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LINGUIST List 16.1856

Mon Jun 13 2005

Disc: New: Re: 16.1810, Review: Haser (2005)

Editor for this issue: Michael Appleby <michaellinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Fiona MacArthur, Re:16.1810, Review: Philosophy of Lang/Semantics: Haser

Message 1: Re:16.1810, Review: Philosophy of Lang/Semantics: Haser
Date: 13-Jun-2005
From: Fiona MacArthur <fionamacunex.es>
Subject: Re:16.1810, Review: Philosophy of Lang/Semantics: Haser

I am not the author of the work reviewed in the Linguist List posting
16.1810, but would nevertheless like to open a discussion of the
review and the work discussed. The following are my comments:

The review offered on LinguistList of Haser's Metaphor, Metonymy, and
Experientialist Philosophy does less than justice to this book. If it
is to be expected that among the purposes of such reviews are an
assessment of the contribution of a work to a particular field of
enquiry and an identification of its interest to a potential audience,
then the reviewer has misrepresented the work on both counts. Rather
than offering a critical evaluation of Haser's contribution to
cognitive semantics (as the subtitle indicates, her aim is to
"challenge" prevalent views), the reviewer appears to suggest that
Haser simply repeats and accepts current views on metaphor and
metonymy and their relationship with human understanding. This is
reflected in the fact that only on one occasion in the whole review
(in the Evaluation section) does the reviewer cite the author whose
work she is discussing, while she makes direct and indirect reference
at least fourteen times to authors such as Lakoff and Johnson, Radden
and Keview of Haser's alternative accounts of the distinction between
metaphor and metonymy or the reasons why we find thematically related
clusters of metaphorical expressions. Far from echoing the views of
Lakoff and Johnson (1980), as the reviewer implies, Haser offers an
explanation that has little if anything to do with conceptual metaphor

Given that the springboard for many of Haser's arguments is the close
attention she has paid to the founding texts of cognitive semantics
(particularly the contradictions and misrepresentations she uncovers
in these works), it is ironic that this author's own work should have
been read with so little of the close attention it undoubtedly
deserves. It is not necessary to agree or disagree with the author's
views on metaphor and metonymy to recognise that her work provides a
stimulating contribution to debate in this particular field of
inquiry. However, the reviewer in question appears to be unaware of
what this comprises (and indeed of developments in the field
generally) and hence fails to adequately inform potential readers of
what it is that the book offers and why linguists may or may not want
to read it.

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science
Philosophy of Language

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