MetaphorS： Definition,classification and functions ———By Group 6
1.Do you know the word “metaphor”? A. Yes B. No C. Not sure 2.Do you know the definition of metaphors? A. Yes B. No C. Not sure 3.Do you often use metaphors in daily life? A. Yes B. No C. Not sure 4.Do you know the functions of metaphors in daily life? A. Yes B. No C. Not sure Questionnaire 5. Do you know how to correctly use metaphors? A. Yes B. No C. Not sure 6. Do you know how many kinds can metaphors be divided into? A. Yes B. No C. Not sure 7. Can you list some examples of metaphors? A. Yes B. No C. Not sure 8. Do you think the metaphor is important in daily life? A. Yes B. No C. Not sure
We have invited 50 online friends to do the questionnaire for us,after we analyze the results, we find that not so many people know “metaphor” or the details of it clearly,such as its definition,classification and its functions. Therefore, we choose this topic for our research.
History of metaphors The idea of metaphor can be traced back to Aristotle who, in his “Poetics” (around 335 BC), defines “metaphor” as follows: “Metaphor is the application of a strange term either transferred from the genus and applied to the species or from the species and applied to the genus, or from one species to another or else by analogy.” For the sake of clarity and comprehension it might additionally be useful to quote the following two alternative translations: “Metaphor is the application of an alien name by transference either from genus to species, or from species to genus, or from species to species, or by analogy, that is, proportion.” Or, as Halliwell puts it in his translation: “Metaphor is the application of a word that belongs to another thing: either from genus to species, species to genus, species to species, or by analogy.”
Our Group Members’ Assignments • Liu Fowa:1.Search for the definition of metaphors. • 2.Make the questionnaire and analyze the results at last. • Qiu Xi:1.Find some examples of metaphors.2.Deliver the presentation. • Lu Xiaoke:1.Divide the examples we’ve found into groups according to some standards. 2.Deliver the presentation. • Yang Lizhu:1.Search for the functions of metaphors. 2.Put all the materials we’ve found together ,make the final PPT and write the written paper.
What’s the definition of metaphor? ---------By Liu Fowa
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: A metaphor is an analogy between two objects or ideas; the analogy is conveyed by the use of a metaphorical word in place of some other word. From Eaglestone : Metaphor roughly means “to transfer”. They transfer meaning by using a term to describe something else . From English Collins Dictionary: A metaphor is an imaginative way of describing something by referring to something else which is the same in a particular way.
From linguist George Lakoff and philosopher Mark Johnson： The essence of metaphor is understanding and experiencing one kind of thing in terms of another. From Lakoff and Johnson: In all aspects of life, ... we define our reality in terms of metaphors and then proceed to act on the basis of the metaphors. We draw inferences, set goals, make commitments, and execute plans, all on the basis of how we in part structure our experience, consciously and unconsciously, by means of metaphor
Examples we’ve found ---By Qiu Xi
Examples we’ve found • You're looking pretty rabbit -- what's up?(You’re looking so fretful—what’s up?) • 'Metrosexual' is a modern word for an urban heterosexual male who is overly concerned with appearance.('Metrosexual' is used to describe male who is overly concerned with appearance.) • That lends weight to the argument.(That makes the argument more important.) • They stood alone, frozen statues on the plain.(They stood alone, keeping unmoved) • The ball happily danced into the net.(The goal was scored.) • I was lost in thought. (I was in deep thought.) • She flew at him. (She was angry with him.) • He was rattled. (He was terrified.) • New era business is a whole different ball game.(New era business is a whole different situation.) • We were drinking the white.(We were drinking coffee with milk in it.)
Examples we’ve found • I am the dog end of every day.(I’m tired end of every day.) • That is worth less than a dead didgeridoo.(That is worth nothing.) • We faced a scallywag of tasks.(We faced hard tasks.) • Let me compare thee to an artic day, sharp and bright, forever light...(You are wonderful.) • It's been a purple dinosaur of a day.(It is a stupid moment of a day.) • I'll chew on it. (I’ll think about it.) • Her thoughts were on the wing. (She is thinking about it.) • Fabulous was something worthy of fable. Like many other superlatives, it has lost its original edge and now just means 'good'. (Fabulous has lost its original meaning,now it just means 'good ‘.) • Roasting today! (It’s so hot today!)
Examples we’ve found • He legged it.( Here “leg” means walk by foot). • A photon struck him; bolts were for greater men. (Here “photon” means small idea; “bolts” means big ideas). • I like your wheels, man! (“wheels” means car). • Nice bit of skirt. (Here “skirt” young girl，”bit of skirt” is a slang). • Try this nib. (Here “nib” means pen). • She danced, a wild and gothic fairy. ( Here “gothic fairy” means a kind of fairy that have gothic characteristics). • Thick, primal, blind fog descended before his eyes. (Here ‘blind” describes fog in order to express the thickness of fog). • The car screeched in hated anguish, its flesh laid bare in the raucous collision. (Originally,anguish is a kind of feeling of human beings, but here it describes the car). • He is the pointing gun, we are the bullets of his desire. ( Here “he” is compared to the pointing gun and “we” are compared to the bullets).
Examples we’ve found • The origin of ‘the whole nine yards’（all of it completely) seems unknown, even to an expert word website. • The President has his hand firmly on the tiller of government and it is now plain sailing (smooth /easy sailing). • He's a loose cannon (somebody that is out of control) who always goes off the deep end (makes bad choice and their lives become crazy). • Footloose (who is carefree) and fancy-pants (people who think they are better than others). • He often shot his mouth off in the dark (speaks before listening). • A rolling stone gathers no bird in the hand. (somebody keeps moving and dose not have a place to call home) • It was playing with fire in the belly. (doing something dangerous)
Examples we’ve found • Thanks -- that‘s just the ticket, old chap. I’m over the moon about it（“over the moon”means “very happy or delighted”）. • All the world‘s a stage and men and women merely players. （Life is like a play - we merely go through the stages of our life acting it out）. • Panting hard, he hand-braked the corner, power-sliding into the doorway. [running as driving] • Noisy twinkling in the night, the shares blew hypnotic shards of brilliance down on the hopeful investors. [Share price movement as a sky-rocket firework] • Winning the argument. (argument as war) • Time is money. • Life as journey. • Cool down! [Cool = temperature] • He was mad. [mad = anger]
The Classifications of Metaphors ------By Lu Xiaoke
The examples we’ve found can be divided into 15 different groups. They are: Absolute metaphor , Active metaphor , Complex metaphor , Compound metaphor, Dead metaphor , Dormant metaphor, Dying metaphor ,Extended metaphor, Implicit metaphor ,Pataphor, Root metaphor, Simple metaphor , Submerged metaphor , Synechdochic metaphor
Absolute metaphor绝对暗喻 Examples • I am the dog end of every day. • That is worth less than a dead digeridoo. • We faced a scallywag of tasks. • Description • An absolute metaphor is one where there is absolutely no connection between the subject and the metaphor.
Active metaphor 积极暗喻 • Examples • Let me compare thee to an artic day, sharp and bright, forever light... • It's been a purple dinosaur of a day. • You're looking pretty rabbit -- what's up? • 'Metrosexual' is a modern word for an urban heterosexual male who is overly concerned with appearance. • Description • An active metaphor is one which is relatively new and hence is not necessarily apparent to all listeners, although if the metaphor is well-selected, it will be easy enough to understand.
Complex metaphor复杂暗喻 • Examples • That lends weight to the argument. • They stood alone, frozen statues on the plain. • The ball happily danced into the net. • Description • A complex metaphor happens where a simple metaphor is base on a secondary metaphoric element.
Compound metaphor复合暗喻 • Examples • She danced, a wild and gothic fairy. • Thick, primal, blind fog descended before his eyes. • The car screeched in hated anguish, its flesh laid bare in the raucous collision. • Description • A compound metaphor is one where there are multiple elements in the metaphor that are used to snag the listener. These elements may be enhancement words such as adverbs, adjectives, etc. • Each element in the compound metaphor may be used to signify an additional item of meaning.
Dead metaphor死暗喻 • Examples • Fabulous was something worthy of fable. Like many other superlatives, it has lost its original edge and now just means 'good'. • Money was so called because it was first minted at the temple Juno Moneta. • The origin of 'the whole nine yards' seems unknown, even to an expert word website. • Description • A dead metaphor occurs where the once-evocative transferred image is no longer effective or even understood, perhaps being lost in the aeons of time.
Dormant metaphor休眠暗喻 • Examples • I was lost in thought. [How?] • She flew at him. [Why? In anger? Love?] • He was rattled. [Why? By what or whom?] • Description • A dormant metaphor is one where the connection between the vehicle and the subject is not clear.
Dying metaphor垂死暗喻 • Examples • New era business is a whole different ball game. • The President has his hand firmly on the tiller of government and it is now plain sailing. • Thanks -- that's just the ticket, old chap. I'm over the moon about it. • Description • A dying metaphor is one which has become so over-used, it is considered unfashionable or lacking in eloquence to use it. In effect, it is a cliché.
Extended metaphor扩展暗喻 • Examples • He is the pointing gun, we are the bullets of his desire. • All the world's a stage and men and women merely players. • Let me count my loves of thee, my rose garden, my heart, my fixed mark, my beginning and my end. • Description • An extended metaphor is one where there is a single main subject to which additional subjects and metaphors are applied. • The extended metaphor may act as a central theme, for example where it is used as the primary vehicle of a poem and is used repeatedly and in different forms.
Implicit metaphor隐含暗喻 • Examples • Roasting today! • She had the screaming. • We were drinking the white. • Description • In an implicit metaphor, the full subject is not explained, but is implied from the context of the sentence.
Mixed metaphor混合暗喻 • Examples • He's a loose cannon who always goes off the deep end. • Footloose and fancy-pants. • He often shot his mouth off in the dark. • A rolling stone gathers no bird in the hand. • It was playing with fire in the belly. • Description • A mixed metaphor is one where the metaphor is internally inconsistent, for example where multiple metaphors are used which do not align with one another. • The metaphors used often have some connection, although this is often tenuous or inappropriate.
Pataphor荒诞暗喻 • Examples • Panting hard, he hand-braked the corner, power-sliding into the doorway. [running as driving] • Noisy twinkling in the night, the shares blew hypnotic shards of brilliance down on the hopeful investors. [Share price movement as a sky-rocket firework] • Description • The pataphor is an extreme form of metaphor, taking the principle to its limit, where the basic metaphor is typically not mentioned but extensions to it are used without reference.
Root metaphor根的暗喻 • Examples • Winning the argument. (argument as war) • Time is money. • Life as journey. • Description • A root metaphor is one which is so embedded within a language or culture that it is often not realized as being a metaphor.
Simple metaphor简单暗喻 • Examples • Cool down! • He was mad. • I'll chew on it. • Description • A simple metaphor has a single link between the subject and the metaphoric vehicle. The vehicle thus has a single meaning which is transferred directly to the subject.
Synechdochic metaphor提喻暗喻 • Examples • I like your wheels, man! [wheels = car] • Nice bit of skirt. [skirt = woman] • Try this nib. [nib = pen] • Description • The synechdochic metaphor is one where a small part or element of something is used to represent the whole.
Submerged metaphor深层暗喻 • Examples • Her thoughts were on the wing. • He legged it. • A photon struck him; bolts were for greater men. • Description • A Submerged metaphor is one in which the metaphoric vehicle is indicated by one part of it. • Typically, the element selected to be the metaphor has particular significance for the intended meaning.
What are the functions of metaphors? ---By Yang Lizhu
Functions of metaphors • 1. They can add ornamental (装饰的)or poetic flourish to language--as when William Shakespeare refers to the sun as the eye of heaven and writes of variations in sunny days in terms of the state of the sun‘s gold complexion（颜色）; in a certain context, one can conceive of the sun in the sky shining its light to see the Earth, the sun god keeping an eye on its territory, sometimes making it hot for us.
Functions of metaphors • 2. They can give new meanings to words — as when a virus has infected one‘s computer system, infected not by a biological virus but by an encoded algorithm (算法)that behaves like one; • 3. They can reduce overload in mental storage of units of knowledge, thereby facilitating(使容易) discourse（谈话）.
Functions of metaphors • 4. They can express our experiences in rich and vivid language, which, through the emotional impact that accompanies a rich and vivid reconceptualization(再概念化) of domains（领域）, often fosters a communicative and/or explanatory role of metaphor.
Functions of metaphors • Aristotle (亚里士多德)says something to that effect in his Rhetoric:"Liveliness is specially conveyed by metaphor, and by the further power of surprising the hearer; because the hearer expected something different, his acquisition of the new idea impresses him all the more. His mind seems to say, 'Yes, to be sure; I never thought of that'."
Functions of metaphors • 5. They can spark creativity;When we experience radical（激进的） metaphor, we can be aware of an initial double-focus effect, a blur （模糊）produced when images from different realms（界，领域） of experience are suddenly superimposed （附加）on each other. In successful metaphor, such confusion quickly resolves itself into a startling new perception of reality. By bringing together images not previously combined, metaphor can spark a conflagration of thought that is the essence of creativity.
Functions of metaphors • 6. They can underpin(加固，支撑) the cognitive（认知的） function of conceptualizing also by aggregating（聚集） with other conceptual metaphors in the unconscious mind, where most thinking and remembering occurs, thereby constructing a conceptual system for an individual, or for social, political, commercial or professional groups, as manifested（显示） in the discourse of those groups.
Functions of metaphors • 7. They can generate（产生） new metaphors through their generation of insight into a phenomenon, which can generate additional insight leading to new metaphors, continuation of the process resulting in a network of metaphors offering fuller insight into the phenomenon through development of a conceptual system--as when: ....the metaphor of “the genetic code” kicked off （开始）several related metaphors such as "genetic translation," "words," "genetic reading," "transcription," "making sense," "making nonsense," "dictionaries," "libraries“.....
Functions of metaphors • 8. They can accomplish metaphor-related pedagogical （教学的）goals using a constructed fictional, sometimes fantastical（奇异的）, novel concept — as when Kosslyn and Koenig, in their book, Wet Mind:The New Cognitive Neuroscience（神经科学）,construct a fictional scenario（剧情说明书） of rows of octopi （八爪鱼）unknowingly generating information output about local fish density to overhead seagulls through interactions of their tentacles（动物触角）, a metaphor they constructed to explain the nature and operation of a connectionist neural network;
Functions of metaphors • 9. They can influence the frame or cast of mind of the listener/reader regarding an issue, perhaps leading to action — as when politicians use expressions such as right to life(生存权), war on terror（反恐战争）, and surge（增兵计划 ，这个策略有效的结束了伊拉克战争）.
Functions of metaphors • 10. They can, by diffusion(传播，散布) from one domain of discourse (e.g., science) to another (e.g., economics, popular culture), each of which have their own codes or conventions of discourse, acquire new variants of meaning, potentially producing new knowledge in the invaded domain or even changing the domain's perspective of reality — a creative or innovative role of metaphor.
Functions of metaphors • 11. They can occupy the minds of mind-scholars, from many different intellectual fields of study, in the study of the nature of metaphor and its relevance to understanding the nature of the mind.
References: • http://en.citizendium.org/wiki/Metaphor#Functions_of_metaphor • http://literaryzone.com/?p=99 • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaphor • English Collins Dictionary