Metonymy, category broadening and narrowing, and vertical polysemy
This chapter examines the relationship between metonymy and cases of category broadening and narrowing and the resulting state of vertical polysemy (e.g., cat ‘domestic cat’ > ‘any feline’ and drink ‘consume liquid’ > ‘consume alcohol’). Broadening and narrowing have been argued to be motivated by metonymic processes where a category member stands for the whole category or vice versa (Radden and Kövecses, 1999; cf. also Lakoff, 1987). Here, I show that there is a crucial difference between the domain structures involved in metonymy and in vertical polysemy. Unlike metonymies, broadening and narrowing do not involve a shift in the salience of domains (see Croft, 1993). Instead, I argue that there are four possible domain configurations that may underlie vertically related meanings.