Article published in:Metaphor Variation in Englishes around the World
Edited by Marcus Callies and Alexander Onysko
[Cognitive Linguistic Studies 4:1] 2017
► pp. 63–81
‘Idioms in the making’ and variation in conceptual metaphor
This paper discusses the culture-specificity of figurative language use in varieties of English. Idioms as a special type of figurative language are understood as being conceptually motivated by underlying metaphorical mappings, also reflecting the nexus of language and culture. On the basis of data from large-scale web corpora of varieties of English, the paper examines the lexico-grammatical and conceptual variability of selected idiomatic expressions related to the source domains food and eating. The results show patterns of lexico-grammatical variation and innovation of idioms in (West) African Englishes and confirm previous research that points towards the high salience and frequency of food and related concepts of eating as source domains in conceptual metaphorical mappings in West African cultures. The paper concludes that food and eating seem fruitful points of departure for further studies on culture- and variety-specific “linguistic markers” across varieties of English.
Keywords: figurative language, idioms, conceptual metaphor, phraseology, variability, African Englishes
- 2.The variability of idiomatic expressions
- 2.1The cognitive-linguistic view of idioms
- 2.2Idioms in varieties of English
- 4.Case studies
- 4.1Study 1: Lexico-grammatical and conceptual variation of standard idioms
- 4.2Study 2: Pepper-idioms in African varieties of English
- 5.Discussion and conclusion
Published online: 16 October 2017
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Cited by 3 other publications
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Zadobrivscaia, O. F. & V. G. Egorova
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