Vol. 27:1 (2014) ► pp. 168–186
Metonymy and the way we speak
In this article we investigate correlations between semantically equivalent expressions (organized in manner scales according to the formal properties of length, prosodic prominence, and grammaticalization) and their varying potential to trigger a certain metonymic interpretation. We focus on manner scales of past ability as well as semantically and logically similar expressions relating to human character traits/dispositions and external circumstances. Using the concepts of strength of metonymic link and coercion, we show that shorter, prosodically weaker and more grammaticalized members in these manner scales more strongly trigger the potentiality for actuality metonymy than their longer, prosodically stronger, and less grammaticalized counterparts.
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