proposes that these four types of metonymic and metaphoric patterns mediate the production of novel Spanish verb-noun compounds. The implication of this finding is that the more complex the cognitive operations involved in verb-noun compounds, the less predictable the meaning of the compound will be for the language users who first hear them; but once learnt, the meaning of the compound is stored as a whole unit in their mental lexicon. An analysis of a larger corpus of data in future studies will reveal a more comprehensive picture of the relational patterns involved in Spanish verb-noun compounds.
So-called mixed metaphors have not received much attention in cognitive linguistic research, despite acknowledgments to the fact that the combination of metaphors is in fact pervasive. This paper makes the case that mixed metaphors present a unique test case for existing theories of metaphor, in particular Conceptual Metaphor Theory and Blending Theory, since these theories make different predictions with regard to the comprehension of mixed metaphors. It will be argued that mixed metaphors selectively combine aspects of semantically conflicting source domains into one figurative meaning. The argument will be made through a two-tiered empirical study that uses quantitative corpus data as well as experimental evidence.
This paper outlines a multi-dimensional/multi-disciplinary framework for the study of metaphor. It expands on the cognitive linguistic approach to metaphor in language and thought by adding the dimension of communication, and it expands on the predominantly linguistic and psychological approaches by adding the discipline of social science. This creates a map of the field in which nine main areas of research can be distinguished and connected to each other in precise ways. It allows for renewed attention to the deliberate use of metaphor in communication, in contrast with non-deliberate use, and asks the question whether the interaction between deliberate and non-deliberate use of metaphor in specific social domains can contribute to an explanation of the discourse career of metaphor. The suggestion is made that metaphorical models in language, thought, and communication can be classified as official, contested, implicit, and emerging, which may offer new perspectives on the interaction between social, psychological, and linguistic properties and functions of metaphor in discourse.
The objective of the present paper is a comparison of the GRID questionnaire and a cognitive corpus-based analysis, which are used to investigate a selection of emotions, particularly surprise and related concepts, in Polish and British English. The research questions we address concern the cross-linguistic status of emotion concepts and the identification of the universally valid tertium comparationis. Overlaps with other emotions both within Polish and English and between these languages are investigated and general conclusions concerning the nature of meaning that evolves from the study are presented.
This paper provides a corpus linguistic analysis of verbs included in English path-, road- and way-sentences. My claim is that many of the differences between metaphorical and non-metaphorical patterns including these terms are related to a qualitative difference between real and imagined journeys. Both non-metaphorical and metaphorical instances go back to our experiences with real-world paths, roads and ways. Path and road-sentences are connected with motion along the specific artifacts that these terms refer to. Way-sentences refer to motion through space. Differences between prototypical and un-prototypical paths, roads and ways, however, and a close connection between prototypical instances and metaphorical meaning, result in differences between non-metaphorical and metaphorical patterns. The findings explain why the source domain verbs in metaphorical path- and road-sentences are more restricted than the verbs in the non-metaphorical sentences. They show why metaphorical ways, but hardly ever metaphorical paths and roads, are paved.
This paper aims to study the applications of Metaphorical Pattern Analysis (MPA) to contrastive analysis and translation by researching the differences in the metaphorical mappings instantiated by the English words `crisis' and `recession' and their translation equivalents in Spanish crisis and recesión. Since no translation or comparable corpora for this type of study are available for English and Spanish, the search engine Webcorp is used to research the occurrences of these terms in news texts via the web sites of a number of different English and Spanish newspapers. Our data reveal language-specific differences in the way in which both the synonyms and their respective translation equivalents participate in the metaphorical mappings found in each language.
This article discusses the role played by sound-symbolic forms (SSFs) in Motion event descriptions, focusing on the case of mimetics — SSFs — in Japanese. An examination of literary texts shows that mimetics occur not only as the secondary element to another Co-event specifying form but also as the sole Co-event specifying element of the clause. As the latter, mimetics express Manner, Concomitance and Concurrent Result, i.e., three out of the eight relations a Co-event can have with the main Motion event (Talmy, 2000). This limited capability suggests that they are not the principal Co-event specifying form of Japanese. Nevertheless, they play an important role in Motion event descriptions as they: (i) supply indispensable lexical semantic information, being laden with rich meanings (e.g., rate in Manner) that parallel Basque movement imitatives (Ibarretxe-Antuñano, 2006); (ii) add nuances to a scene by combining with a diverse range of verbs/predicates, going beyond oft-cited collocational pairs such as yotiyoti aruku [toddling walk] `toddle'.
Several scholars have proposed alternative views to conceptual metaphor theory (see, for example, Ortony, 1993; Barnden, 2006; Wilson and Carston, 2006, 2008; Vega, 2007; Gibbs, 2008). How are the modified, refined, and alternative theories related to each other and standard conceptual metaphor theory, and which theory provides the best account of the phenomenon of metaphor? The particular approaches I will consider in this paper include the theory of metaphor as categorization, standard conceptual metaphor theory, blending theory, the neural theory of metaphor, conceptual metaphor theory as based on the idea of main meaning focus, and relevance theory. I will present the various theories through the analysis of a single metaphorical sentence: This surgeon is a butcher. I will propose that conceptual metaphor theory as based on the idea of the main meaning focus gives us a good way of characterizing the emergence of the sentence's meaning. This characterization consists of a four-stage process. First, there exist two independent conceptual categories: BUTCHERY and SURGERY. Second, due to the similarity between the two, a metaphorical relationship is established between them. Third, the property of incompetence emerges in the concept of BUTCHERY in light of and against the background of the concept of SURGERY. Fourth, this property is projected into the blend, in which the property will now characterize the surgeon. I will point out that this approach is compatible with several other views, such as Ruiz de Mendoza's Combined Input Hypothesis and with aspects of relevance theory.
Two fundamental problems remain unsolved: “what counts as experiential basis, [or] … what the typology of experiential bases might be (Grady, Taub & Morgan, 1996), and the concrete-abstract distinction (Gibbs, 1996). The paper distinguishes between concrete entities as material, and abstract as non-material. In the material domain, we claim that the object schema is the ultimate, i.e. subject to no further metaphorization, source domain. All other domains depend on the object.
We analyse expressions referring to the abstract entities THOUGHT, FEAR and RACE (contest), and discuss neuroembryological evidence, psychological issues, the Great Chain of Being and Kotarbiński's reism. In consequence of the sharp distinction between material and non-material entities, a new typology of metaphors is proposed: metonymy-based, concrete-to-abstract and abstract-to-abstract metaphors.
We suggest that in this order, the metaphorical processes may reflect the phylogenetic development of concrete-to-abstract thought. Furthermore, concrete-to-abstract metaphorization (objectification1), may have played the greatest role in the development of abstract thinking, through identifying, conceptualizing and assigning language expressions to abstract entities.
Talmy's (e.g., 1985, 2000) seminal work has engendered a great deal of research and debate in the literature on motion event descriptions over the last decades. Despite the vast amount of research on the linguistic expression of motion events, the fact that motion verb roots might encode information apart from Path and Manner of motion is often overlooked. The present paper addresses the semantics of 376 English and 257 Spanish motion verbs by exploring the general conflations which are conveyed by these verbs. In this regard, both crosslinguistic similarities and differences will be pointed out. My research concludes that path-conflating and manner-conflating verbs amount to the largest part of their lexicons but that other minor patterns such as ground conflations, in contradiction to Talmy's speculations on the lack of ground-conflating verbs, are present as well. Taken as a whole, this paper provides a rich and detailed account on the semantic nature of the English and the Spanish motion verb lexicons, and emerges as a helpful reference for researchers in this field.
Studies on Nigerian English (NE) have largely focused on the variation of NE from Standard English. Few of these have investigated metaphors in NE and none, to the best of my knowledge, has worked on ideology and metaphor. This paper fills this gap by concentrating only on body part metaphors. Metaphors related to sexual organs were sourced from Nigerian university students through oral and written interviews. Insights for analysis were drawn centrally from the theory of embodiment and critical discourse analysis. Fourteen sexual organ metaphors, which relate to two major ideological issues: the institutionalisation of gender issues and religious, social and cultural allegiances, are identified. The former relates to gender-based cultural disapproval, gender dignification and gender valuation, while the latter is tied to morality/decency constraints, and personality/social group constraints. Metaphors have great cognitive values in Nigeria, and their understanding requires knowledge of the social and cultural context.
Prototype Theory offers one of the most accepted models for semantic memory organization. Lexical availability trials provide investigators with a faster and easier means of observing this cognitive organization, since lists of available lexicon are generated from associations relating some lexical elements with others. The experiments with lexical availability are able to activate one of the best-known lexical production mechanisms within experimental psychology: semantic category fluency. In this work we propose the appropriate means to reconstruct the community cognitive organization. This shared metastructure constitutes the concept of shared field of experience used as the base for availability trials. The key notion is the prototypicality of common vocabulary as the base for the construction of community models. To obtain a representation of these prototypes we use the mathematical framework of fuzzy sets.
Mass-audience events provide languages with fertile sources of metaphor. Such events display pronounced spatial parameters, dynamicity and purposive activity, all of which have been shown to enable metaphor processes. Furthermore, the mass following and the experiential recurrence of such events facilitate conventionalisation and phraseological development. This article examines such a phenomenon, namely, the deployment of metaphorical and phraseological expressions of bullfighting origin in the ordinary use of the Spanish language. Taking evidence from existing inventories plus references to literature and the press, the article categorises the diverse manifestations into coherent patterns in consonance with cognitive linguistics metaphor studies. It shows that the different participants and different aspects of the bullfighting event motivate those patterns. As well as highlighting the cultural specificity of this phraseology, the article also shows its potential in cross-sectional and longitudinal terms – it functions across a variety of contexts as well as in depth in any particular context.
The noun head is commonly found in the second position of many English noun compounds. Typically, noun compounds with head in the right are endocentric formations, that is, composite forms which designate a more specific type of the concept denoted by head (e.g. pinhead). The noun head is also found in a significant number of so called ‘exocentric’ formations with a variety of interconnected meanings (e.g. airhead, acidhead, Potterhead). The different exocentric patterns where head participates raise questions about the grammatical status of this element, which is sometimes analysed as a suffixal element, illustrating the fuzzy boundaries between derivation and compounding. In the linguistic literature there is an extensive debate as to whether processes like this one are to be regarded as cases of grammaticalization or lexicalisation. In this paper it will be proposed that exocentric formations in -head are suitable for an analysis using a schema-based approach in Ryder’s (1994) fashion, or a constructional approach (Booij, 2010a) insofar as new creations arise by analogy with the patterns that can be extracted from existing cases. The different patterns of exocentric formations with head can be conveniently characterized by postulating a hierarchical lexicon with schemas or constructions of different degree of abstraction.
The article deals with the typological differences between the Romance language French and the Germanic languages German and Dutch for the linguistic expressions of posture and location. It describes how these typological differences can be problematic for French-speaking learners of German and Dutch. The main difference between both types of languages is that posture and location tend to be encoded by posture verbs in Germanic languages and by very general verbs in Romance languages (Talmy 2000). After a detailed description of the semantic networks of the German and Dutch posture verbs, the paper takes a critical look at how these expressions are dealt with in teaching manuals. It further presents strategies for the efficient teaching of posture verbs to foreign language learners. These strategies are among others awareness-raising exercises about the compulsory use of posture verbs in Germanic languages and the description of conceptual metaphors in different languages. These pedagogical avenues for the efficient teaching of the Dutch and German posture verbs constitute a first step towards the elaboration of an experimental set-up aiming at verifying them.
Drawing on the assumptions made in Construction Grammar(s), the present proposal addresses the debate between formulating broad-scale generalizations of the type postulated by Goldberg (1995) or finer-grained analyses, heavily based on lexical-class identification, as those put forward by Boas (2010, 2011), who claims that Goldberg’s account leads to the over-generation of ungrammatical examples. The position taken here is that, although Goldberg’s theory has largely overlooked the role of verb meaning(s), generalizations in the form of constraints are still necessary to build a fully principled account of lexical-constructional fusion. Taking the family of resultative constructions as a case study, I employ the analytical tools (i.e. the apparatus of so-called internal and external constraints on constructional integration) developed by the Lexical Constructional Model in order to show that a fine-nuanced description can go hand in hand with the postulation of macro-generalizations.
This article explores synonymy and polysemy in the interaction of meaning and the elements that a verb combines with. It presents a corpus-based analysis of four Spanish verbs (
) whose primary meaning is ‘to throw.’ A four-hundred sentence sample extracted from the Corpus del Español 1900s subcorpus serves as the basis for this study. Statistical tests are used to compare the verbs’ behavior across several factors: morphological markings such as mood, tense and person, the types of subjects (human versus nonhuman), the types of objects (concrete versus nonconcrete), and the interaction of subject and object in full constructions. The tests are accompanied by semantic analysis of the sample sentences. The result of the statistical and descriptive analyses is a radial categorization that highlights the types of metaphoric and metonymic extensions that each verb uses, and where and how the verbs overlap semantically.
This article aims to explore how the use of visual metonymies in picture books contributes to children’s understanding of stories and, in turn, attracts their attention towards relevant aspects of the plot. The two picture books selected for analysis are Gorilla, by Browne and The Tale of Peter Rabbit, by Potter, intended for children under 9 years of age. A multimodal and cognitive perspective is adopted here to apply the non-verbal trope of visual metonymy to the two picture books that form the sample texts (Forceville, 2009, 2010; Forceville & Urios-Aparisi, 2009). The results of the analysis show that visual metonymies are essentially used in children’s tales to create narrative tension in certain stages of the plot and, in turn, to establish a bond between the represented participants and the child-viewer.
This article uses examples of multimodal metaphors from three different genres in order to develop a new understanding of the nature of creativity in metaphor. I argue that multimodality provides distinctive opportunities for metaphor creativity by exploiting the unique affordances of the different semiotic modes and the possibility of combining them in unexpected ways. Such innovation at the level of representation may encourage novel thought patterns, I suggest, even in such cases where the underlying metaphorical mappings are relatively conventional. The notion of “cross-modal resonances” is introduced to emphasize the role of unconscious, preverbal, intuitive understanding and the emotions in producing and interpreting creative multimodal metaphors.
Digital stories are a very recent multimedia practice by which ordinary people construct short narratives on personal affairs combining voice, images and sometimes music. This paper contributes to the description of this new emergent genre from both a multimodal and a cognitive point of view, by exploring how diverse semiotic channels in digital storytelling provide different kinds of information (factual, emotional, cultural, etc.) which are finally integrated to construct the global meaning of the narrative. For this purpose, we combine Kress and Van Leeuwen’s (1996) scholarly work related to multimodal representation, with the use of some notions of the Mental Spaces and Conceptual Integration theory (Dancygier, 2008; Fauconnier & Turner, 2002). The results of this study are of interest to those concerned with the representational and communicational modes of semiotic resources in storytelling.
This article attempts to give a critical review of Javier Herrero Ruiz’s Understanding Tropes. At a Crossroads between Pragmatics and Cognition. It evaluates the book in view of the available literature dealing with the trend towards empiricism adopted by Cognitive Linguistics. It also focuses on the main hypothesis put forward, i.e., tropes such as irony, paradox, oxymoron, overstatement, understatement, euphemism, and dysphemism can be considered idealised cognitive models, and discusses the main contributions and arguments of the book, especially his idea that these idealised cognitive models are all constructed around the creation of contrast. A few concerns are also raised, mainly regarding corpus methodology. While these may have a negative impact on the reader, they are not severe enough to discredit the rigour with which the book was conceived.
Image schemas have been a fundamental construct in cognitive linguistics, providing grounds for psychological, philosophical, as well as linguistic research. Given the focus in cognitive linguistics on embodied experience as a fundamental basis for language structure and meaning, the employment of image schemas in the analysis of gesture with speech is a logical extension. However, given their level of abstraction, to what degree do image schemas provide a useful explanatory tool for researching the concrete, physically embodied details of gestures? This article considers the answer to this question and then turns to a more recent theoretical development that complements the picture by encompassing a different realm of cognitive and linguistic phenomena. This research, on ‘mimetic schemas’, is shown to have great potential for thinking about some known phenomena of gesture in a new way. Schema research on these different levels thus provides a useful means to analyze behavior in another modality involved in spoken language use, namely the visual.
In this chapter, intermediality is explored from an interdisciplinary perspective that uses neuroscience as well as cognitive-semiotic concerns and insights from online digital communication, presenting it as a process where biophysical, technological, and interpersonal factors interact. Shared attention as well as spatial and temporal cueing – eye contact and the sonic modality – are explored from a task-oriented and social interactive dimension. The spatiotemporal impact of the mediating context is highlighted by moving from the role of visual cueing, in a brief reference to Al Davison’s autobiographical graphic novel The spiral cage, to a more detailed analysis of Annie Abrahams’ (2010) online project A fragmented relation, where cueing is dependent not just on spatial frames but also on the temporal dynamics introduced by the aural dimension recorded in an online environment. The paper tangentially touches upon the role of affect in communication.
This Special Volume of Review of Cognitive Linguistics includes 13 papers dealing with Multimodality and Cognitive Linguistics. The introduction provides an overview of three of the main approaches dealing with multimodality – Cognitive Linguistics and multimodal metaphors (Forceville & Urios-Aparisi, 2009), social semiotics and systemic functional grammar, and multimodal interactional analysis (Jewitt, 2009, p. 29). The paper summarizes the contributions to the volume, highlighting the main objectives and conclusions of each of the papers.