15. From perception of spatial artefacts to metaphorical meaning

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This chapter compares spatial constructs in mental imagery to spatial constructs in non-metaphorical and metaphorical language. The study is based on a psycholinguistic survey of people’s mental imagery for paths and roads, and a previous corpus-linguistic investigation of path- and road-instances from the British National Corpus (the BNC) (see Johansson Falck 2010). The aim is to investigate if spatial path and road constructs in mental imagery focus on similar aspects as those in metaphorical language. The study shows that mental imagery and metaphorical language are more restricted than non-metaphorical language, and typically are related to the specific anticipations for bodily action that paths and roads afford. The focus is on function, which influences both direction and manner of motion.


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