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Metaphors of Movement in a Selection of Poems in English
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In English poetry, linguistic metaphors derived from the domain of physical movement, such as “my car has gone from bad to worse”, are common. This metaphor is, according to cognitive linguists, an example of something called conceptual metaphor. A conceptual metaphor is a cognitive structure that underlies parts of language use. In turn, it is grounded by something called image schemas, which are essentially recurring experiential patterns of bodily movement that can be mapped onto thinking and language. Image schemas provide the reader with a tangible structure which can be used to reason about the abstract theme.In this essay linguistic metaphors of movement in a selection of poems in English will be discussed from a cognitive linguistic point of view. Cognitive linguistics is an interdisciplinary field concerned with the relationship between the body, the mind and language. More specifically, it is concerned with how thought, reasoning and meaning are embodied. Its proponents, such as George Lakoff, claim that our ability to make sense of the world relates to bodily functions and our subjective experience of them. The linguistic metaphors in the primary material will also be analysed from a Newtonian point of view because what the majority of cognitive linguists have not discussed extensively – even though most image schemas are shaped by either bodily movement or observations of other objects in movement – is the role of Newtonian laws of motion in the formation of these image schemas and subsequently the role of laws of motion in reasoning about linguistic metaphors of movement.Results show that the expressions of movement in the primary material can be said to reflect certain bodily image schemas which aid readers in construing the meaning of the expressions of movement. Further analysis of the results suggests that Newtonian laws of motion may influence the way readers reason about the abstract notions in the primary material. In sum, the results suggest that the body is vital in the creation of and reasoning about metaphors of movement.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 34 p.
Keyword [en]
Cognitive linguistics, conceptual metaphors, image schemas, the body, English poetry
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-90954OAI: diva2:628786
Available from: 2014-01-22 Created: 2013-06-14 Last updated: 2014-01-22Bibliographically approved

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