Edited by Mario Brdar and Rita Brdar-Szabó
[Review of Cognitive Linguistics 20:1] 2022
► pp. 156–171
The chapter is concerned with the metonymic use of hit in expressions such as hit the road. The metonymic nature underlying these expressions has already been noticed by Ruhl (1989) and Hirtle (2013). The present study focuses on the mapping of the literal use of hit as the metonymic source to its target. The metonymic source is characterized by the use of hit as an Achievement verb in sentences such as The ball hit the window. The metonymic target in hit the road comprises two events, motion to a goal and a subsequent action. The relevant part of meaning resides in the unexpressed action. The action is inferred from the close relationship between a type of thing and potential actions afforded by the thing. In Let’s hit the road, the type noun road affords metonymic “routes” to three motivated kinds of actions: ‘travelling’, ‘beginning a journey’ and ‘leaving’.