Colouring Meaning

Collocation and connotation in figurative language

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Primarily focused on idioms and other figurative phraseology, <i>Colouring Meaning</i> describes how the meanings of established phrases are enhanced, refocused and modified in everyday language use. Unlike many studies of creativity in language, this book-length survey addresses the matter at several levels, from the purely linguistic level of collocation, through its abstractions in colligation and semantic preference, to semantic prosody and connotation. This journey through both linguistic and cognitive levels involves the examination of habitual language and its exploitations, both mundane and colourful, explaining the phenomena observed in terms of current psycholinguistic research as well as corpus linguistics theory and analysis. The relationships between meaning in text and meaning in the mind are discussed at length and extensively illustrated with worked case studies to offer the reader a comprehensive overview of metaphorical and other secondary meanings as they emerge in real-world communicative situations.

Subjects: Semantics; Theoretical linguistics; Cognition and language; Corpus linguistics

  • Affiliations: 1: University of Macerata

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