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Metaphor: Its Cognitive Force and Linguistic Structure

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A detailed revision and refinement of the "semantic theory of metaphor," this book provides a comprehensive philosophical theory explicating metaphor's cognitive contribution. According to the author, metaphor effects a transference of meaning, not between two terms, but between two structured domains of content, or "semantic fields." Semantic fields, construed as necessary to a theory of word-meaning, provide the contrastive and affinitive relations that govern a term's literal use. In a metaphoric use, these ...
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Overview


A detailed revision and refinement of the "semantic theory of metaphor," this book provides a comprehensive philosophical theory explicating metaphor's cognitive contribution. According to the author, metaphor effects a transference of meaning, not between two terms, but between two structured domains of content, or "semantic fields." Semantic fields, construed as necessary to a theory of word-meaning, provide the contrastive and affinitive relations that govern a term's literal use. In a metaphoric use, these relations are projected into a second domain which is thereby reordered with significant cognitive effects. Amply illustrated with sensitive and systematic analyses of metaphors found in literature, philosophy, science, and quotidian language, this book forges a new understanding of the relation between metaphoric and literal meaning.
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Editorial Reviews

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"[A] stimulating attempt to apply semantic field theory to metaphoric structures in literature. [A] productive interaction of linguistics and literary theory."--Ernst S. Dick, University of Kansas

"Scholarly and enlightening. It deals with the cognitive force of metaphors, that is, with their role of representing the world, rather than their rhetorical role of expressing the speaker's feelings or influencing the hearer....The idea is that through metaphor we see one conceptual area in terms of a comnpletely different one, and that this seeing does not add information about the world but rather brings about its reconceptualization."--Times Literary Supplement

"Without doubt one of the best book on metaphor to have appeared in recent years. It is the comprehensive philosophical account of the semantics and pragmatics of metaphor that has been long due."--Dutch Quarterly Review of Anglo-American Letters

"A refined and incisive study of the cognitive products of metaphor"--Choice

"It offers a sustained polemic for a conception of meaning, in terms of Semantic Field theory, not among the contenders naturally considered by some contemporary beginners in the philosophy of language. And one might think of its capacity to deal with the vexed question of metaphor as one reason why this sort of theory deserves more popularity than it perhaps presently enjoys....It is not a book which one might expect average aestheticians to buy, but it is a book they should read."--British Journal of Aesthetics

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