Metonymy, metaphor and the “weekend frame of mind”
A series of corpus-based case studies on the availability of metonymically used proper names in the language of media, where the name of a capital is used to refer indirectly to the government, shows that this particular type of metonymy is available in Hungarian and Croatian but underused in comparison with English and German. The picture is all the more puzzling because the distribution of metonymies is very uneven in Hungarian and Croatian – some texts exhibiting hardly any such metonymies while they abound in some other texts. When examined along the temporal dimension, the data reveal a cyclic variation in the availability of these metonymies, with productivity regularly peaking at the weekend. These contrasts appear to be ultimately motivated by the workings of a cultural model whose essential ingredient is a correlation obtaining between two very general conceptual metaphors: time is space and social and mental world is physical world.