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Art is the sex of the imagination: explaining the meanings of  XYZ metaphors
(Cognitive Linguistcs)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4833-7270
2010 (English)In: Textus, ISSN 1824-3967, Vol. 23, no 3, p. 699-720Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

What does it mean to assert that "Art is the sex of the imagination"? XYZ metaphors, like this, consists of three parts, X (art), Y (sex), and Z (imagination), and express metaphorical meanings that arise from the mappings among three domains, and not two as seen in classic "A is B" metaphors (e.g., "Surgeons are butchers"), and conventional metaphorical expressions (e.g., "Their marriage has gone off course"). Understanding "Art is the sex of the imagination" requires readers to infer how the X, Y, and Z terms interact, or relate to one another, such as recognizing that art and imagination are related, while at the same time understanding how sex stands for some unmentioned quality that is similar to the relationship between art and the imagination. Most generally, XYZ metaphors exhibit the syntax of NP is NP of NP, have a semantics of X is the Y of Z, and express an analogy of the form X is to Z as Y is to W, where W refers to an unmentioned term or concept (Hamilton 2005).

Despite the vast experimental research on understanding metaphors, and metaphorical discourse, in psycholinguistics, there have been no studies looking at people's interpretations of XYZ metaphors. Psycholinguistic studies on metaphor typically demonstrate that the novel features arising from metaphor comprehension are not salient in one's separate understandings of the topic and vehicle, but emergent properties of some interaction of topic and vehicle (Utsumi 2005). Our primary interest in the research described in this article focused on whether people understand many of the complex, emergent meanings of XYZ metaphors. Is there any regularity in the meanings different people infer when reading XYZ metaphors? To what degree do people recognize that XYZ metaphors express an implied analogy in which X is to Z as Y is to some unmentioned element W?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Tilgher , 2010. Vol. 23, no 3, p. 699-720
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-166532OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-166532DiVA, id: diva2:1379551
Available from: 2019-12-17 Created: 2019-12-17 Last updated: 2019-12-27Bibliographically approved

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Okonski, Lacey

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CiteExportLink to record
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