October 1, 2012

Speaking Metaphorically

Our conceptual processes are reflected through language, where metaphors are commonly used to create parallels and express our conceptual reflections. In Lackoff and Johnson's Metaphors We Live By, we can see that we use metaphors all the time- not just in exaggerated circumstances or poetically. With examples like "argument is war" and "time is money," you can see where these phrases came from and why it makes sense to use these metaphors in our language, especially with its cultural context. Time may not be money in another culture, which is why metaphors in our language directly reflect the culture of that language. I also thought it was interesting that he pointed out the generalizations in orientational metaphors, what words like 'up' and 'down' signified. I always just thought of these as general prepositional phrases, but it makes sense to see how it is actually used metaphorically since such phrases may not even exist in another language. The only thing I was not quite sure about were some of  the conduit phrases-- I still don't understand how a phrase like "your reasons came through to us." I see that it is a transitory phrase, but I wouldn't say it is metaphorical because it doesn't stand in place of something else with a more literal meaning. Overall, I wasn't aware how common metaphors were used in every day speech, and see that they differ between languages based on their perceptions and reflections of their culture through language.

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