Mappings in conceptual space: Metonymy, metaphor, and iconicity in two signed languages

Autor/a: WILCOX, Sherman; WILCOX, Phyllis; JARQUE, Maria Josep
Año: 2004
Editorial: Jezikoslovlje, Vol. 4, nº 1 (2004) pp. 139-156
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Lingüística » Lingüística de otras Lenguas de Signos


In this paper we present lexical data documenting the interaction of metonymy, metaphor, and iconicity in two signed languages, American Sign Language (ASL) and Catalan Sign Language (LSC). The basis of our analysis is the recognition that metonymy, metaphor, and iconicity all represent mappings across domains within a conceptual system. This framework also permits us to incorporate the form of signs, their phonological pole, as a region in conceptual space. The data examined exemplify several basic metonymies such as ACTION FOR INSTRUMENT and PROTOTYPICAL ACTION FOR ACTIVITY. We also examine cases in which gesture plays a role in metonymy. One area in which metonymy is quite extensively used in signed languages is in the creation of name signs.

We explore various types of name signs and the metonymies involved in each. Finally, we examine two case studies of the complex interaction of metonymy, metaphor, and iconicity: the ASL epithet THINKHEARING, and the LSC signs expressing the acquisition of ideas as IDEAS ARE LIQUID and knowledge as MIND IS A TORSO. We conclude that the deep interplay of metonymy, metaphor, and iconicity, as well as their cultural contextuality, requires that they be understood as conceptual space mappings.