Lecture 8. Non-linear semiotics. Rhetoric. Figures of speech. Trope. Metaphor Turn of meaning linear Non-linear
Semiotics (subject to revision)
Lecture 1. Introduction
Lecture 2. History of s emiotics
Lecture 3. The classics of semiotics Peirce, Saussure, Morris, Hjelmslev
Lecture 4. Modern semioticians. Uexkuel , Greimas
Lecture 5. Sign and m eaning
Lecture 6. Models of the sign
Lecture 7. Sign typology
Lecture 8. Non-linear semiotics. Rhetoric. Figures of speech. Trope. Metaphor
Paper (choose one of the following formulations):
Semiotic approach to [subtopic]…
Semiotics and [subtopic]
Subtopic examples: cognition, communication)
>= 4000 words
Due to May, 19
Lecture 9 . Syntagmatic and paradigmatic analysis
Lecture 10 . Signs in communication
Examination : end-of-term exam, written and oral form. May, 19; 14 pm
Examination and assessment
Examination : end-of-term exam, written and oral form. May, 19; 14 pm
Assessment : Class work 20% of final grade, project (paper) 30%, end-of-term exam 50%
Rhetoric - “ The art of using language so as to persuade or influence others. Although rhetoric is apparently opposed to the philosophical ideal of the exact pursuit of truth, their reconciliation has sometimes seemed desirable. If one thinks of philosophy as a matter of argument rather than doctrine . . . Then rhetoric is good practice in argument.” ( Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy )
F igure s of speech
Scholars of classical Western rhetoric have divided figures of speech into two main categories: schemes and tropes .
Schemes (from the Greek schēma , form or shape) are figures of speech in which there is a deviation from the ordinary or expected pattern of words.
For example, the phrase, "John, my best friend" uses the scheme known as apposition .
Tropes (from the Greek tropein , to turn) involve changing or modifying the general meaning of a term.
An example of a trope is the use of irony, which is the use of word in a way that conveys a meaning opposite to its usual meaning ("For Brutus is an honorable man; / So, are they all, honorable men").
From: wikipedia. Figure of speech
Schemes , examples
tautology : needless repetition of an idea in a different word, phrase, etc. (Webster); Redundancy due to superfluous qualification; saying the same thing
E.g., necessary essentials
anastrophe : Inversion of the usual word order
antithesis : The juxtaposition of opposing or contrasting ideas
parallelism : The use of similar structures in two or more clauses
pleonasm : The use of superfluous or redundant words
D efinitions of trope
Trope : a figure of speech involving shifts in the meaning of words.
derived from the Greek noun τρόποϛ, meaning «turn, direction» and the Greek verb τρεπειν, meaning « to turn».
2. A figure of speech involving a turn of meaning.
A word or sentence not used in its normal or propesense, achieving a new signification through the relation it establishes with other elements of the text, giving or emphrasis energy, life, to an idea.
Trope comes from the Greek word, tropos , which means a "turn", as in heliotrope , a flower which turns toward the sun. We can imagine a trope as a way of turning a word away from its normal meaning, or turning it into something else.
A trope is a rhetorical figure of speech that consists of a play on words, i.e. using a word in a way other than what is considered its literal or normal form. The other major category of figures of speech is the scheme , which involves changing the pattern of words in a sentence.
A number of tropes have been identified, among them:
metonymy as in association .
irony as in contraries .
metaphor as in comparatives .
synecdoche as in the distribution of the whole into the part .
Pronunciation: (trōp), 1. Rhet. a. any literary or rhetorical device, as metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, and irony, that consists in the use of words in other than their literal sense. b. an instance of this. Cf. figure of speech. 2. a phrase, sentence, or verse formerly interpolated in a liturgical text to amplify or embellish. 3. (in the philosophy of Santayana) the principle of organization according to which matter moves to form an object during the various stages of its existence.
Trope synonyms: image, figure , figure of speech,
Types of tropes
In this figure (m’ tawn ni’mee) one thing is replaced by another thing associated with it:
The Crown is amused (“The Crown” is the Queen).
The White House is furious (“The White House” is the President).
In rhetoric and cognitive linguistics , metonymy (in Greek μετά (meta) = after/later and όνομα (onoma) = name) (pronounced /mɛ.tɒ'nə.mi/) is the use of a single characteristic to identify a more complex entity. It is also known as denominatio or pars pro toto (part for the whole). In cognitive linguistics , metonymy is one of the basic characteristics of cognition . It is extremely common for people to take one well-understood or easy-to-perceive aspect of something and use that aspect to stand either for the thing as a whole or for some other aspect or part of it.
In rhetoric , metonymy is the substitution of one word for another with which it is associated. When discussing figures of speech, it is often easiest to start with some clear examples. The following are clear, commonly used examples of metonymy:
"The pen is mightier than the sword"; pen is a metonym for "discourse/negotiation/persuasion" and sword is a metonym for "war."
" White House ," the president of the United States and advisors.
" Whitehall ," the British government .
"The press," to refer to the news media (especially newspapers ).
"A dish," to refer to an entree .
" Hollywood " to refer to the American film industry.
A capital city to refer to a government.
Wikipedia. http ://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metonymy
Metaphor , m etonymy s ynecdoche
Metaphor : something is something else
“ Love is a rose.”
Simile : something is like something else
“ [His] hand was like the clasp of an iron gate” (p. 1126)
Metonymy : one entity stands for another associated entity
“ The pen is mightier than the sword.”
“ I’m studying Shakespeare.”
Synecdoche : using part of an object to represent the whole
“ All hands on deck!”
Metaphor and s imile
Equating two unlike objects
“ The moon is a balloon.”
Comparing two unlike objects using like , as , than , or similar to
“ The moon is like a balloon.”
Metaphor: A trope in which a word or phrase is transferred from its literal meaning to stand for something else. Unlike a simile, in which something is said to be "like" something else, a metaphor says something is something else. Example: "Debt is a bottomless sea."
Metonymy: A trope that substitutes an associated word for one that is meant. Example: Using "top brass" to refer to military officers.
Oxymoron: A trope that connects two contradictory terms. Example: “Bill is a cheerful pessimist.”
Periphrasis: A trope in which one substitutes a descriptive word or phrase for a proper noun. Example: “The big man upstairs hears your prayers.”
Personification: A trope in which human qualities or abilities are assigned to abstractions or inanimate objects. Example: “Integrity thumbs its nose at pomposity.”
Pun: A play on words in which a homophone is repeated but used in a different sense. Examples: “She was always game for any game."
Rhetorical Question: A trope in which the one asks a leading question. Example: "With all the violence on TV today, is it any wonder kids bring guns to school?"
Simile: A trope in which one states a comparison between two things that are not alike but have similarities. Unlike metaphors, similes employ "like" or "as." Example: "Her eyes are as blue as a robin's egg."
Synecdoche: A trope in which a part stands for the whole. Example: "Tom just bought a fancy new set of wheels."
Zeugma: A trope in which one verb governs several words, or clauses, each in a different sense. Example: “He stiffened his drink and his spine.”
From: Tropes and Schemes . http://rhetorica.net/tropes.htm
“ Time is money”
Metaphor: narrow and broad sense
Narrow sense: a particular trope.
Broad sense: all tropes
Originally, metaphor was a Greek word meaning "transfer". The Greek etymology is from meta , implying "a change" and pherein meaning "to bear, or carry". In modern Greek, the word metaphor also means transport or transfer . Wikipedia.
Originally metaphor was a Greek word for "transfer". It came from meta ("change") and pherein ("carry"). So the word metaphor in English was a metaphor, too. Today in Greek, metaphor is a trolley (a thing you push, to carry shopping or bags).
Metaphor (wikipedia) : An implied comparison of two things
Retrieved from " http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaphor "
Two c lassical t reatment s of m etaphor
as e xtraordinary l anguage
a s d ecorative
“ the application to one thing of the name belonging to another” - Aristotle (metaphor as insightful manner of speech)
The most ingenious of Aristotle’s conclusions is that metaphor is above all a tool of cognition. - Umberto Eco, on Aristotle
By far the greatest thing is to be a master of metaphor. It is the one thing that cannot be learned from others. It is a sign of genius, for a good metaphor implies intuitive perception of similarity among dissimilars
Classical Treatment of Metaphor as Extraordinary Language
create an unusual element in the diction by their not being in ordinary speech
Metaphor should not be “ridiculous,” “to grand,” “too much in the vein of tragedy,” or “our far fetched.”
The metaphor should bear some resemblance to what it pictures, and it should give clarity to a point rather than confuse it.
Classical Treatment of Metaphor As Decorative
Gives clear this, charm, and distinction to style
There is no mode of embellishment . . . That throws a greater luster are upon language
Contemporary, Expanded View of Metaphor
Friedrich Nietzsche – metaphor is a process whereby we encounter our world.
Kenneth Burke – metaphor plays an important role in the discovery and description of our world.
Max Black – metaphor is a screen for structuring and organizing our view of the world.
Burke (and against Aristotle) : names don’t “belong” to objects , r ather naming is a creative act which positions people to certain actions and attitudes so, metaphor isn’t really “this in terms of that”, it revises BOTH “this” and “that” .
There is no `real' expression and no real knowing apart from metaphor. but deception on this point remains [...] The most accustomed metaphors, the usual ones, now pass for truths and as standards for measuring the rarer ones. The only intrinsic difference here is the difference between custom and novelty, frequency and rarity. Knowing is nothing but working with the favorite metaphors, and imitating which is no longer felt to be an imitation.‘ - Nietzsche (metaphor as necessary for knowing)
Definition s of Metaphor
Metaphor - Application of name or descriptive term to another object which is not literally applicable
Use: Natural transfer - apply existing knowledge to new, abstract tasks
Problem: May introduce incorrect mental model
A comparison of two dissimilar items that shows how one might have some of the qualities of the other
“ a figure of speech in which a name, action, or description is applied to another to suggest a likeness between them”
The Winston Dictionary
Metaphor is defined as the replacement of one idea or object with another, used to assist expression or understanding.
In literary studies, metaphor is treated as a trope which facilitates an implicit comparison
“ Living” metaphors: considered as original metaphors (the internet is an information superhighway .)
“ Dead” metaphors: incorporated into normal usage (I am open to suggestions.)
Metaphor is usually used to compare two unlike things, which in result improve our understanding.
Metaphor can be used as “filter” for our perceptions. If inaccurately used, they may distort information or cause false generalizations.
Strength and limitation of metaphor messages
Metaphors are most of the time below our level of conscious awareness.
Metaphors powerfully influence us, shaping our perspectives and actions.
Types Verbal and visual
Visual m etaphor
Dead metaphor; Dem etaphor ization and rem etaphor ization
Through multiple recurrence metaphors can finally become conventionalized and therewith a part of the language norm, i.e. a symbol (according to Peirce)
Lexicalized metaphors, e.g., bottleneck
Opaque, e.g., radical: literally ‘from the root’
Dead, e.g., (news) magazine: originally magazine meant ‘storehouse’
Conventionalization can be reversed in the poetic device of rem etaphor ization or resurection (of a dead metaphor)
A ntimetaphor , a boundary case
An absolute or paralogical metaphor (sometimes called an antimetaphor) is one in which there is no discernible point of resemblance between the idea and the image. Example: "The couch is the autobahn of the living room."
Examples of metaphor
A wolf in sheep's clothing
The heart of the computer
The neck of the bottle
The leg of the chair
The computer bottleneck
A captain of industry
The market leader
The king of the jungle
The brain of the organization
The lifeblood of the company
Sitting on a bed of lettuce
A hot new product
My new car is a lemon
Time is money
The night has a thousand eyes and the day but one.
Jack is a pussycat.
Jack is a lion.
“ My Love is a flower” suggests delicacy and beauty.
“ My love is an open book” suggests honesty and frankness.
“ My love is a rock” suggests stability and permanence.
“ My love is my life” suggests dedication and total dependence.
Raining cats and dogs
Caught red handed
Shoot yourself in the foot
Go down the drain
N.B. Most of these are clichés.
The Metaphor Observatory
The Metaphor Observatory is dedicated to detecting metaphor usage in contemporary media, as a means of tracking society's true sentiments and predicting our anthropological trajectory.
Here's a short version of the list, followed by the full explanations:
- "... political fallout from the scandal." - "Unfolding the road map to peace." - "A tidal wave of generousity." - "A fusion of technology and personality." - "New Orleans became filled with a toxic gumbo ."- "Sprite Re Mix Aruba Jam." - "The Gulf Coast is a catcher's mitt for hurricanes."- "I've got a thousand songs in my iPod ." "The housing bubble has burst." - "A storm of controversy.".“ From: http ://metaphorobservatory.blogspot.com/2005/12/top-ten-metaphors-of-2005.html
Models of metaphor
Parts of a metaphor
tenor and vehicle ( I. A. Richards ); The Philosophy of Rhetoric (1936),
target and source ( George Lakoff )
Further analysis: ground and the tension .
The ground consists of the similarities between the tenor and the vehicle. The tension of the metaphor consists of the dissimilarities between the tenor and the vehicle .
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players
They have their exits and their entrances; — ( William Shakespeare , As You Like It , 2/7)
This well known quote is a good example of a metaphor. In this example, "the world" is compared to a stage, the aim being to describe the world by taking well-known attributes from the stage. In this case, the world is the tenor and the stage is the vehicle. "Men and women" are a secondary tenor and "players" is the vehicle for this secondary tenor.
[Target “is like” Source] Juliet is like the sun Cigarettes are like time bombs Phonological structure: “ is” and “is like” forms both source and target domain concepts are explicit Semantic structure : Unlike conventional metaphor, structure mapping in analogy is not conventional. Conventional metaphors are stored domain relations. Analogies are a process of domain structure mapping. Analogy
The Rutherford analogy: The atom is like the solar system
Solar system maps onto Atomic system
Gentner (1983, 1987)
Analogy maps structural relations, but not properties or objects
Things gas *
Properties hot *
Relations revolves around ok
more massive than ok
[electron is to nucleus] as [planet is to sun]
Object/property similarity is not very interesting or informative.
The sun is like an orange
A metaphor is a relation between two disparate domains AN ARGUMENT IS A BUILDING Source domain Target domain ARGUMENT BUILDING Metaphors are conventional (stored) domain relations manifested by ordinary linguistic expressions. We need to buttress the theory with more evidence That’s a sound argument Your argument has a strong foundation We demolished their theory Metaphor
CONSCIOUS IS UP - UNCONSCIOUS IS DOWN
Wake up - He fell asleep
HEALTH AND LIFE ARE UP - SICKNESS AND DEATH ARE DOWN
He's at the peak of health - He came down with the flu.
HAVING CONTROL OR FORCE IS UP - BEING SUBJECT TO CONTROL OR FORCE IS DOWN
I am on top of this situation - He fell from power.
MORE QUANTITY IS UP - LESS QUANTITY IS DOWN
The number of books printed every year keeps going up - The number of errors he made is incredibly low.
HIGH STATUS IS UP - LOW STATUS IS DOWN
She'll rise to the top - She fell in status.
GOOD IS UP - BAD IS DOWN
Things are looking up - Things are at an all-time low.
VIRTUE IS UP - DEPRAVITY IS DOWN
She is an upstanding citizen - That was a low-down thing to do.
UNKNOWN IS UP - KNOWN IS DOWN
That's up in the air - The matter is settled.
The Metaphor MORE IS UP has High Productivity (examples from Lakoff & Johnson 1980)
Metaphors in Language and Vision Conceptual metaphor Metaphorical expressions MORE IS UP LESS IS DOWN
Lakoff & Johnson (1980): Metaphors We Live By
“ Metaphor is pervasive in everyday life, not just in language but in thought and action. Our ordinary conceptual system, in terms of which we both think and act, is fundamentally metaphorical in nature.” (page 3)
Traditional false assumptions
All everyday conventional language is literal, and none is metaphorical.
All subject matter can be comprehended literally, without metaphor.
Only literal language can be contingently true or false.
All definitions given in the lexicon of a language are literal, not metaphorical.
The concepts used in the grammar of a language are all literal; none are metaphorical.
From: George Lakoff. The Contemporary Theory of Metaphor.
The Nature of Metaphor
Metaphor is the main mechanism through which we comprehend abstract concepts and perform abstract reasoning.
Much subject matter, from the most mundane to the most abstruse scientific theories, can only be comprehended via metaphor.
Metaphor is fundamentally conceptual, not linguistic, in nature.
Metaphorical language is a surface manifestation of conceptual metaphor.
Though much of our conceptual system is metaphorical, a significant part of it is nonmetaphorical. Metaphorical understanding is grounded in nonmetaphorical understanding.
Metaphor allows us to understand a relatively abstract or inherently unstructured subject matter in terms of a more concrete, or at least a more highly structured subject matter.
From: George Lakoff. The Contemporary Theory of Metaphor.
Meta phor is mapping (static) source domain target domain
The Structure of Metaphor
Metaphors are mappings across conceptual domains.
Such mappings are asymmetric and partial.
Each mapping is a fixed set of ontological correspondences between entities in a source domain and entities in a target domain.
When those fixed correspondences are activated, mappings can project source domain inference patterns onto target domain inference patterns.
Metaphorical mappings obey the Invariance Principle: The image-schema structure of the source domain is projected onto the target domain in a way that is consistent with inherent target domain structure.
Mappings are not arbitrary, but grounded in the body and in everyday experience and knowledge.
A conceptual system contains thousands of conventional metaphorical mappings, which form a highly structured subsystem of the conceptual system.
There are two types of mappings: conceptual mappings and image- mappings; both obey the Invariance Principle.
From: George Lakoff. The Contemporary Theory of Metaphor.
“ metaphors facilitate thought by providing an experiential framework in which newly acquired, abstract concepts may be accommodated.” - Lakoff (metaphor as fundamental to all cognition and awareness) “ conceptual blending” “ But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun . Arrise fair sun and kill the envious moon. She is already sick and pale with grief ” juliet sun sun: giver of life, rises in the east, majestic, all-powerful, etc. juliet: love at first sight, beautiful, reason to live, etc.
A Semiotic Model of Metaphor: Pierce, Lakoff & Johnson
Modeling Metaphor Metaphorical Entailment A Metaphor is a Sign Generator
XP System Metaphor
Written assignment ( hardcopy )
Topic: formulate your opinion on the figures of speech, trope, metaphor (aproximately 500 words)
C ompile a text from the internet search results, including full bibliographic descriptions of the entries. Analyze the text and formulate your own opinion on the topic
Due: next week
I. A. Richards . The Philosophy of Rhetoric (1936)
Metaphor Examples. [lists examples of metaphor by experiential category, including spatial and sensory metaphors] http://knowgramming.com/metaphors/metaphor_chapters/examples.htm
George Lakoff. The Contemporary Theory of Metaphor. 1992. To Appear in Ortony, Andrew (ed.) Metaphor and Thought (2nd edition), Cambridge University Press. http://www.ac.wwu.edu /~market/semiotic/lkof_met.html
Second order signs , connotation
Barthes : cultural myths a re second-order signs
Semiology and myth . Barthes' many monthly contributions that made up Mythologies (1957) would often interrogate pieces of cultural material to expose For instance, portrayal of wine in French society as a robust and healthy habit would be a bourgeois ideal perception how bourgeois society used them to assert its values upon others. contradicted by certain realities (i.e. that wine can be unhealthy and inebriating). He found semiology , the study of signs , useful in these interrogations. Barthes explained that these bourgeois cultural myths were second-order signs , or significations . A picture of a full, dark bottle is a signifier relating to a signified: a fermented, alcoholic beverage - wine. However, the bourgeois take this signified and apply their own emphasis to it, making ‘wine’ a new signifier, this time relating to a new signified: the idea of healthy, robust, relaxing wine. Motivations for such manipulations vary from a desire to sell products to a simple desire to maintain the status quo. These insights brought Barthes very much in line with similar Marxist theory.
In The Fashion System Barthes showed how this adulteration of signs could easily be translated into words. In this work he explained how in the fashion world any word could be loaded with idealistic bourgeois emphasis. Thus, if popular fashion says that a ‘blouse’ is ideal for a certain situation or ensemble, this idea is immediately naturalized and accepted as truth, even though the actual sign could just as easily be interchangeable with ‘skirt’, ‘vest’ or any number of combinations. In the end Barthes Mythologies became absorbed itself into bourgeois culture, as he found many third parties asking him to comment on a certain cultural phenomenon, being interested in his control over his readership. This turn of events caused him to question the overall utility of demystifying culture for the masses, thinking it might be a fruitless attempt, and drove him deeper in his search for individualistic meaning in art.
Patterns as second order s igns
O bject-oriented design patterns can be analysed as signs. A pattern-description is a sign where a pattern’s solution is the signifier and the intent is the signified.
Then, a pattern is a second order sign where a name is a signifier and a pattern-description is the signified. Treating patterns as signs provides us with an analytic framework that is based on semiotics, rather than logic, mathematics, mysticism, or a metaphor without a name. Using this framework, we have addressed a number of common questions about patterns — explicating patterns that propose similar designs or have similar intents, that have many names or share names, and clarifying the relationships between patterns. Semiotics also allows us to analyse misinterpretations of patterns, and the role of patterns in creating an evolving common vocabulary of program design. We hope that this framework can provide a platform for future progress in the research and application of design patterns.
From: Patterns as Signs. James Noble and Robert Biddle . Computer Science . Victoria University of Wellington . New Zealand. www.mcs.vuw.ac.nz /~kjx/papers/e03.pdf
F irst-order , second-orde r signs
John Fiske speaks of the TV sign being organized and interpretable at three levels called orders of signification: first-order signs are representational, second-order signs are connotative , third order signs are to be interpreted in terms of subjective responses which are shared, to a degree, by all members of a culture - intersubjectivity.
Introduction . We would like to highlight some of the premises for our argument that advertising on Romanian TV can and does lend itself to transcultural reading. The TV signs1, most visibly in advertisements, carry sometimes `surplus' meanings that are not always available at surface reading. They conflate not only representations but also meanings of the second order: connotations or cultural meanings. When these cultural meanings transgress the socio-cultural coordinates of a distinct national community to meet those of another national `entity', they multiply and diversify accordingly the semantic potential of the TV sign. The result might be that the subsequent readings of the sign by the different cultural subjects will not coincide, for the cultural frameworks applied differ, as expected. This is an instance of transculturation at work. To this we should add three more aspects to clarify the current television tableau for the Romanian audience, which, like audiences everywhere, can be reached by the global and local programmes through advanced technologies.
From: Diana Cotrãu. A Transcultural Reading of Television Advertising. JSRI • No.12 /Winter 2005 p . 76 http://hiphi.ubbcluj.ro/JSRI/html%20version/index/no_12/untitl7.htm
Baudrillard on first, second and third order signs
Baudrillard's concept of 'sign-value' on the orders of simulacra is especially relevant. Beyond first order signs where images represent reality, second order signs are characterised by a reality that is disguised by appearance. The third order involves 'production,' where "appearances create their illusion of reality." The final order -- simulation -- marks the stage of the virtual, wherein images "invent reality" itself. At this stage, "the real is not only what can be reproduced but that which is always being reproduced": the 'hyperreal'. The question posed by international relations writer James Der Derian after the Gulf War was this: "whether simulations can create a new world order where actors act, things happen, and the consequences have no origins except the artificial cyberspace of simulations themselves." The strategies of 'finding' bin Laden have therefore involved a pursuit of an amalgam between Benjamin's deauratized bin Laden and Baudrillard's simulated bin Laden. Bin Laden circulates in a representational purgatory; the image-world perpetually resurrects him.
Metaphor and Argument
Seen as decoration, metaphor plays no role in argument.
Seen as a way of knowing, metaphor has a particular relationship to argument.
metaphor does not simply support and argument; the metaphor itself is an argument.