Publication details [#2935]

Brdar-Szabó, Rita. 2009. Metonymy in indirect directives: Stand-alone conditionals in English, German, Hungarian, and Croatian In Panther, Klaus-Uwe, Linda L. Thornburg and Antonio Barcelona. Metonymy and Metaphor in Grammar (Human Cognitive Processing 25). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. pp. 323–336. 14 pp.
Publication type
Article in book  
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Amsterdam: John Benjamins


This is a study that analyzes the role of metonymy in a speech act construction from a cross-linguistic perspective It is concerned with cross-linguistic variation in the exploitation of illocutionary metonymy in conventional indirect speech acts, specifically with indirect directives in English, German, Hungarian, and Croatian. The focus is on one special construction type-stand-alone conditionals used as indirect directives as e.g. English If you could come to order now. This construction type is productively exploited in English and German, but apparently not used in Hungarian and Croatian. In a search for an explanation for this distribution, metonymy is pointed out as a central motivating factor. It is argued here that metonymy as motivation can be approached from at least three perspectives: (i) correlation with the productivity of other metonymic models in general, (ii) differences in the availability of various functional types of metonymies, and (iii) the complexity of metonymic layering. (Rita Brdar-Szabó)