Contrasting body parts

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In this chapter, the claim that metaphors and metonymies are grounded in bodily experiences is pursued by means of a cross-linguistic analysis of the semantic field of English <i>mouth</i> compared to its Spanish and Danish equivalent terms, <i>boca</i> and <i>mund</i>, respectively. Pustejovsky&#8217;s (1995) &#8216;qualia roles&#8217; serve as a basis for the classificatory system proposed. It is shown that the metaphorical and metonymical uses of <i>mouth</i> are, indeed, linked with mappings of mind and body and these mappings appear to be related closely to the constitution, the shape, and the sensori-motor capacities of that specific body part. The cross-linguistic analysis also reveals that the metonymization and metaphorization processes are influenced by cultural differences, even with languages that are relatively close to one another (compared to e.g. non-European languages).


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