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head and eye in German and Indonesian figurative uses

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Abstract

n this chapter I investigate the importance of the human body in shaping conceptualization and categorization, relying on a corpus constructed from German and Indonesian newspapers. The figurative extensions of two source concepts, head and eye, are compared across the two genetically unrelated languages. My data provide evidence that a given source concept often targets the same conceptual domain in both languages (e.g. (human) leader or character traits); yet they also reveal interesting language-specific distinctions. A quantitative analysis of the corpus data shows that the metaphoric and metonymic extensions of head and eye differ strikingly in frequency of occurrence in the two languages. The findings indicate that German speakers have a preference for targeting the function of <i>Kopf</i> &#8216;head&#8217; and <i>Auge</i> &#8216;eye&#8217;, while Indonesian speakers preferentially target the position of <i>kepala</i> &#8216;head&#8217; and the appearance or shape of <i>mata</i> &#8216;eye&#8217;.

References

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