(For CC, c.8. From Taylor)
1. Take a random sample of `ordinary' (i.e. non-literary) prose, in English or any other language, and identify the metaphorical expressions. What proportion (roughly) of the text is constituted by metaphorical expressions? Identify the source and target domains of the metaphorical expressions. Assess the metaphors in terms of their degree ofconventionalization. 2. Technological innovations are often the site of metaphorical innovation, in two respects. First, aspects of the new technology need to have names; these are often metaphorical extensions of already existing terms. Secondly, as the technology becomes more familiar, the technology itself becomes the source domain for metaphor. The major technological innovation of the late twentieth century was the digital computer. We are probably on the threshold of the next technological revolution, in the domains of biology and genetics. Study the language associated with these domains from the two perspectives identified above. You might also look at technological innovations of previous ages, e.g. the automobile, the steam train, television and radio, printing, sea-faring, etc. 3. With the help of a good dictionary, check out the etymologies of Latinate words in English that are used in connection with communication, argumen- tation, and verbal interaction. Examples include: retract a statement, proffer a suggestion, translate a text, concur with a speaker, announce a decision, renounce a belief, conclude a discussion. Identify the conceptual metaphors lurking in the etymologies. Are the con- ceptual metaphors still operative in modern English? Traugott (1985: 21) observed that it is sometimes possible to `re- etymologize' a word by the simple device of inserting a hyphen between what once were component morphemes. She cites the examples re-present, dis- close, re-search. What is the effect of this device? Have you come across other examples? 4. Check out the words tell, type, and tall in an etymological dictionary; also study the use of these words in older forms of English (using the Oxford English Dictionary as a resource). Are the following uses of these words at all related? tell a story, tell the time, a bank teller type a letter, type of person a tall tree, a tall story, a tall order 5. Talking about time. The following expressions were heard on talk radio. Iden tify the conceptual metaphor(s) which motivated the expressions. How pro- ductive are the metaphors? We're coming up to the news. These commercial announcements will take us up to the news. I must stop now; l've got the news coming up. We're almost on top ofthe news. The news is almost on top of us. We have a full news bulletin at the top of the hour. We'll have a news summary atthe bottom of the hour. We'll continue this discussion on the other side of the news. We're a few minutes out from the news. 6. Understanding the self. Study the following expressions with regard to the way(s) in which the self is conceptualized. (See Lakoff and Johnson 1999: ch. 13; Fauconnier 1997: 25-33.) (i) If I were you, I'd shoot myself. If I were you, I'd shoot me. (ii) If I were you, what would I think of myself? If I were you, what would I think of me? (iii}I'm not myself today. I couldn't stop myself saying that. I have to ask myself, why am I doing this? I did it in spite of myself. Get in touch with yourself. Look at yourself! I can hardly recognize myself. (iv) I can't keep up with myself I can't catch up with myself. 7. The polysemy of out. A remarkable feature of English is the large number of what are generally called `phrasal verbs'. These are combinations of a verb with one, sometimes more than one, preposition-like or adverb-like word. Typically, the verb and particle are both high-frequency items, and the combination has a conventionalized meaning. Consider the following examples with out. The stars came out. / The stars went in. The light went out. / The light came on. The secret is out. find out the answer / work out the solution It turns out that. .. write out/ spell out/ set out/ lay out (the details) give out the papers / hand out the copies / write out the solution shout out, yell out, / *say out (the answer) Speak out! figure out / work out (the solution) check out the situation freak out / burst out (in tears) Is it possible to identify the semantic contributions of out in these examples? How can the meanings of out be related to the `basic' spatial meaning of the word? (See Lindner 1981; Morgan 1997).