Methods of metaphors


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Notes from the paper by "Cognitive Metaphor and Empirical Methods" Javier Valenzuela & Cristina Soriano.

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Methods of metaphors

  1. 1. Cognitive Metaphor and Empirical Methods Javier Valenzuela & Cristina Soriano Universidad de Murcia NOTES from the text & commentswtorek, 20 marca 12 1
  2. 2. 1  Introduction:  Cognitive   Linguistics  and  Cognitive  Sciences Cogni&ve  linguis&cs  (henceforth,  CL)   is   a   theory   of   language   that   a8empts   to   describe   language   in   connec%on  to  the  rest  of  cogni&on. that  makes  it  stand  out  from  the  rest! a  new  perspec4ve  from  which  to  look   at  linguis4c  phenomena  (insights) Lakoff  1991:  Cogni&ve  Commitment  wtorek, 20 marca 12 2
  3. 3. 1  Introduction:  Cognitive   Linguistics  and  Cognitive  Sciences Gibbs   1996:   CL   ac&vely   seeks   correspondences  between   conceptual  thought bodily  experience linguis&c  structure Why  CL  is  COGNITIVE? bc   it   seeks   to   discover   the   actual   contents  of  human  cogni%onwtorek, 20 marca 12 3
  4. 4. 1  Introduction:  Cognitive   Linguistics  and  Cognitive  Sciences CL   believes  that  language  can  provide   a   “window”   on   thought,   and   that   by   studying   language,   we   can   uncover   some   of   the   mechanisms   at   work   in   high-­‐level  cogni&ve  processing. However,  not  all  these  ideas  are  having   the   expected   impact   in   the   cogni%ve   sciences,   even   though   they   tackle   directly   many   of   the   “big   issues”   in   these  disciplines.wtorek, 20 marca 12 4
  5. 5. 1  Introduction:  Cognitive   Linguistics  and  Cognitive  Sciences Perhaps   one   of  the   reasons   for   this   situa&on   is   that   the   more   empirically-­‐minded   cogni&ve   science   disciplines   follow   as   closely   as   possible   the  scien%fic  method:  that  is,   theories   are   not   accepted   un&l   their   hypotheses   have  been  backed  up  empirically,   which   in   most   cases   involves   the   use   of   scien&fic   experiments.   CL   claims   about   the   structure   of   cogni%on,   normally   based   on   introspec%ve,   intui%ve   methods,   are   therefore   received   with   some   misgivings.wtorek, 20 marca 12 5
  6. 6. 1  Introduction:  Cognitive   Linguistics  and  Cognitive  Sciences The   Cogni&ve   Theory   of   Metaphor   and   Metonymy   (henceforth,   CTMM)   is   one   of   the   theories   within   CL   which   has   been  cri&cized  for  its  bold  claims  about   human  cogni&on  in  general. This   paper   will   review   some   proposals   of  this  theory  from   the  point  of  view  of   empirical   studies,   that   is   from   CL’s   Cogni%ve  Commitment.wtorek, 20 marca 12 6
  7. 7. 2   The   Cognitive   Theory   of   Metaphor  and  Metonymy  (CTMM) CTMM  is  a  theory  of  language,   cogni&on  and  abstract  reasoning. Cogni4ve  processes  in  CL  are: metaphor  and  metonymy prototype  categoriza4on frame  grammar ...wtorek, 20 marca 12 7
  8. 8. What  is  a  metaphor? the   cogni&ve   mechanism   whereby   one   experien&al   domain   is   par&ally   ’mapped’,   i.e.   projected,   onto   a   different   experien&al   domain,   so   that   the   second   domain   is   par-­‐   &ally   understood   in   terms   of   the   first   one   (Barcelona  &  Valenzuela,  2005:  209). Conceptual   metaphors   exist   to   e n h a n c e   o r   f a c i l i t a t e   t h e   understanding  of  certain  concepts.wtorek, 20 marca 12 8
  9. 9. 3  Some  problems  with  the  CTMM The  linguistic  methodology Gather   expressions   used   to   talk   about  one  topic  (e.g.  TIME). Classify   them   according   to   the   lexical   seman4c   similarity   of   their   components   ASempt   to   find   mappings   from   two   domains   that   will   explain   the   greatest  number  of  expressions.wtorek, 20 marca 12 9
  10. 10. 3  Some  problems  with  the  CTMM The  linguistic  methodology Linguis&c   intui&ons   are   certainly   not   enough  to   postulate  lawful  theories   of   mental  representa&on. The   best,   and   in   some   people’s   view,   the   only,   way   to   study   ordinary   language   use   is   to   objec%vely   study   t h e   b e h a v i o r   o f   n a ï v e   h u m a n   p a r & c i p a n t s   i n   c o n t r o l l e d   experimental  seOngs  (Gibbs  in  EMCL).wtorek, 20 marca 12 10
  11. 11. 3  Some  problems  with  the  CTMM the  limits  of  linguistic  analyses  (CL) CroP  1998,   Sandra  1998,   Gibbs  &  Matlock  1999   Tuggy  1999 discussion   of   the   dangers   of   postula&ng  mental   constructs  from   linguis&c  evidence  alone  in  CL!wtorek, 20 marca 12 11
  12. 12. 3  Some  problems  with  the  CTMM the  circularity  of  reasoning Linguis&c  evidence  is  not  enough  to   support  the  existence  of  conceptual   metaphors   because   it   is   used   both   as  reason  to  hypothesize  metaphor   and   as   post-­‐hoc   evidence   of   their   existence  (Soriano  2005:  14).wtorek, 20 marca 12 12
  13. 13. 3  Some  problems  with  the  CTMM some  CTMM  claims  are  too  vague  to  be  tested Are   conceptual   metaphors   used   constantly   and   automa&cally,   with   neither  effort  nor  awareness?   Some  studies  support  it  but  some  don’t! Gibbs   (1994:19)   acknowledges   that   it   does   not   have   to   be   assumed   that   p e o p l e   a c & v a t e   s o u r c e   d o m a i n   knowledge  every  &me  they  hear  or  read   a  metaphorical  expression.wtorek, 20 marca 12 13
  14. 14. 3  Some  problems  with  the  CTMM internal  and  external  validity external   validity:   internal   validity:   p r o b l e m s   problems   which   concerning   the   d e a l   w i t h   t h e   capacity   of   the   linguis&c   method   CTMM  analyses  to   i t s e l f   w h i c h   i s   b e   “ e x p o r t e d ”   b a s e d   o n   t h e   from   language   to   subjec&vity   of   the   other   areas   of   analyst   cogni&on REPLICABILITY?wtorek, 20 marca 12 14
  15. 15. 3  Some  problems  with  the  CTMM converging  evidence  in  CL  from  CS Different   disciplines   using   different   methodologies   all   of   them   poin&ng   in   the   same   direc&on   could   be   taken   to  be   more  convincing. One  isolated  experiment  is  not  enough,   but   linguis&c,   psycholinguis&c   and   neurolinguis&c   evidence   together   could   well  &lt  the  balance  in  a  given  direc&on.wtorek, 20 marca 12 15
  16. 16. 4  Empirical  Studies  on  Metaphor 4.1  Behavioural  and  Reac4on-­‐Time  Studies (Boroditsky,  2000,  2001;  Boroditsky  and   Ramscar,  2002) 4.2  Gesture  Studies Cienki,  1998  and  Kendon  and  McNeill 4.3  Eye-­‐Tracking  Studies Frisson  and  Pickering  (1999) 4.4  ERPs  and  fMRI  Studies Pynte,  Besson,  Robichon  &  Poli  (1996)  or   Coulson,  Federmeier,  Van  PeSen  &  Kutas   (2005)  and  Rohrer  (2004)wtorek, 20 marca 12 16
  17. 17. Empirical   evidence   about   the   e x i s t e n c e   a n d   b e h a v i o r   o f   metaphorical   mappings   can   be   gathered   from   a  number  of   sources   and  using  different  methodologies. What  else  need  to  be  done/tested? What  are  other  problems  to  solve?wtorek, 20 marca 12 17
  18. 18. 5  Conclusion This  paper  should  rather  be  understood  as  a   gentle   reminder   to   cogni&ve   linguists   that   we   should   do   our   best   not   to   isolate   analyses  from  empirical  approaches.   We  have   to  be  aware   that,   at  some   point  in   &me,   empirical   valida&on   has   to   enter   the   theorizing  chain. Linguists   do  not  have  to  be  limited  to  pure   theory  construc&on,   but   can  instead   look   at   empirical   work,   and   try   to   work   in   tandem   with  other  cogni&ve  scien&sts.wtorek, 20 marca 12 18
  19. 19. 5  Conclusion The  scien&fic  method  is  a  recursive  pa8ern,   in   which   hypotheses  are   put   forward,  tested   against   empirical   work   and   then   refined   against  the  results. The   ideal   situa&on   would   find   linguists   and   psycholinguists   engaged   in   fruiaul   collabora&on:   linguists   would   phrase   their   theories   in   such   a   way   that   they   could   be   subjected   to   empirical   valida&on  by  psycholinguists psycholinguists   would   use   full-­‐fledged   theories   of   linguis&cs   in   the   interpreta&on   of   their   experimental  results.wtorek, 20 marca 12 19
  20. 20. 5  Conclusion It   is   only   from   the   interac&on   between   all   cogni&ve   sciences   that   a   theory   much   richer   and   specific   in   its   details   and   more   sound   scien&fically   will   ever   be  a8ained   which   actually   means,   geDng   closer   to   the  scien%fic  method,  that  is:   o p e r a & o n a l i z i n g   t h e o r e & c a l   c o n s t r u c t s   appropriately,   working  out  hypotheses,   tes&ng  them   refining  them  in  the  light  of  the  results.wtorek, 20 marca 12 20
  21. 21. 5  Conclusion Empirical   research   on   cogni&ve   metaphor  is  necessary  if  we  want  to   liaise  more  closely  with  cogni&ve  science,   and   if   we   want   some   evidence   beyond   linguis&c   introspec&ve   analysis   that   those   processes   described   by   cogni&ve   linguists   do  take  place  in  the  speakers’  minds   and  are  not   just   func&onal   explana&ons  for  certain   systema&c  phenomena.wtorek, 20 marca 12 21
  22. 22. Linguists  use  speculaMons   and  introspecMve  analysis Ask  the  quesMon! Gather  expressions. TWO  WAYS  OF  THE   EMPIRICAL  RESEARCH   Classify  expressions. IN  LANGUAGE  STUDY Try  to  find  regulari4es. Propose  a  theory. Psycholinguists  use   the  scienMfic  method T    H    E    O    R    Y Choose  the  theory. Opera4onalize  it.   f  r  u  i  t  f  u  l   Work  out  hypotheses.   collabora&on Test  hypotheses. Refine  the  theory. Interpret  the  results   using  the  theorywtorek, 20 marca 12 22