Lightning talk: The Role of Context in the Travel of Metaphorical Idioms

Dissertation Project

The talk will address the role of different types of context (situational, discourse, conceptual-cognitive and bodily) in the production and travel of metaphorical idioms. Metaphorical idioms, produced in one variety of English, become usually adopted by other varieties of the same language. However, the context in which this adoption takes place, very often differs from the original context, in which these metaphorical idioms came into existence. The change of context can bring about changes/shifts of meaning. It is one of the concerns of the Extended Conceptual Metaphor Theory (Kövecses, 2020) to investigate the role of context in metaphor production and travel. The contextual analysis of the selected metaphorical idioms will be done with the help of several language corpora.

The methodology of the research is based on the theoretical framework, suggested by Zoltán Kövecses (2020) in his article "An Extended View of Conceptual Metaphor Theory" (2020). In this article, the author calls for a more thorough analysis of context in metaphor production. To make the influence of context in the metaphor production more visible, the proposed research project intends to investiagte a group of metaphorical idioms in their original context and in their adopted contexts in different varieties of English. Thus, the differences in context(s) and the differences in meaning will be brought together. The actual analysis will involve 100 metaphorical idioms, originating in American English, which have been adoped by the speakers of British English. The research will be done with the help of two language corpora, namely the COCA and the BNC.