Publication details [#2749]

Bosman, Nerina. 2000. Die motiveringsteorie en idiome met 'hand' (Motivation theory and idioms with 'hand'). Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 18 : 15–23. 9 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language


According to the motivation theory of G. Lakoff (1987), the meaning of idioms is not necessarily totally opaque. Metaphor, metonymy, conventional images, and encyclopedic knowledge form motivational links between the literal and figurative meanings of a string of words. The notion of radially structured categories is of particular help in explaining the way in which a single word (in this case, Afrikaans hand 'hand') can contribute to the figurative meaning of the idiom. In an Idealized Cognitive Model, a central subcategory ("body parts") is linked to other subcategories by means of metonymy and metaphor (HAND AS POSSESSION, HAND AS POWER). The present article demonstrates how this process works in selected idioms from Afrikaans. (LLBA, Adapted from the source document, Accession Number 200111717, (c) CSA [2000]. All rights reserved.)