Publication details [#3494]

Cienki, Alan. 1998. STRAIGHT: An image schema and its metaphorical extensions. Cognitive Linguistics 9 (2) : 107–149. 43 pp.
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Article in journal
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In this article, I propose STRAIGHT as an image schema, discuss the evidence for this claim, and examine the relationship between some of the specific properties of this image schema in our experience and how they are extended into abstract domains. Relying on Johnson's (1987) criteria for an image schema, I review research on the special role of straight lines in visual perception, and consider the relations between spatial and force-dynamic properties of straight bodily forms and movements, and of straight objects which we commonly encounter in our experience, particularly in industrialized societies. An examination of metaphorical expressions in English and Russian shows that domains in these languages commonly characterized by STRAIGHTNESS -or its opposites- include time, events, discourse, thought, control, social norms, morality, truth, and law. The examples support findings from previous research that a duality commonly exists in systems of metaphors between OBJECT and LOCATION versions. Cultural models of the target domains are also discussed as a factor which motivates the metaphorical characterization of a domain as STRAIGHT or not, and whether that STRAIGHTNESS is evaluated as positive or negative. (Alan Cienki)