Selling and buying, killing and wounding

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This article discusses metaphors from the fields of commercial transactionand bodily harm that are conventional as regards the higher-level mappingsmotivating them, but unconventional concerning the lower-level mappings. Itexamines how the two leading frameworks in cognitive-linguistic metaphorstudies, i.e. conceptual metaphor theory and conceptual blending theory, canaccount for the different degrees of conventionality featured by one and thesame metaphor on different levels of description. While both theories havetheir strengths, neither is able to provide a fully adequate account of these cases.A coherent explanation is only possible if the two are linked by a level of intersubjectivity(cf. Verhagen 2005) which emphasizes the inseparability of conventionand creativity in language use and understanding.


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