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Endangered Metaphors

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Abstract

When the last speaker of a language dies, s/he takes to oblivion the memories, associations and the rich imagery this language community has once lived by. The cultural heritage encoded in conventional linguistic metaphors, handed down through generations, will be lost forever. This volume consists of fifteen articles about metaphors in endangered languages, from Peru to Alaska, from India to Ghana.<br />The empirical data demonstrate that the assumptions of contemporary cognitive linguistic theory about “universal” metaphors and the underlying cognitive processes are still far from plausible, since culture plays an important role in the formation of metaphors. Moreover, that theory has been based on knowledge of metaphors in some standard languages. Indigenous and other minority languages, especially mainly orally used ones, have been disregarded completely.<br />Besides researchers and students in linguistics, especially in metaphor and figurative language theory, this compilation provides food for thought for scholars in large fields of cultural studies, ranging from anthropology and ethnology to folkloristics and philosophy.

Subjects: Anthropological Linguistics; Cognition and language

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