“Image” metaphors and connotations in everyday language
In this paper, I argue that the general notion of an image metaphor, which has been traditionally confined to so-called “one-shot metaphors”, as used in literary and poetic language, could be expanded to describe many expressions that are found in everyday language. Following Caballero (2003a), I argue that the division in cognitive linguistics of metaphors into “image” and “conceptual” is over-simplistic. I show that many of the most frequent metaphors in my data have characteristics which would qualify them for inclusion in both categories. I also argue that connotational meaning is an important characteristic of these expressions, unifying their literal and non-literal meanings. A detailed analysis of the Bank of English corpus concordance for heel shows the numerical importance of such metaphors. I refer to research into metaphor that takes an emergentist perspective, and which has led a number of other existing distinctions to be questioned. I argue that these expressions, termed “metaphoremes”, which are difficult to classify using existing distinctions, should be regarded as prototypical on the grounds of their frequency, rather than as anomalous.