A Concern for Metaphor

James W. Underhill

in Creating Worldviews

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780748643158
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651566 | DOI:
A Concern for Metaphor

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One rich and wide-reaching element in language has become the focal point of much study in the past three decades: metaphor. If this element of language has aroused such interest, it is because there has been increasing recognition that all of our concepts are framed within metaphorical terms. Rather than a model of language based upon the linguistic sign (a model which implies that words designate things in the world outside of language), linguists today are more inclined to accept that there exists a figurative substructure to concepts. This in turn helps us to understand that concepts are not extra-lingual entities existing in the world and awaiting discovery by the mind and awaiting definition by philosophers. Thanks to progress in metaphor theory, it has become clear that concepts are the inventions of the mind as it works with and within language to construct meaningful configurations of thought.

Keywords: metaphor; language; concepts; metaphorical terms; linguistic sign

Chapter.  2638 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics

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