Literal and figurative uses of Japanese 'eat' and 'drink'

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The chapter describes literal and figurative uses of Japanese ‘eat’ and ‘drink’ verbs. By paying special attention to the earlier and present forms of each verb, one can argue that not only universal conceptual mapping but also cultural orientation and honorification have contributed to the establishment of metaphorical extensions. The first part of the chapter focuses on the linguistic, socio-cultural and historical properties of ‘eat’ and ‘drink’ verbs. The second part demonstrates metaphorical and metonymic extensions of ‘eat’ and ‘drink’ verbs built on the facets of experiential reality introduced in Newman (1997). The chapter spotlights a link between the pervasiveness of adversity observed in metaphors and the sense of ‘unhappiness’, suggesting that the latter has been a cultural preference in the history of the Japanese language.


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