Volume 20, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1387-9316
  • E-ISSN: 1569-996X
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Metaphors in sign languages have been an important research topic in recent years, and Taub’s (2001) model of metaphor formation in signs has been influential in the field. In this paper, we analyze metaphors in signs of cognition and emotions in Russian Sign Language (RSL) and argue for a modification of Taub’s (2001) theory of metaphor. We demonstrate that metaphor formation in RSL uses a number of mechanisms: a concrete sign can acquire metaphorical meaning without change, a part of a sequential compound can acquire a metaphorical meaning, and a morpheme within a productive sign or a simultaneous compound can acquire a metaphorical meaning. All these processes have parallels in spoken languages, so we argue for a modality-independent model of metaphor formation where metaphorical mapping is divorced from iconicity.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): iconicity; metaphor; Russian Sign Language
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