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Metonymy in the semantic field of verbal communication: A corpus-based analysis of WORD
Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, English. (KIG / Intercultural Language Studies)
2014 (English)In: Journal of Pragmatics, ISSN 0378-2166, Vol. 67, 72-88 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Language about language has been studied above all from the perspective of metaphor, neglecting metonymy. This study tests the hypothesis that metonymy is also central within the semantic field of communication. A bottom-up, empirical study of word—one of the most frequent nouns in English—was carried out, based on 4000 tokens from the British National Corpus. word was found to be highly figurative, with metonymic uses (55%) being considerably more frequent than metaphorical uses (24%), but with some overlap, and with the two forms of the lemma displaying different profiles. Although largely an abstract noun,word is even richer in figurative meaning than previously studied body part nouns. The core meaning of wordrefers to the grammatical word, but it is frequently extended through metonymy—and especially synecdoche—to stand for units of communication of varying scope; these are mapped out in the study. The metonymic meanings were found to be more conventionalized in nature than the basic meanings. Metonymy is shown to be a robust phenomenon that, at least in the semantic field of verbal communication, may be more significant than the vastly more-studied phenomenon of metaphor.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2014. Vol. 67, 72-88 p.
Keyword [en]
Metonymy; Synecdoche; Metaphor; Verbal communication; Metalinguistic function; word
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Specific Languages
Research subject
Kultur, identitet och gestaltning
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-14335DOI: 10.1016/j.pragma.2014.03.010OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-14335DiVA: diva2:725589
Available from: 2014-06-16 Created: 2014-06-16 Last updated: 2015-05-22Bibliographically approved

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Ädel, Annelie
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • chicago-author-date
  • chicago-note-bibliography
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf