Chapter 14. Metaphorical walking

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This article explores the metaphorical use of Russian idti ‘walk’ as a generalized motion verb in collocations like poezd idet ‘(lit.) train walks’. The study seeks to explain why idti is used in such collocations, and why this usage is restricted to examples where a goal is prominent in the context (Rakhilina 2004). It is suggested that idti is used as a generalized motion verb in metaphors because it represents prototypical motion. In metaphor, it is natural to take prototypical motion as the starting point. Unidirectionality is dominant in metaphorical usage, and this explains why idti is restricted to goal-oriented contexts. The analysis involves the notions of prototype, anthropocentricity, embodiment and metaphor and lends support to a cognitive approach to linguistic categories.


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