Edited by Annalisa Baicchi
[Figurative Thought and Language 9] 2020
► pp. 253–282
Why are expressions of irreversible separation (e.g. I feel torn apart) used to speak about the self? Are they to be treated as metaphorical? We address these questions by using concepts and methods from cognitive semiotics, and especially the conceptual-empirical loop. We develop identification and classification procedures based on intersubjective intuitions, and apply these to data from a corpus of personal descriptions of traumatic experiences. To provide a principled explanation of these expressions, we employ the Motivation & Sedimentation Model (hereafter, MSM), which distinguishes between three interacting levels of meaning making: the Situated, the Sedimented, and the Embodied. On this basis we provide a definition of metaphor, leading to the conclusion that most instances of expressions in the sample would qualify as metaphorical, while affirming that metaphoricity is a scalar notion.
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