The Extent of the Literal: Metaphor, Polysemy and Theories by Marina Rakova (auth.)

By Marina Rakova (auth.)

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The most important reason is that it places questions of metaphor and 24 The Extent of the Literal polysemy 6 in the broader perspective of human cognition and conceptual organization. Nonetheless, a number of experientialist claims are difficult to accept. Elsewhere (Rakova, 2002) I discuss these claims in detail and show that they are either philosophically inconsistent or contradicted by empirical evidence. In this section I briefly discuss some of these claims, and then, in the next section, I offer a more detailed consideration of one claim that is directly relevant to the main topic of this book.

1997, p. 3) There is no denial here of literal language, but many conventional expressions belong to domains that are structured metaphorically, and are thus metaphorical in the sense of being conceptually secondary. , 19935; see also Glucksberg, 2001). And thus, it appears that rather than completely reconsidering the literal-metaphorical distinction, cognitive semantics is, in many respects, a natural continuation of the old tradition. Of course, the theory of conceptual metaphor is different from classical metaphor theories because the distinction between the literal and the metaphorical has for the first time been explicitly formulated in terms of conceptual structure.

Thus, it appears that not only the spicy-hot, but also the spicy-sharp association is grounded in the molecular constitution of our pain detecting mechanisms. Of course, the study of ion channels is relatively young and surrounded by its own problems and controversies. Let me mention some of them. One such problem is that different mechanisms may underlie the transduction of thermal and mechanical stimuli. Thus, Caterina et al. (2000) discovered that mice lacking VR1 exhibited normal responses to noxious mechanical stimuli, but not to painful heat or vanilloids.

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