Publication details [#660]

Díez Velasco, Olga Isabel. 2001. A cognitive analysis of the role of metonymy in some recategorisation processes in English. León : Universidad de León. Secretariado de Publicaciones y Medios Audiovisuales, DL 2001. 208 pp.
Publication type
Book – conference proceedings
Publication language
ISBN 84-7719-984-1


This paper is concerned with the use and consequences, both syntactic and morphological, of metonymies in two types of recategorization processes, namely the subcategorial conversion of a countable noun into a mass noun, and the noun to verb conversion. The nominal shifts from countable to mass are shown to occur only with target-in-source metonymies in which the target is a subdomain of the source (cf. Ruiz de Mendoza 1997). In the sentence […] people with little brain were laughing at Jerry Lewis the noun ‘brain’ behaves as a mass noun owing to the BRAIN FOR INTELLIGENCE metonymy whereby the brain is conceptualized as a container for intelligence. When a noun shifts to a verb the former inherits the morphological and constructional properties of the latter, i.e. tense suffixation and adverbial modification (e.g. Delaney nodded and thumbed the button).