Metaphor in American Sign Language - download pdf or read online

By Phyllis Perrin Wilcox

Only in the near past have linguists ceased to treat metaphors as mere frills at the outer edge of language and began to acknowledge them as cornerstones of discourse. Phyllis Wilcox takes this innovation one step extra in her interesting examine of metaphors in American signal Language. Such an inquiry has lengthy been obscured by means of, as Wilcox calls it, "the shroud of iconicity." American signal Language's (ASL) iconic nature as soon as discouraged humans from spotting it as a language; extra lately it has served to confuse linguists interpreting its metaphors. Wilcox, although, offers tools for distinguishing among icon and metaphor, permitting the previous to explain, no longer cloud, the latter. "If the long-lasting impact that surrounds metaphor is determined apart, the consequences should be higher knowing, and interpretations which are much less opaque." Wilcox concludes her examine with a detailed research of the ASL poem, "The Dogs," via Ella Mae Lentz. In proposing Deaf Americans', Deaf Germans', and Deaf Italians' reactions to the poem, Wilcox manages not just to illustrate the impact of tradition upon metaphors, but additionally to light up the assets of sociopolitical department in the American Deaf group. Metaphor in American signal Language proves an engrossing learn for these drawn to linguistics and Deaf tradition alike.

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The agreement verb (ASK) directs reference to the bird, which has acquired a conceptualized body. The sign ASK is directed toward the head of the bird, since the result would be ungrammatical if ASK were directed toward the bird’s claws (Liddell 1990). Iconicity in Spoken Languages Spoken languages, too, are motivated by iconic principles (Armstrong 1983; Bybee 1985; Fauconnier 1985; Fleischman 1989; Givón 40 Removing the Shroud of Iconicity z Figure 1. ” Source: Reprinted with permission of the publisher from S.

Lakoff and Turner stress that attempts to define metaphor or simile in terms of syntactic form miss the concept of what metaphorical mapping involves. They say that both forms can employ conceptual metaphor. “The kind called a simile simply makes a weaker claim” (Lakoff and Turner 1989, 133). One concept is still being understood in terms of another, regardless of the grammatical form of the statement. The relationship between metaphors and similarity is complex. ” He uses the following example to illuminate this point: “According to this view, that is why one can say ‘Metaphorically speaking, jogging is like a religion,’ but not ‘Metaphorically speaking, a cult is like a religion’” (in Gregory 1987, 480).

Croft determines that there is no sole basic meaning attributed to a word; all possible peripheral meanings are available for consideration. Metonymy allows the domain selection of one of the elements that will most clearly highlight the intrinsic facets of a concept. For example, “We need a couple of strong faces for our football team” highlights the selection of a weak metonymic (synecdoche) choice from the domain matrix available for conceptual consideration. Croft’s view of metonym is broader and offers a more encyclopedic characterization of part-to-whole concept than was traditionally adopted for the study of metonymy.

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