Chapter published in:Studies in Figurative Thought and Language
Edited by Angeliki Athanasiadou
[Human Cognitive Processing 56] 2017
► pp. 42–73
Construing and constructing hyperbole
Hyperbole has received little attention in Cognitive Linguistics, while studies within psychology and pragmatics leave aside its representational aspects. To fill this gap, this chapter looks into linguistic evidence of the cognitive operations that underlie its communicative impact. Following up on recent research on figurative thought in terms of cross-domain mappings (e.g. Ruiz de Mendoza 2014), this chapter provides further evidence for an analysis of hyperbole in such terms. It offers a critical account of existing taxonomies of this phenomenon, argues for a twofold distinction between inference-based and constructional hyperbole, and discusses the usually hyperbolic X is not Y but Z and ‘God-related’ constructions. Finally, the chapter contends that hyperbole is regulated by the joint activity of two sets of constraints.
Keywords: cognitive operations, constraints, cross-domain mapping, inference-based and construction-based hyperbole, figurative expressions of emotions
Published online: 26 April 2017
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