Publication details [#9061]

Publication type
Article in book  
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Amsterdam: John Benjamins


The authors investigate the issue of the conceptual nature of metonymy. Their approach is based on the notion of idealized cognitive model (ICM) as proposed by Lakoff (1987). Metonymy is understood as a conceptual process in which one conceptual entity, the "target", is made mentally accessible by means of another "conceptual entity", the "vehicle", within the same ICM. In principle, either of the two conceptual entities related may stand for the other, i.e., metonymy is basically a reversible process. There are, however, a number of cognitive principles which govern the selection of a preferred vehicle. These principles lead to natural, or 'default' cases of metonymy and often escape our awareness. These principles may, however, be overridden by factors such as style, taboo or politeness and may lead to the creation of expressive, or 'non-default' cases of metonymies. (Klaus-Uwe Panther and Günter Radden)