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Introduction to corpus session

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Introduction to corpus session General corpora Rosamund Moon: lexicography, polysemy data Alice Deignan Specialised corpora Elena Semino Andreas Musolff – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Introduction to corpus session


1
Introduction to corpus session
  • General corpora
  • Rosamund Moon lexicography, polysemy data
  • Alice Deignan
  • Specialised corpora
  • Elena Semino
  • Andreas Musolff

2
Corpus linguistics
  • Seeks to account for all citations (or a large,
    random sample) of a word, including all its
    inflections
  • Pays close attention to linguistic form
  • (among other principles)

3
Some characteristics of corpus research into
metaphor
  • Forces difficult decisions
  • Static vs dynamic views of language
  • Metaphors as part of resources of language

4
Problems of categorizing metaphors in corpus data
  • Alice Deignan

5
Structure
  • Methodology for studying metaphors in corpora
    Research Questions
  • Distinctions used in classifying corpus data
  • Problems

6
Methodology
  • Studying whole concordance, or large random
    sample, of all inflections of a lexeme
  • Identifying literal and metaphorical senses
  • Tracing semantic relationships between senses
  • Examining linguistic, semantic and pragmatic
    features of both

7
Research questions
  • Implications for metaphor theory of
  • grammatical behaviour of literal and non-literal
    uses
  • collocational patterns
  • semantic relations between literal and
    non-literal uses
  • evaluative meaning of literal and non-literal
    uses.

8
Assumptions underlying this methodology
  • Linguistic details are important in themselves,
    and as realisations of cognitive processes
  • Literal and non-literal meanings can be separated
  • Metaphor is the dominant trope
  • The word is a valid unit of analysis

9
Distinctions used in analysing metaphors using
corpus data
  • From applied linguistics word/ collocation/
    idiom
  • From semantics semantics/ pragmatics
    denotation/ connotation
  • From metaphor theory metaphor/ metonymy/ literal
    use

10
Coherence of metaphorical mapping
  • creating a more favourable and positive
    environment in which business can flourish.
  • Though Ashokas empire fragmented politically
    after his death, the great flowering of Indian
    culture begun in his reign continued
  • Lincolns view that slavery would wither and
    die.
  • Wild generosity often shrivels up in the cold
    wind of reality.
  • The market wilted in line with softer overseas
    bonds.

11
A less clearcut case
  • Fire/ fires/ fired/ firing
  • 12088 citations in 59 million word general
    corpus. Around 16 non-literal.

12
Some non-literal uses of fire
  • Add fuel to the fire
  • Get on like a house on fire
  • (be) fired up
  • Fire from the hip
  • Come under fire
  • Get caught in cross-fire
  • Fuel the fire

13
The Achilles heel of quality the assessment of
student learning
  • Achilles heel 41 citations in corpus, 2 of which
    literal
  • 885 where heel clearly refers to part of a foot,
    hand, shoe or something shaped like a heel
  • 3 which may be metaphorical, where heel refers to
    an unpleasant person

14
The remaining 473 citations of heel
  • Hard on the heels of
  • Well heeled
  • Head over heels
  • Hot on the heels of
  • Achilles heel
  • Turn on your heel
  • Dig in your heels

15
More fixed expressions
  • Bring someone to heel
  • Kick ones heels
  • Snap at someones heels
  • Down at heel
  • Drag ones heels
  • Cool ones heels
  • Kick up ones heels
  • Be under the heel of someone

16
Cline between literal and figurative meaning
  • Literal
  • her fat insteps leaning over her down at heel
    shoes
  • ???
  • Watch out for down at heel strangers who want to
    share a room
  • Figurative (metaphor from metonymy)
  • a tale of love, laziness, lies and lobelia
    amongst the staff of a down at heel gardening
    magazine

17
Analysing fixed expressions in terms of CMs
  • Heels LIFE IS A JOURNEY? DOWN IS BAD?
  • The CM is very partial
  • The CM has no predictive power in terms of
    linguistic realisation
  • No account for the linguistic fixedness

18
Patterns..
  • The metaphor/ metonymy split may not fit natural
    language data borderline uses predominate
  • Figurative language is very frequently found in
    semi-fixed lexico-grammatical strings
  • It is difficult in most cases to assign a
    specific sense- literal or figurative- to many
    lexico-grammatical strings

19
In other words..
  • A number of distinctions which we often try to
    make seem to break down
  • Word/ idiom
  • Metaphor/ metonymy
  • Literal/ non-literal
  • Semantic/ pragmatic meaning
  • But these expressions seem to be so common that
    they need to be placed at the centre of enquiry
    rather than seen as atypical, borderline cases.

20
Relevant work
  • Moon 1998 discoursal and evaluative properties
    of fixed expressions and idioms difficulty of
    distinguishing literal from non-literal uses
  • Gibbs 1994, 1999 centrality of metonymy
  • Goossens 1995 interactions between metaphor and
    metonymy
  • Musolff 2004 metaphor scenarios

21
Kovecses, 2005. Metaphor in Culture Universality
and Variation. Cambridge University Press. P. 32
  • apparently irregular uses may eventually turn out
    to be systematic when found in large numbers in
    large corpora

22
Further research
  • How frequent are such fixed figurative
    expressions, as percentages of concordances of a
    word?
  • Do non-literal meanings tend to be carried in
    fixed expressions rather than in single words?
  • Does metonymy generate multi-word expressions
    while metaphor generates single words?
  • Are conventional linguistic metonyms more
    frequent than conventional linguistic metaphors?

23
Implications?
  • If the answer to the first question is fixed
    figurative expressions are very frequent, and
    the answers to the rest are yes, what are the
    implications for a theory of metaphor?
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