TOWARDS A NEW COGNITIVE THEORY OF METAPHOR charbati youssef

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TOWARDS A NEW COGNITIVE THEORY OF METAPHOR  by  charbati youssef

TOWARDS A NEW COGNITIVE THEORY OF METAPHOR by charbati youssef
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ABSTRACTAlthough metaphorical studies are common in linguistic studies, particularly in semantics, opinion is divided on their nature and usefulness to users. Effective studies of metaphors depend on their views to their role in human understanding,MoreABSTRACTAlthough metaphorical studies are common in linguistic studies, particularly in semantics, opinion is divided on their nature and usefulness to users.

Effective studies of metaphors depend on their views to their role in human understanding, which in turn means building a cognitive theory of the metaphorical process. This thesis examines some of the theories which analyze metaphors before proposing one and testing its applicability to selected mental concepts. Earlier research into conceptual metaphors related them to human understanding but did not give a general model of the metaphorical process.

Lakoff and Johnson’s (1980) approach was very systematic and adequately explanatory. However, though it showed the relationship of conceptual metaphors to the metaphorical expressions used by showing how they are mapped in our mind, it did not account for both the semantic relevance of metaphors and their generative power. The main work of this thesis is to propose a cognitive approach that offers an overall model of the metaphorical process.The present study reviews some of the theoretical issues surrounding metaphor, and traces them through the context of semantic debate and the recent pragmatic view with special focus on Lakoff and Johnsons work on conceptual metaphors.

Metaphor has been usually explained as a linguistic process. However, this explanation does not fit well with some of the recent research that proved the cognitive value of metaphors. Lakoff and Johnsons (1980) explanation though showed that metaphors are a matter of thought rather than language, it did not show the principles governing the comprehension and the production of metaphors and, therefore, it did not show their generative power.

This work goes beyond giving an explanation of the cognitive relevance of metaphors. It suggests that the semantic view, instead of being denigrated, should be incorporated to provide a totalitarian picture of the nature and work of metaphors.The theory that this thesis proposes named the theory of Equation, is a framework that aims at enabling us to see the cognitive, semantic and pragmatic aspects of metaphors. A good cognitive theory requires a convergence across a number of different levels of investigation ranging from philosophy to psychology.

Therefore, it is reassured that the cognitive theory of metaphor provided in this thesis is strongly grounded and could be a favorable framework for other research on metaphors.



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