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A Cognitive Analysis of Metaphor and Metonymy in Selected Passages from Oscar Wilde’s Short Stories
Suhayla H. Majeed, Lanja A. Dabbagh

Last modified: 2020-02-15


Metaphor and metonymy are two main motivating aspects for us to perceive ourselves and the abstract outside world. The success of metaphor and metonymy in communication may also be explained by the fact that they are beyond language, as it is to be found primarily in thought and action. In literature, they were used to be thought of as merely figures of speech, but in cognitive linguistics, both of them are important cognitive instruments and way of thinking of human beings. The cognitive linguistics approach to metaphor and metonymy provides an explanatorily elegant framework to account much for the underlying meaning. In this paper, we describe the features and functions of metaphor and metonymy in the selected passages of Oscar Wilde’s short stories. There is an attempt to show the importance of language use in the theme of the stories and the aim of the writer through metaphoric and metonymic patterns in the selected texts. Based on the illuminating framework offered by Cognitive Exploration of Language and Linguistics, this paper attempts to analyze these two language phenomena in terms of their constructions, functions, and working mechanisms in the light of semiotics, pointing out that both of them are special signs with the features of multi-hierarchy, ambiguity, and openness and its construction relies on similarity and association.


Constructions; Functions; Metaphoric and metonymic patterns

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