Perception of Spatial Artefacts as Motivation for Metaphorical Meaning
Marlene Johansson-Falck (Umeå University)
In this talk I explore the relationship between people's embodied understandings of spatial artefacts and literal and metaphorical language. Speficifially, I compare the results of surveys examining people’s mental imagery about their embodied experiences with paths and roads, with corpus linguistic analyses of the terms path and road. My hypothesis is that both people’s mental imagery for path and road, and speakers’ use of these words in metaphorical contexts are strongly guided by their embodied understandings of real-world events related to travel on paths and roads. The results of these studies demonstrate how bodily experiences with artifacts partly constrains not only how specific conceptual metaphors emerge, but how different metaphorical understandings are applied in talk about abstract entities and events.