Publication details [#6027]

Honeck, Richard P. and Jon G. Temple. 1996. Proverbs and the complete mind. Bakhtiniana: Revista de Estudos do Discurso 11 (3) : 217–232. 16 pp.


In an article (Honeck & Temple, 1994) published in this journal, we compared two theories of proverb understanding: our own extended conceptual base theory (ECBT) and Lakoff and Turner's (1989) great chain metaphor theory (GCMT). We compared the theories in terms of five issues: perspective, creativity of proverb use, automaticity of proverb understanding, pragmatics, and empirical adequacy. We concluded that the problem solving and computational orientation of the ECBT allows it to better address these issues than the structuralist and special mechanisms orientation of the GCMT. In two companion articles, Gibbs, Colston, and Johnson (this issue) critique our comparison of the theories, and then Gibbs, Johnson, and Colston (this issue) respond to our reply to their critique. We have not seen their second response, and we will not have the opportunity to respond to it. Therefore, our commentary in this article applies only to their initial critique. To facilitate the reader's understanding of the debate, we reply to Gibbs et al. (this issue) using the fourfold division in their article, namely the field and presumably the perspective from which proverb scholarship emanates, the nature of the two theories per se, what it means to understand a proverb, and presumed problems with the ECBT. (Richard Honeck and Jon Temple)