Publication details [#661]

Ruiz de Mendoza Ibáñez, Francisco José. 2001. Generic metonymies and the grammar of English: motivation and constraints. León : Universidad de León. Secretariado de Publicaciones y Medios Audiovisuales, DL 2001. 212 pp.
Publication type
Book – conference proceedings
Publication language
ISBN 84-7719-984-1


The present paper brings evidence to the pervasiveness of metonymy at different levels of grammar, ranging from categorial and subcategorial conversions to modality. Ruiz de Mendoza (2000) has divided metonymies into two groups, namely source-in-target and target-in-source metonymies. In the case of the former the source domain is incorporated in the target domain whereas in the case of the latter the target can never be a central subdomain of the source. For example, the use of the deverbal noun ‘cut’ in He made a deep cut in his knee is grounded in the target-in-source metonymy ACTION FOR RESULT which changes the syntactic organization of the clause (He cut his knee deeply). The metonymy OBLIGATION FOR DESIRE explains why the modal auxiliary ‘must’, which usually expresses obligation, can be used to convey the speaker’s desire to carry out an action (e.g. I must speak to you, please).