Article published in:Metaphor Variation in Englishes around the World
Edited by Marcus Callies and Alexander Onysko
[Cognitive Linguistic Studies 4:1] 2017
► pp. 7–35
Conceptual metaphor variation in meaning interpretation
Evidence from speakers of New Zealand English
This paper contributes to research on metaphor variation in the context of world Englishes from a theoretical and an empirical point of view. Starting with a discussion of the dissonance between universality and cultural specificity in conceptual metaphor research, basic dimensions of variation are outlined that are relevant to conceptual metaphor theory (CMT). These dimensions inform a continuum of variation in CMT that ranges from basic conceptualizations (as primary metaphors) to the surface level of language use (as metaphorical expressions). The empirical part of the paper takes heed of this continuum of variation and outlines the methodological choices relevant to the description of conceptual metaphors in an associative task. The data are based on meaning interpretations given to novel English compounds by Māori and non-Māori speakers of New Zealand English. The results of the task highlight that Māori-English bilinguals apply a greater range of different conceptual metaphors compared to non-Māori bilingual and monolingual speakers of English. These results are discussed in terms of their implications for further research on metaphor variation in Aotearoa New Zealand and world Englishes.
Keywords: conceptual metaphor, variation, world Englishes, Māori, bilingualism, New Zealand English
Published online: 16 October 2017
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