Analogical Negation

Term designating the introduction and negation of the comparison of two terms. While many of the adherents of the Lakoff-Johnson approach to metaphor are concerned with the way we understand things and experiences in terms of metaphors, corpus study, discourse analysis and ethnolinguistic studies, make it clear that many analogies are invoked only to be debunked. That is to say, a metaphor is used as a starting point to allow the speaker or writer to refuse a given or accepted conception, often in order to modify it or supply an alternative coception. Love-as-fire can be debunked by analogical negation. We were told that passion “dies down”. Analogical negation can be a creative process: the love-as-unity metaphor was, for example, debunked in a curiously imaginative manner in our love corpus. A man was no longer to be considered a “bolt-on” - an attached part - one writer argued. Elaborating frames of analogical negation provides us with meaningful oppositions in contrast to which we can further refine our definitions of concepts such as love. If love is “heat”, then, consequently, lack of love is “coldness”. Frigidity and cooling off belong to a whole network of concepts used to define the lack of love or desire in various languages. Similarly, if love implies the metaphor of tastiness, as in “honey”, in English, or belle à croquer (“beautiful enough to bite into”) in French, then we might suppose this common-place analogy would give rise to converse analogical networks in both languages. This turns out to be the case: both French and English speak of lack of love in terms of disgust, i.e. a physical desire not to taste someone. Vomiting forms the basis of many slang expressions for sexual aversion. Analogical negation is therefore a basic feature of conceptual and lexical organisation. It structures the way we understand things and express them. We reactivate analogical and negative analogical patterns when we speak: we improvise upon them as we give expression to our thoughts and feelings in conventional, imaginative and original ways.



In Eubanks’ work, this term is used to define the discursive strategy of by which we attribute (ascribe) a conceptual metaphor to another party. We accuse others of acting as if “trade is war”, for example. In this example, the metaphoric frame is invoked only to be debunked or disparaged. As Eubanks points out a great deal of bad faith is found in the use of ascription. We accuse others of doing what we ourselves do.


Attributed World Conception

The idea, commonly held among linguists, language students and translators, that each language engenders its own specific world conception (usually referred to as “worldview”).



In second generation cognitive theory, the “blend” was widely disseminated by the work of Fauconnier and Turner.Opposing the binary model of metaphor constituting a target and source, Fauconnier and Turner argued, often a third concept emerges from the fusion of two concepts. They gave examples such as dog-man, and “chunnel” (from tunnel and channel). For these scholars, it was important to understand that metaphor transforms the two terms into a third, where Lakoff and Johnson, following more tradition theories of metaphor, tended to work with a model of interaction. Blends can fuse conceptual metaphoric frames. We might for example speak of the taste of love, calling it bitter-sweet. But a counter conceptual metaphor posits love as a journey. One woman in our English corpus of texts from women’s magazines fused the two frames in order to enable her to speak of difficulties, break downs and the act of resuming loving in terms of stopping off and moving on. In such a model, infidelity was conceived of in terms of “straying” from the path. This was the bitter part. Transforming love itself from a journey into a quest, the object of a journey, she spoke of her experience of love as “a bitter-sweet journey.


Cognitive unconscious

Term used by cognitive linguists (see Lakoff, Johnson, Turner, Fauconnier and Sweetser) to designate the organised network of “folk theories” which pattern understanding and which enable us to interpret the world and act within it. The contention of cognitive linguists is that language is fundamental to folk theories and behaviour. Conceptual metaphors offer us models for understanding the world and the way people behave in society, in both personal and public life. The cognitive unconscious is used to invoke all that “goes without saying it” in language: up is good, down is bad, love is hot, frigidity is cold, going beyond frontiers is exciting, turning inwards and closing off to others is pitiful and depressing. 


Conceptual frames

Relying on Fillmore (1982), Lakoff and Johnson (1999: 116-117) described conceptual frames as semantic frames which ‘provide an overall conceptual structure defining the semantic relationships among whole “fields” of related concepts and the words that express them’ (idem. 116).


Conceptual metaphor

(Originally referred to by Lakoff and Johnson as “protometaphor” (1980) and referred to before them by other scholars as “root metaphor”) Term denoting an underlying metaphorical equation. If a man describes a woman as “spicy”, the expression can only be understood fully by virtue of the underlying conceptual metaphor which invites us to understand sexual congress as eating, and partners as food. Describing men as “hunks” or “beefcakes” in English, or describing them in French as alléchants, a term which translates as “lickable” or “tasty” testifies to the fact that such expressions are not gender-restrictive and that the cognitive unconscious at work in both men and women operates with largely the same conceptual resources.


Counter metaphor

Term used to designate a modification to, or refusal of, one metaphor as another metaphor is proposed in its place. Many examples of counter metaphors were found in the English, French and Czech copuses of women’s magazines in which love was defined and discussed. For example, one French author argued that  love is not about collecting love stories (histoires d’amour) but about a woman offering herself as a “precious gift” aware of her own “value”. Counter metaphors can be original proposals intended to open up new modes of conception. Frequently, however, they take the form of reminders. Since metaphors (as Lakoff and Johnson insist) highlight and hide aspects of a concept, counter metaphors can serve to highlight exactly what another metaphor hides by providing an alternative form of representation. The counter metaphor does not necessarily debunk the existing metaphor: it simply awakens us to other aspects of experience.


Cultural mindset

Term used in this work to designate that relatively rigid and fixed way of seeing the world which frames our perception and conception of politics, society, history, behaviour, the individual’s place in the world and the organising conceptual frameworks of social relations. When groups and generations who speak the same language fail to understand each other, it is because their cultural mindsets have grown into very different expressions of the world though those differing expressions are derived from the same world-perceiving and world-conceiving which organises the language shared by all groups within their linguistic community. 



Form or style of language which can be attributed to an individual, a group, an institution or a period of a culture’s history. It is, however, important to distinguish between the way in which the individual discourse contrasts with and resists reigning ideologies and cultural mindsets.


Discursive strategy

Term used by Eubanks to denote the arguments and positions we formulate by harnessing conceptual metaphors and directing them in ways which serve our purposes and consolidate our positions. Conceptual metaphors are often harnessed in ways which bolster our strategies. Bush presented the destructive force of war as a project to “build democracy” and to “bring freedom”. Obama tends to present the continued US presence in the Middle East as “reaching out” to Muslim cultures. Those on the receiving end of such policies no doubt find such conceptual metaphors absurdly inappropriate.



When a single targed is referred to by a range of sources. Goatly (2007:12) cites the example of Milton referring to “Satans legions” as locusts and autumn leaves. Our corpus of war metaphors generated a diverse range of sources (war as crime-fighting, building democracy, picking up a challenge, lighting a fire, and so on).



Process, common to many European languages, in which the various members of a group are reduced to the category in which they are enclosed. The most fundamental example would be “Man” whose use often bears little relation to many of the “men” it is believed to refer to and to enfold. That the term also applies to women is obviously problematic. In ethnolinguistics, anthropology and ethnology, essentialisation proves especially problematic, because investigators seek out and present individuals as incarnating their culture. Men and women are reduced to one essential model, supposed to disclose for us (outsiders) the worldview of a community. History and social conflict, both internal and external, tend to be downplayed by essentialisation. Personality in language study disappears totally from view as soon as we reduce a culture to one single essence. 



In English-speaking linguistics this term is often considered as a synonym for linguistic anthropology. Though it has gained little or no recognition in English-speaking countries, the Lublin School of Poland has been developing a forceful analysis of language and culture in its school of ethnolinguistics since the 1980s. See Bartmiński in Polish, and, in English, Wierzbicka, who has managed to introduce a philological approach which preserves a concern for the interaction between literature and the language system. Humboldt’s linguistic project involved an “ethnology of language”: the study of the world’s variety of worldviews, as expessed by the linguistic communities of mankind. In this way Bartmiński and Wierzbicka can be seen as contributing to Humboldt’s ethnolinguistic project to uncover the character of languages.



Forming part of the American branch of linguistic anthropology, and more specifically of cognitive anthropology, ethnosemantics was a mode of study which emerged in the 1960s and which took on the task of studying the ways in which different cultures organize and categorize different domains of knowledge, such as plants, animals and kinship systems.Tyler, one of the main exponents of ethonsemantics, set out to explain the underlying principles organizing behaviour. 
Ethnology of Speaking The study of linguistic competence in the way individuals and groups using language pragmatically in specific social and cultural contexts. In contradistinction to Chomsky’s generative linguistics, the reigning paradigm in post-war linguistics in English-speaking cultures, Hymes (1974) advocated that linguists should aim to develop  a “descriptive theory” in which the ethnographer should record “settings”, “participants”, “ends”, “act sequences”, “keys”, “instrumentalities”, “norms” and “genres”. The ethnology of speaking takes us closer to present-day discourse analysis. The similarity of the aims of Hymes to those of Goatly and Eubanks is striking: all three are interested in the rhetorical strategies driving discourse and the means which allow individual speakers to situate themselves in the powerplay of negotiations.


Folk Theory

A model or framework of understanding shared by a linguistic community. Folk theories are often unconscious or sub-conscious paradigms used to interpret and understand the world around us. In capitalist democracies, relationships are invariably understood in terms of the folk theory of exchange: relations are about giving and receiving. Giving and receiving are obviously universal experiences, as any ethonologist or anthropologist will affirm. To this extent, the exchange model proves to be useful in that it allows us to order our understanding of the world. Nevertheless, other cultures often perceive and experience relationships by conceiving them in the framework of different folk theories. Jewish, Christian and Islamic perceptions of relationships differ to some degree, but all three worldviews conceive of relationships more in terms of sharing than in exchange. In competing against, and in prevailing over these religious worldviews, market economics with its model of individualism and isolated atomistic individuals engaging in the exchange of products and services has thus shaded our understanding of relationships and intimacy. Our study of love oftered ample examples to support this: individuals spoke about what they “put into” and what they “got out” of relationships; The idea of an “emotional investment” underlines the extent to which this model of understanding has become “naturalised” in our worldview.


The Identity function of language

Joseph (2004) and Riley (2007) both argue that the function of language cannot be restricted to the dual functions of representation and communication. Language enables us to construct our identity and to attribute identity to others. The construction of identity depends upon models (stereotypes in Bartmiński’s theory), but these models are sustained and reconstructed by individual speakers and by groups defining themselves in relation to others, and defining other groups in relation to their own and societies conceptions of norms and habitus. The identity function of language entails two converse but inextricable activities. We define ourselves in terms of others within language and within our worldview. At the same time, our language and our worldview make up a great part of our identity, our mode of interpreting the world and expressing our place within it.


Latent ideology

Language is political and the reigning ideology reaches out and structures the way we organise concepts in the language system. Speaking of the “upper class” is not innocent, since it activates the conceptual metaphor that up is good and down is bad. Speaking of “urban regeneration” activates a commonly accepted conceptual metaphor which invites us to see towns and cities as organisms which develop in and of themselves. As Henri Lefebvre pointed out, though, this tends to obscure the social and economic struggles involved in urban development. Is “the Second Harlem Rennaissance” which is taking place at this very moment, to be considered a “revival” of “the spirit of the neighbourhood”, as property developers portray it, or as a process of gentrification which will eventually exclude the black poor from Upper Manhattan? Ideology is evidently present in discourse strategies, but it is contained within the very concepts with which we think and it patterns the way we harness concepts together. Marx, Adorno, Williams, Bourdieu and metaphor theoreticians, such as Goatly (25-27), see their task as uncovering the ideologically configured concepts and associations which are latent in language, and continually reactivated in discourse. 


Linguistic worldview conception

An adaptation of Humboldt’s concept of Weltansicht within the context of the Polish Ethnolinguistics School of Lublin and its exchange with Czech scholars (see Vaňková et al.) and their concept of world picture (obraz svĕta). Jerzy Bartmiński (2009: 213) gives the following definition: ‘The linguistic worlview conception is semantic, anthropological and cultural in nature. It is based on the assumption that language codes a certain socially established knowledge of the world and that this knowledge can be resonstructed and verbalised as a set of judgements about people, objets and events. The knowledge results from the subjective perception and conceptualisation of reality by the human mind; it is anthropocentric and relativised to languages and cultures.’


Mirror metaphors

Metaphors which work by setting in motion the logic of existing metaphoric frameworks, but by setting them in reverse. This is a fundamental process in language. Heat and Coldness are set up as opposites and we can exploit the explorative and innovative frameworks of the one, by setting up a contrasting network of frameworks in the other. Desire can “heat up” and “cool down”. Similarly, representing desirable partners in terms of delicious foods, enables us to activate equally rich frames of disgust and repugnance for other types of food in order to represent the absence of desire or physical repulsion. There is nothing intrinsically perverse about the logic of mirror metaphors. However, perversion is particularly well-served by mirror metaphors, because they allow us to twist and invert traditional forms of representation. In our study of love we quoted Valérie Tasso, the French author of an autobiographical book about her own “sexual marathon”: Tasso inverted traditional representations of relationships when she claimed she experienced life in a socially accepted relationship as “rape” while, for her, prostitution was a “liberation”. Here the enslavement of the sexual object in prostitution is projected onto the power-play of the contemporary couple. Turner and Fauconnier (2002/2003) discuss related forms of converse definition using the concept of “Disanalogy”.



The use of same source applied to various targets in Metaphor theory (Goatly: 13). Our corpus of war metaphors generated examples of multivalency: war was used to represent fighting tax evasion, finding cures for diseases and even for cultural competition.
Personal world   Term used in this work to designate the mode of perception and conception of the world which is specific to each individual. This “personal world” constitutes the individual’s own version of the “cultural mindset” he adheres to both consciously and unconsciously. This world constitutes a stance, and as such it may change over time: nevertheless, the personal world remains coherent and to a large extent a permanent aspect of the life and personality of the individual to whom it attributes a certain coherence. Though malleable, it cannot be abandoned or supplanted. In contrast to this, his “perspective” changes with circumstances and as the individual interacts with others. Our views and our ideas may change, but our way of seeing the world and our way of conceiving it belongs to a deeper level of feeling and consciousness.



The routes along which we think. Patterning involves harnessing concepts together. Language provides us with conventional paths for thinking. Since speech is by nature creative, it goes without saying that we can resist or break out of patterning. Nevertheless, critical discourse analysis seeks to uncover the strategies and interests which lie behind much linguistic patterning. The theory of patterning was best explained in English by Sapir and Whorf (see Lee on Whorf’s unpublished works). In German, Humbodlt used the expression Wechselwirkung to describe a largely similar concept of linguistic configuration, but he did not stress the political dimension, being primarily interested in the nature of culture as a whole and the way it was engendered by the worldview of the linguistic community (or what he called Nation).


Personified reification

A complex and paradoxical rhetorical process.Once people or relationships have been sufficiently reified by the imagination and reclassified as inhuman objects of experience (as for example when men are considered, experiences to “try out”), then discourse can personify its own objectifications. This complex and paradoxical process is surprisingly fairly widespread in everyday language. In our French corpus of woman’s magazines, one young woman reduced her lover to a “love story”, but when the relationship broke down, instead of being forced to consider the man in question, she continued to conceive of him as an object, and when the man was dismissed from her life, it was, curiously the object which became personified: the love story (rather than the man himself) was “kicked out of the door”. Communist discourse tended to represent the people prior to socialism as “the masses”, a group of inanimate, unmotivated, latent forces. The role of the party was to “awaken” those “sleeping” masses. This conception of revolution attributes to the party the divine role of transforming matter into living souls. A “spiritual dynamics” frames much of the communist system of ideas, and that system’s charm can be attributed largely to the fusion of the metaphysical and the mechanical.



Term used in this work to designate the changing nature of the way each man perceives and conceives of the world. An individual’s “perspective” changes as he or she moves through the world, interacting with others and discovering new and different experiences. In this, it contrasts to the individual’s “personal world” (see above) which can be said to be a more or less stable form of consciousness which frames the individual’s experience, worldview and identity. Perspective is active, or rather interactive, and for that reason it is constantly changing. Just as the changing nature of the world to some extent fashions the perspective we have of it, so we ourselves are constantly changing.


Sociology of knowledge

 What passes for “knowledge” in society? This is the domain of the sociology of knowledge. What are the social factors which give rise to that knowledge and sustain it, and what is the relationship between social structures and thought? How is social reality constructed and maintained? And what interest groups condition the social knowledge system? Riley (2007) attributes this series of inter-related questions to Manheim (1936), who gave this framework its name and its first synthetic and systematic expression. Riley does however, find precursors in Bacon, Vico, Marx, Durkheim and Simmel. The sociology of knowledge is concerned with the way everyday knowledge (what “everybody knows”), and the way that knowledge is socially conditioned. To frame this in linguistic terms, the sociology of knowledge is concerned more with meaning than with truth. The sociology of knowledge does not entail the quest for truth, the perennial quest of the philosopher. Instead the sociologist of knowledge asks: Why was this true for those people then and there, in a particular socio-historical context? Riley’s ethnolinguistics will inevitably open up the dimension of language-specific social spheres to the scrutiny of sociologists of knowledge.



An important element in Bartmiński’s ethonlinguistics: stereotypes refer to those archetypes which animate and shape the conceptualization of the world for each member of a given linguistic community. For Bartmiński, the task of the ethnolinguist is to construct an “ideal” member of a linguistic community in whose discourse the over-arching stereotypes of the linguistic community are expressed. This is inevitably a schematising exercise which will produce a “model”: the actual existence of such an “ideal member” is, of course, inconceivable. But the attempt is meaningful to the extent that it allows us to see to what extent particular individuals adhere to, grate against, and depart from received ideas and conventionally established conceptions. The search for stereotypes is paralleled in cognitive linguistics by the attempt to establish prototypical meanings. What will surprise cognitive scholars is Bartmiński’s attempt to construct the worldview of an ideal rural resident of Poland. This essentialist bent in Bartmiński’s work will disturb academics who tend to live and work in cities. The size of the rural population of Poland and the proportion of agricultural workers goes some way to explaining this choice. But Bartmiński’s choice entails an implicit critique of our own centralist mindset which tends to relegate provincials to the outskirts, by treating them as the outsiders of culture, while focusing upon the centre as the essential part, the essence of our culture. In this way Bartmiński’s methodology reminds us that what we tend to consider as “marginal” pertains, in fact, to the majority, while our own models generated by cultural capitals such as London, New York, Paris and Tokyo represent little of the cultural experience of most of the individuals of their linguistic communities. Bartmiński’s work on “folk culture” links him to work of Jakobson and Mukařovský who, as part of the Prague Linguistic Circle, in the thirties, were involved in uncovering the common sources and individual élans of related Slavic languages and their poetic traditions.    



The stranger represents the hidden side of the identity question. No concept of belonging and of identity can dispense with it, but little sociological investigation has gone into the theorisation of “strangeness”. As Riley points out, the concept is language-specific and problematic. Étranger, in French translates into both “stranger” and “foreigner”.The Czech word, cizinec follows the same pattern. German, like English, distinguishes between someone of another nation (Ausländer) and “stranger” (Fremde), and the latter term is related to “strange”, “foreign to us” (fremde). According to Riley, the Finnish term vieras translates into English as “foreigner”, “stranger” and “guest”. The ancient Greeks reserved barbaros for “non-Greeks” and distinguished between citizens and xenos, Greeks from other city-states. Metoikos was used to designate those who had “changed house”, a category of Greeks who came to live in a city state but did not enjoy the rights of citizenship. Such “immigrants” were often artisans and merchants. Foreigners living within communities are often lucid concerning the definition of cultural models and stereotypes. They perceive all the more clearly the norms which exclude them, while those who observe cultural models often consider them as “natural” or “normal”. Simmel defines the stranger in spatial terms. He has a position in space: he is both wandering and fixed. He has a position in time: he comes today and stays tomorrow. He has a social position: he is is an element of a group without being part of it. He has a relational position: he imports elements into a society which cannot originate within it. The foreigner represents, in many ways, the complementary antithesis of Bartmiński’s stereotype. Both are models which correspond to no individual person but which are active in constructing and maintaining conceptions of identity and difference.


Synecdochal objectification 

Process of objectification whereby a living thing or person is first reduced to a part and then objectified. Vulgarity makes great use of this process. The other is reduced to the “essential part” that interests the speaker (often the sexual parts) then that essential part is objectified: e.g. a man is reduced to his penis, and the penis is in turn represented as a functional object, a “tool”. With a similar degree of vulgarity, a man who feels sexually aroused might say, “I need a hole” or “I’m looking for a piece of ass”. Each of these terms objectifies the person in that it considers the body in terms of meat, i.e. dead flesh fit for consumption or use. Since so many speakers of all languages seem to be engaged in “shooting the shit about ass”, how to get “it” and what to do with “it”, a great deal of linguistic effort goes into innovating new expressions for talking about this cherished subject. In this sense, vulgarity is very similar to literature in that it strives to find fresh and colourful ways of describing the object in question, a process known in literary theory as “defamilisarisation”. It is clear, however, that the intention of vulgarity is to shock and not to embellish the object of interest. Some literary scholars and poets therefore still contend that poetry and vulgarity remain opposed. Few people, for example, would argue that the comparison of the penis to a “kidney wiper” is “poetic”. Indeed there seems something essentially anti-poetic in the comparison between the action of a windscreen wiper and a graphic internal description of the sexual act of penetration. Such a metaphor is intended to shock us into seeing the sexual act from an objectified, dehumanised mechanistic perspective. Nonetheless, though many writers might see it is as their job to “rehumanise” language and to denounce such metaphors, certain writers of the 1990s such as the Frenchman, Houlebeque, increasingly make use of such shock tactics in their writing. Whether this can be read as a denunciation of contemporary decadence, a revolt against romantic conceptions of love, or simply gratuitous sensationalism remains open to question.



Term introduced to German by Humboldt to designate the worldview into which we enter when we learn a foreign language, or the worldview engendered by our own language and of which we are largely unconscious. Weltanschauung refers to the system of beliefs or the ideology of a group of people. For this reason any given language can contain various opposing or incompatible worldviews (Weltanschauungen). Ideologies can migrate between languages. Weltansicht, on the other hand, refers to the system of concepts and the patterning which holds them together in our mother tongue. We might discuss the “fate of man” or the “state of the world”, and various groups may disagree about definitions and objectives, but we can only enter into such discussion once we have the concepts of “fate”, “man”, “state” and “world”. These concepts are provided for us by the language-system. At this level we can speak of languages as having different worldviews. 



Term used in this work to designate one aspect of Humboldt’s concept of Weltansicht, namely the changing and developing manner in which we draw that world into the realm of thought to form concepts and frameworks to represent things and our experience of the world.



Term used in this work to denote one aspect of Humboldt’s concept of Weltansicht, namely the changing and developing perception we have of the world.