When the last speaker of a language dies, s/he takes to oblivion the
memories, associations and the rich imagery this language community has
once lived by. The cultural heritage encoded in conventional linguistic
metaphors, handed down through generations, will be lost forever. This
volume consists of fifteen articles about metaphors in endangered languages,
from Peru to Alaska, from India to Ghana.
The empirical data demonstrate that the assumptions of contemporary
cognitive linguistic theory about “universal” metaphors and the underlying
cognitive processes are still far from plausible, since culture plays an
important role in the formation of metaphors. Moreover, that theory has been
based on knowledge of metaphors in some standard languages. Indigenous
and other minority languages, especially mainly orally used ones, have been
Besides researchers and students in linguistics, especially in metaphor and
figurative language theory, this compilation provides food for thought for
scholars in large fields of cultural studies, ranging from anthropology and
ethnology to folkloristics and philosophy.