Publication details [#8974]

Prandi, Michele. 2006. Review of Haser, Verena. 2005. 'Metaphor, Metonymy, and Experientialist Philosophy. Challenging Cognitive Semantics'. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
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This book is a critical discussion of the theoretical presuppositions of cognitive linguistics in the field of metaphor and metonymy, with special focus on Lakoff and Johnson's works. Two layers of reasoning are intertwined in it: the cognitive conception of metaphor and metonymy (Ch. 2, 6, 7 and 8), and its philosophical background (Ch. 4 and 5). Ch. 1 presents an introduction and Ch. 9 the conclusion. Ch. 3 focuses on Lakoff and Johnson's argumentative strategies. The target of Haser's criticism is the idea that metaphors grow out of a metaphorical conceptual soil, in a sort of spontaneous generation. Reversing Lakoff and Johnson's view, Haser claims that metaphors are not a matter of thought, but a matter of words: "one's analysis should proceed from and relate to linguistic expressions rather than general metaphorical and metonymical concepts" (50). Haser's criticism is very severe but always supported by fine-grained analyses of the quoted passages (Michele Prandi)