Metaphor and Blending Process in Context

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Yoon, SoYeon
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Seoul National University Department of English Language and Literature
SNU Working Papers in English Language and Linguistics 4, 94-114
blendingmetaphorcontextrelevance theoryfocusprominent elements
The blending theory on metaphor assumes an already done interpretation, so it lacks the explanation about how the interpretation was produced in an ongoing discourse, and how the process is related with context. To describe the process, this study adopts the assumption of Relevance Theory that people tries to achieve the most relevant meaning of an utterance. In this respect, this study specifies the process relating the context. First, we construct context and it is described as a grounding box. Within the grounding box, we establish Focus and Prominent elements. These two factors are the most primal factors that control the earliest process of blending. Second, we unpack the blended expression into two input spaces. At this time, influenced by the Focus of the context, target space is determined. Then we map the elements in the input spaces. When mapping occurs, the prominent elements of the context affect the corresponding element of the source space through the generic space. Next, only the elements activated by the context are selectively projected, and with the elements in the blended space, we can infer the first assumption of the metaphor. This process is particularly examined through the examples The lecturer is a Hollywood star.
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College of Humanities (인문대학)English Language and Literature (영어영문학과)SNU working papers in English language and linguisticsSNU working papers in English language and linguistics Vol.04 (2005)
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