Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2210-4070
  • E-ISSN: 2210-4097
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This paper is aimed at verifying the experiential motivation of metaphorical language in a diachronic perspective. More specifically, I have tried to identify how socio-historical-cultural conditions may affect the actualization of a metaphor. To this end, I have grounded this research on Conceptual Metaphor Theory, which presents the linguistic metaphors in language as resulting from a conceptual-level mapping between domains of knowledge. With this in mind, I have restricted the investigation to the evidence of the MORAL ACCOUNTING metaphor in medieval religious instruction texts in England. Linguistic evidence of this metaphor in the Early and High Middle Ages were extracted and aspects of MORAL INTERACTION they express were identified, tabulated and confronted. Lastly, I have sought explanations for the maintenance and variation in the actualization of the metaphor, both in the immediate context of doctrinal production and in the broader context of commercial practices. I have found that, side by side with a surprisingly similar number of occurrences, there is evidence of the highlighting of aspects of MORAL INTERACTION that are situated historically and discursively which considerably affect the frequency of the scenarios of realisation of this metaphor.


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