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Academic Paper


Title: The Roles of Metaphor and Metonymy in English -er Nominals
Author: Klaus-Uwe Panther
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://www.sign-lang.uni-hamburg.de/fb07/EnglS/H_panthe.htm
Institution: Nanjing Normal University
Author: Linda L. Thornburg
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: (personal interest - not currently working at a university)
Linguistic Field: Morphology; Semantics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: In this chapter we demonstrate that the English nominalizing suffix -er is a polysemous symbolic unit whose meanings are conceptually related through metaphoric and metonymic links. We hold to the well-established view of metaphor as a cross-domain mapping and view metonymy as a contingent (i.e. non-necessary) relation whereby a source concept facilitates access to a target concept within one conceptual domain. In positing a central sense of -er embedded in a general conceptual action schema, and metaphoric and metonymic extensions, we account for the range of semantic role possibilities (Agent, Experiencer, Instrument, Location, etc.) and referent types (people, objects, events, etc.) of -er nominals, irrespective of the syntactic category of the base. We show that metaphoric and metonymic operations contribute to the high productivity of -er nominals by operating on both the suffix and the base of the formation. Thus our analysis supports the view that grammar and lexicon form a continuum of symbolic units.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: Forthcoming. In: Metaphor and Metonymy in Comparison and Contrast [Cognitive Linguistics Research], René Dirven and Ralf Pörings (eds). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
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