The main metaphoric transferences are due to:1
1) Similarity of quality: e.g. lion (a brave man); -fox - (a sly man); star (a leading actress)
2) Similarity of appearance: e.g. a leg of the table; needle's eye; arm of the chair
3) Similarity of position: e.g. afoot of the mountain; bottom of a page; head of a procession.
4) Similarity of sound: e.g. barking (for cough)
5) Similarity of movement: e.g. foxtrot caterpillar
Sometimes metaphors are based on more abstract qualities: e.g. the avenue to fame, the scream of society, angel (benefactor).
The above metaphors show that every occupation of Man, every subject that engaged man's attention has furnished the language with metaphoric impressions.
The transference of meaning based on contiguity in space or in time, causality, etc. is called a metonymic change of meaning.
So metonymy (jr. Or. meta "substitution ", onyma "name ") may be defined as the method by which the name of one thing is changed for that of another to which it is related by association of ideas, both having close relationship to one another. The men who says I am reading Pushkin, meaning "Pushkin works", uses metonymy.
The simplest case of metonymy is synecdoche [.Sf.no.iclc k i ] "together"
Synecdoche consists in the substitution of a whole by some of its parts or vice versa (Latin pars pro toto or totum pro parte)
In metonymic transference of meaning there may be:
1. The name of a receptacle used for its contents or the container for the thing contained: e.g. He ate three dishes/plates; the hall was applauding;
2. the name of a place used for its inhabitants; e.g. city, village;
3. The name of an instrument used for its function: e.g. the best pen of the day;
4) The sign for the thing signified: e.g. gray hair (old man) should he respected; from the cradle to the grave (from childhood to death);
a) The abstract substituted for the concrete: e.g. the authorities were greeted;
b) The name of a material used for the thing made of it: e.g. the marble speaks, that is "the statue made of marble".
1) the name of a person becomes the name of a thing associated in some way or another with the person: sandwich, two slices of bread usually buttered mid having a thin layer of meat or cheese spread between them, after John Montagu, earl of Sandwich who lived in the 18-th century. It originated from Sandwich's hasty lunches of meat between slices of bread during a busy session of the parliament.
2) The name of the inventor becomes the name of the invention. Mauser - after Paul Mauser - a trade mark taken from the name of the inventor of a special kind of fire arm.
3) The name of a country or town becomes the name of the thing produced there: Manchester meaning "cotton textiles", called after the English town.
The three types of semantic changes (extension of meaning, narrowing of meaning and transference of meaning) which we have just bean speaking of are based on logical relations which connect the newly developed meanings with the previous ones.
The logical principle of classification includes a fourth type, degeneration and elevation of meaning, hyperbole and litotes.
By degeneration of meaning we mean the falling of a word into disrepute. The emotional shade of meaning usually connected with the social estimation of a person absorbs all the other meanings and becomes the principal one. As an example of degradation we take the word "Villain ". Originally in Latin this word meant a man who worked on a villa. Such a person was felt by his social superior to have a low sense of morality, and the word "Villain ", at first a term implying nothing unfavorable, came to be derogatory. The transformations of meaning reflect class relations in the country, the attitude of the ruling classes towards the toilers end social injustice in bourgeois society.
The process that leads to the heightening of the meaning is called
elevation of meaning. Minister now means «an important public official", but in earlier times it meant merely "Servant" in English. Another example: Old English "cnigt" meant "a boy"; "a servant" (cf German knecht "a servant"); now knight has the figurative meaning of "an honorable man ".
The hyperbole (Greek for "exaggeration") is a stylistic device, used to make speech more vivid and expressive: for example I'm terribly glad, I adore him, to roar with laughter.
The litotes (Greek for "simplicity ") is used as an expressive of simulated modesty or for the sake of emphasis.
She is not bad often means "she is very nice". The litotes is naturally closely connected with what we have called euphemism.
1 Распознавал и печатал не я, так чтобы «да» - так «нет». Главный Теотерик
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