LINGUIST List 29.778

Fri Feb 16 2018

Confs: Cog Sci, Disc Analysis, Gen Ling, Historical Ling, Semantics/Portugal

Editor for this issue: Kenneth Steimel <>

Date: 10-Feb-2018
From: Angeliki Athanasiadou <>
Subject: Figurativity Mixed and Massed: Blends and Bursts in Figurative Communication
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Figurativity Mixed and Massed: Blends and Bursts in Figurative Communication

Date: 02-Oct-2018 - 02-Oct-2018
Location: Braga, Portugal
Contact: Angeliki Athanasiadou
Contact Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science; Discourse Analysis; General Linguistics; Historical Linguistics; Semantics

Meeting Description:

For a long time scholars have studied figures in isolation; focusing on the way a particular figure is conceptualized and expressed and applying this knowledge on the impact of a figure both on linguistic as well as nonlinguistic realizations. Some exceptions that focused on the interaction of figures: metaphtonymy introduced by Goossens (1990) and later in 2003, the interaction of metaphor and metonymy by Geeraerts, etc. soon made it clear though that figures rarely work on their own.

In recent literature, chains of a particular figure have been revealed, for instance sequences involving metaphor. Mixed metaphors or multiple metaphors are discussed in Gibbs (2016) with interesting contributions employing a variety of terminologies in order to cope with different types of combinations of metaphors or combinations of metaphor with other figures. So we encounter cases of extended metaphor (Naciscione): “A metaphor can be extended only by extension of its metaphorical image” and “apart from metonymy, extended metaphor may incorporate other figurative modes (.. , pun, hyperbole, irony)”. For Müller, in the same volume, “metaphoric meaning is the product of a process of cognitively activating selected facets of source and target…”. For Cameron, mixed metaphors involve, “multiple juxtaposed verbal metaphors”. She also talks about metaphor clusters in discourse and Müller talks about multi-modal cluster of metaphoric expressions. David, Lakoff and Stickles (2016) discuss metaphoric cascades: “pre-existing packages of hierarchically organized primary and general metaphors that occur together”. The interaction between metaphor and metonymy, called metaphoric complexes and their amalgams, has been studied and refined by Ruiz de Mendoza and his associates (Ruiz de Mendoza and Galera 2014, Miro-Sastre 2017).

It is also the case that we find the cooperation of more than two figures and it is not infrequent to have metaphor, metonymy, irony, and hyperbole all in one construction. Popa-Wyatt talks about compound figures and Musolff discusses the interaction of metaphor, irony and sarcasm in public discourse. These are some studies among many others which are concerned with the relationship between figures, as well as the priority of one over the other in their interaction.

Another interesting aspect in figurative mixing involves the relationship between figurative language and other modalities like, for instance, gestures; which frequently occur in bursts. There have been studies showing that when both gestures and figures occur, gestures typically augment the figurativity (Corts and Pollio 1999, Corts and Meyers 2002). Questions on figurativity with other modalities reveal multiple functions performed by such bursts. Cienki and Müller 2008, and Müller 2007, among others, focus on the characteristics and the function of such bursts.

The aim of the current proposed theme session is (a) to discuss the difference between terms assigned for the interaction among figures, namely clusters, cascades, amalgams, blends, multiple, mixed/mixing figures,… . Why do scholars feel the need to label them one way or another? To what should we attribute these differences?, and (b) to draw the attention of scholars working on figuration towards the mixing of figures and their functions. The session aims at discussing, on the one hand, the cooperation between figures and, on the other, the cooperation of figures with other modalities (though a combination of the two need not be excluded). The ultimate aim of the theme session is to reveal the flexibility as well as the creativity in communication through figurative blends and/or bursts.

Page Updated: 16-Feb-2018