Publication details [#5880]

Otal Campo, José Luis. 2009. In search of the meeting ground between Relevance Theory and Cognitive Linguistics. A review of 'Creativity and Convention. The Pragmatics of everyday figurative speech'. Vega Moreno, R.E. 2007. Amsterdam; Philadelphia: John Benjamins. ISBN: 9027253994; 9. Annual Review of Cognitive Linguistics 7 : 334–344.
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Scholars like Gibbs and Ruiz de Mendoza, together with their associates, have for some time now argued that Cognitive Linguistics (CL) and Relevance Theory (RT) have an important degree of compatibility. Vega's book, which is essentially grounded in the latest developments of RT, does deal with the CL perspective on figurative language but only to reassert the RT position to the detriment of CL. In itself, this should not be a weakness if RT and CL had been proved incompatible and RT a superior theory when it comes to so-called figurative language. But, as I will try to make evident below, this has not been the case, which is the reason why I will argue that the failure to recognize the concomitances and the compatibility is a major weakness of the book. However, to be fair, Vega's work has its merits. First, it is a fairly comprehensive book that takes into account many controversial issues related not only to the communicative but also to the psychological dimension of figurative language use. In general, we are presented with a splendid piece that tries to produce a "unified account" of metaphorical language based on the latest developments in Relevance Theory. (Jose Luis Otal Campo)