Publication details [#2920]

Publication type
Article in book  
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Amsterdam: John Benjamins


The chapter starts from the assumption that one of the central properties of metonymy is the contingence of the relationship between the metonymic source and its target. One of the less obvious corollaries of this claim is that metonymy can in general be dispensed with in language: the intended or targeted meaning can always be expressed by some alternative means and not necessarily by means of a metonymic source. Metonymic extensions from nouns denoting countable entities to a mass/substance sense are studied in one case study. A second case study is on the metonymic interpretation of manner-of-speaking predicate adjectives. The chapter focuses on metonymy avoiding and metonymy marking strategies, which are used to different degrees in languages such as English, German, Hungarian, Croatian, and Spanish in order to restrict the proliferation of metonymy-induced polysemy. He attempts to correlate these strategies with the grammatical features of these languages, showing that the relation between metonymy and grammar is bidirectional. (Mario Brdar)