Metonymic extension and vagueness

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The language sample provided by the Norwegian Newspaper Corpus (NNC) provides an appropriate corpus for the investigation of emerging uses of existent linguistic forms. A case in point is the development of new metonymical uses of place names; such uses often involve reference to events located at specific places, or the participants or results of such events. The same metonymic uses also exhibit signs of vagueness between one or more metonymic readings. In this study vagueness is defined in cognitive terms, using Tuggy’s model (1993/2006), and the development of metonymic senses is studied in two place name categories at different stages of development. The findings are discussed in light of Peirsman and Geeraerts (2006a, b) prototype model of metonymic relationships.


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