Publication details [#8969]

Prandi, Michele. 2000. Littéral, non littéral, figuré (Literal, non-literal, figurative). Critical Inquiry 35 : 17–38. 22 pp.


Such predicates as literal, non-literal, and figurative do not consistently apply to the meaning of linguistic expressions, but to acts of interpretation, which take meaningful expressions as indexes of contingent messages. On this premise, a figurative interpretation can be seen as a kind of nonliteral interpretation, which is qualified by two specific properties. On the one hand, there is a significant though nonsystematic relation between figurative interpretation and a structural property of the interpreted meaning, which tends to be conflictual. On the other hand, the relation between the meaning of the expression and the content of the message can receive a specific inner form, which sends back to the traditional criteria for classifying figures. The approach suggested within this paper reassesses several topics from the classical tradition, and opens up new avenues of the analysis of metaphors. (LLBA 2002, vol. 36, n. 3)