Научная статья на тему 'Metaphor as a language and mental mechanism in artwork'

Metaphor as a language and mental mechanism in artwork Текст научной статьи по специальности «Языкознание и литературоведение»

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Ключевые слова
LITERARY TEXT / COGNITIVE LINGUISTICS / METAPHOR / INDIVIDUAL STYLE OF AN AUTHOR

Аннотация научной статьи по языкознанию и литературоведению, автор научной работы — Popova Tatiana G., Kurochkina Yelena V.

The article is devoted to revelation of conceptualization role in speech-thinking realization process. This role is associated with understanding of both available and received information; determination of probable (new) expression and intention of communicant him / herself. The conceptualization role is also important in analysis of expression social framework and social relationship standards. The performed analysis of the conceptualization process makes it possible to assert that a conceptual system represents a continual system of meanings which structures in person''s activity as a result of conventional experience obtaining. Based on English and American literature 303 conceptual metaphors were generated which show that most of our ordinary conceptual system is metaphorical in nature. Potential limitations and future direction of the study were discussed as well.

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Текст научной работы на тему «Metaphor as a language and mental mechanism in artwork»

UDC 413.015.3

METAPHOR AS A LANGUAGE AND MENTAL MECHANISM

IN ARTWORK

T.G. Popova, Y.V. Kurochkina

Military University (Moscow, Russian Federation).

E-mail: tatyana_27@mail.ru; Kurochkina 12@mail.ru

Abstract. The article is devoted to revelation of conceptualization role in speech-thinking realization process. This role is associated with understanding of both available and received information; determination of probable (new) expression and intention of communicant him / herself. The conceptualization role is also important in analysis of expression social framework and social relationship standards. The performed analysis of the conceptualization process makes it possible to assert that a conceptual system represents a continual system of meanings which structures in person's activity as a result of conventional experience obtaining.

Based on English and American literature 303 conceptual metaphors were generated which show that most of our ordinary conceptual system is metaphorical in nature. Potential limitations and future direction of the study were discussed as well.

Keywords: literary text; cognitive linguistics; metaphor; individual style of an author.

Introduction

Metaphor and simile are the most commonly used figures of speech in everyday language. The field of expressing emotions and emotional pressure brings an element of artistry in our everyday life, which is connected with a wide usage of metaphors in our speech. A metaphor is not only a mode of uncommon word usage and literary world modeling; it reflects individual creative peculiarities in subjective world content of poetic visions.

Metaphor role is very important to us. The point has been pressed out by many scientists [1-7].

Metaphor is considered as a mental language mechanism, which affects creation of a world view. In the study the metaphor is considered not only as a means for figurativeness creation but from the point of view of those cognitive structures which underlie metaphorical process as well.

The data for study indicates that one or a group of connected basic and / or image metaphoric concepts underlie the majority of poetic texts. The composition and number of the metaphoric concepts making groups are individual. As a result of detalization, stylistic devices and expressive means they turn into individual poetic image.

The problem of construction of a metaphor theory with enough explanatory power cannot be solved only within the framework of linguistics; it requires an access to cognitive activities.

Cognitive science makes a person a key object of research. It attributes understanding of metaphor to mental processes, accompanying speech production and perception. The metaphor is considered a mental and language mechanism, representing interaction of two entities, which leads to getting new knowledge about the reality.

A language reflects the surrounding reality with the help of isomorphic means, that is through a person's attitude to the surrounding world, and through the perception and description of the world. One cannot overestimate the role of metaphor in constructing the linguistic world view (picture of the world).

However, metaphor, as a language phenomenon, does not make a fragment of the world view, but fills all its space, which can be attributed to the fact that metaphor is a means of reality cognition, of structuring the experience of interaction with the outer world.

Metaphor as an expressive means of language tradition

Language traditions are reflected in figures of speech in the most vivid way. Metaphors are often used in literature, as they are closely connected with the artistic world view. Moreover, the very interpretation of a work of literature and the attitude to it is often expressed by reference to metaphor.

Recently the problem of metaphor has come into the field of interests of theorists in semantics, logical semantics and sociology of science, as if crease marks after a stone dropped in the water. In their research, made from the perspective of these sciences, new information about the role of the metaphor in cognitive processes and in the arrangement of systems of signs of science, technology, art and language was obtained [8].

L.L. Nelubin [9] points out that the purpose of metaphor is not just in nominating a thing, but in its expressive description. N.D. Arutyunova believes that the essence of metaphor is transposition of identifying (descriptive and semantic diffusive) lexis, meant for denoting the object of speech, into the sphere of predicates, meant for denoting its features and properties [10].

The metaphor is "a mental and language mechanism" [3], representing interaction or comparison of two entities based on the resemblance, analogy between them, i.e. discovering their similarities. The role of metaphor in representation knowledge can be seen in an ancient method of scientific cognition, which was in relating, comparing entities of different kinds.

All this makes it possible to notice, to discern a thing behind another one, on the face of it quite different, and in this way to extend cognition process. The cognitive function of the metaphor consists in mastering the abstract by means of the concrete, the unobservable by means of the perceptible.

Metaphor appears in our speech requiring emotional impact. Those concerned with the emotional pressure on the addressee are not only among writers, columnists or public figures, they are among common society members. The community of the purpose brings about the community of the language devices used. The field of the expression of emotions and emotional pressure brings an element of artistry, and as a result metaphor, in our everyday speech [8].

The source domain is normally represented by concrete notions, denoting people's interaction with reality, such as spatial orientation, while the target domain consists of notions inaccessible for direct physical experience.

In fact, semantic similarity takes place not only between two notions of the two domains but also between the relations of these notions. This invariant content represents an image scheme (a repeated experience model, abstracted of particular details) characteristic of both domains. For example, the life of a person can be metaphorically conceptualized as a journey, which can be represented as "life is a journey".

There exists correspondence between the relations of notions in one domain and those in the other. For example, a "traveler" is related to his "destination" in the same way as a person which is related to his life goals.

Metaphor is an important component of the individual style of the author of a literary work. At the same time it shows the subjective attitude of an author to the surrounding reality. It serves the purpose of characterizing the personage.

As A.V. Hhalaimova [11] indicates, a text is a speech unit with the maximal volume, in which a closed system of language signs, characterized by coherence and integrity, is used in order to express the conveyed by the content unity of the author's ideas and feelings.

A literary work has a peculiar symbolistic nature. It represents "a specific semiotic reality" [3]. A structural text is arranged about its plot. In the way of its content and ideology, a literary work reveals the author's perspective by means of the functional semantic dependence. The content of a literary work is arranged around its semantic node that represents synthesis of the time before and during the plot.

The author of a literary work is a typical representative of his linguistic community, which is reflected in an individual way of the author's representation of conventional metaphors and in the content and structure of the key concepts of artistic consciousness.

The semantic node, presented in the definite sequence of its revealing through central links, embodies a text in the way of its content. The means of connection of the key links in a semantic node is a plot perspective, to create which the author's subjective metaphors are used. Those metaphors refer to an individual, not a collective, world view. This type of metaphors is opposed to language metaphors, based on traditional nominating relations corresponding to the national symbols or to a certain prior experience of communicants.

The inherent part of poetic metaphors is coexistence of two meanings, which provides a figuratively aesthetic function. Figurative basis of a literary work is formed by means of a chain conceptual metaphor, which means superimposition of one image on another, when one image evokes the associations about another one [5, 6].

For the first time the interpreted metaphor represents a combination of the known, accepted in the language, with the unknown. Consequently, it implies the comparison of entities by their similarity. When a word is used metaphorically the similarity can refer to various characteristics of entities: to their shape, different features, functions, emotional impact, etc. [12].

Indeed, a metaphor is not only a mode of uncommon word usage and literary world modelling; it reflects individual creative peculiarities in subjective world content of poetic visions. N.D. Arutyunova [13] believes that "fore components take part in making a metaphor, they are two entities (two objects), principal and secondary subjects of metaphor and some characteristics of each subject".

In M.V. Nikitin's [14] metaphor research it is underlined that "languages normally combine analogous, similar notions in one word... A metaphor as a word is the very case of the similar combination of notions in a word, when the expression of this notion is realized as a secondary onomasi-ological function of a word "occupied" by another notion".

"The degree of similarity is of minor importance for metaphor. The analogy can be special, superficial and not deep. The metaphor is the result of analogue search without any restrictions in the degree of similarity" [Ibid]. V.N. Telija [8] also considers that "the metaphor requires a similarity admission, which is not always obvious and is very often fictitious".

As V.N. Telija [15] indicates, "the condition of a communication-pragmatic success is appealing to an emotional message reception, which is normally achieved by means of figurativeness, created by various speech devices, as image evokes emotional experience of the world". V.N. Telija [16] also draws our attention to the fact that it is possible not only to detect a language metaphor in a language (if it is not "erased"), but also to some extent to "program" it". At the same time authors' individual metaphors, which V.N. Telija [Ibid] calls speech metaphors, are easy to be detected.

However, it is difficult to indicate the permissible limit for "fantasy flights" of a metaphor creator.

As O.I. Glazunova [17] indicates, the language mechanisms of metaphorical transfer realization in a literary work are quite various. Metaphorical expressions are used:

1) to name a thing;

2) to use a noun in a predicative - qualifying function;

3) to use a verb and verb phrases in a predicate function;

4) to use adjectives and adverbs;

5) in genitive word combinations;

6) in adverbial constructions;

7) in comparative constructions with the form markers "as", "as if";

8) in set expressions.

The power of the metaphor is in its ability to destroy the existing categorization in order to build new logical boundaries on the ruins of the old ones [18]. The metaphor implies, on the one hand, some similarity between the characteristics of its semantic referents, as it is to be comprehensible, but, on the other hand, it implies some dissimilarity between them, as it is to create a new meaning, i.e. to be suggestive [Ibid].

Several interconnected elements make the basis for metaphorical semantics [19]. These elements are the following ones: the direct meaning of the word, the image, created as a result of comparing, a new conceptual content and a new nomination, originating as a result of the comprehension of the metaphor. Thus, it is possible to speak about the semantic duality of this trope, which leads to polyfunctioning of metaphor.

Polyfunctioning means simultaneous realization of nominating and pragmatic functions. The nominating function is realized by the way of transferring semantic information. The pragmatic function is connected with transferring the figurativeness of metaphor. Besides, a metaphor performs style generative, text generative and genre generative functions [20].

A metaphor is a mental and language mechanism, consisting in interaction and comparison of two entities, based on the similarity, analogy between them. In other words, the point is in finding their similar characteristics. Since the metaphor is multivariate there exist different classes of metaphor, for example, language and poetic metaphors.

Solidarity in purpose naturally causes solidarity in language methods in use. Sphere of emotions expressing and emotional pressure adds an element of artistry along with metaphor to the everyday language. Metaphor is not so much that principle of unusual word usage and artistic world shaping. It reflects individual and creative features in the subjective content of the poetic visions world.

Based on English and American literature, we have studied 303 conceptual metaphors were generated which show that most of our ordinary

conceptual system is metaphorical in nature. Our research shoes us that we can speak about the following main productive types of metaphoric concepts: "basic metaphors", "specific-level metaphors" (or in different wording root, constant, conventional, general poetic and so on) and occasional - "image metaphors" (individually authorial).

As follows from the conducted analysis of English language poetry of the 20th century the most commonly encountered concepts reflected poetry which we have studied are concepts of death and love.

Among them prevail:

Death - going away / separation:

"Where has the tree gone, that locked / Earth to the sky? What is under my hands, / That I cannot feel?" ("Going" by Ph. Larkin); "To go down.... We all go down, mostly /alone... " ("Titanic" by D.S. Slavitt); "My friends are gone, but that's a truth / Nor grave nor bed denied" ("Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop" by W.B. Yeats).

Death - sorrow / pain:

"My wept exhaustions over plates and cups / Drained my self-pity in these days of grief; She fought death with an understated mischief; Some sat downstairs with a hankie /Nursing a little cry before going up to her; ...It tore my heart out" ("Thirteen Steps and the Thirteenth of March" by D. Dunn).

Death - stagnation / immobility:

"And hate the bright stillness of the noon, / without wind, without motion " ("California Hills in August" by D. Gioia); "Side by side, their faces blurred / The earl and countess lie in stone " ("An Arundel Tomb " by Ph. Larkin); "Constant water lilies we lie still" ("Looking Up at Leaves" by B. Howes).

Love - song / music:

"The music plays, / Hauntily beautiful, / It plays of love " ("Love 's Music" by J. Hodges); "SONG is so old, /Love is so new - ...Let my warm blood / Sing low of you - Song is so fair, / Love is so new!" ("Song Is So Old" by H. Hagedorn).

Love - sickness:

"This the word that made us part In the fall o 'dew; / This the word that brake his heart / - Yet it brake mine, too. " ("Love Came Back at Fall o' Dew" by L.W. Reese); "I have nothing more than to honor you now, / A fallen tear wiped from my brow. / A refreshing memory of how I remember you best, / Since you left me I now have my own "Song of Sadness " ("A Song of Sadness" by D.L. Gomes).

As we see, the former, grouping around key concepts of the outside world are characterized by the unambiguity of the author's idea and reader's perception. They express constant, systemic nature of the image analogy between the compared notions and possess the sign of invariance.

Summary

The systematization of the knowledge about the world stipulates its conceptualization. The conceptualization process is closely associated with the process of categorization, as categorization underlies conceptualization, the cognitive process which identifies, estimates and classifies objects of the world, their features and relations in accordance with the ways of vision and interpretation, peculiar to a man.

The conceptual metaphor acts as a tool of the speech influence on a reader (listener), aimed at emendation and modification of his / her world model by involving him / her in the poetic world model of the artist, its perception and interpretation. The conceptual metaphor is a chain trope, during its implementation one image provokes another by association.

The metaphorical semantics consists of several interconnected elements. They are the direct meaning of the word, the image, created as a result of comparing, new conceptual content and a new nomination, originating as a result of the comprehension of the metaphor.

The conceptual metaphor acts as a tool of the speech influence on a reader (listener), aimed at emendation and modification of his / her world model by involving him / her in the poetic world model of the artist, its perception and interpretation. The conceptual metaphor is a chain trope, during its implementation one image provokes another by association.

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