metaphors we live by

942012_616118365075845_1374820453_n“There’s just too much friction between us.”

“It’s not my fault.”

RELATIONSHIPS ARE GEOLOGICAL FEATURES.

long time know sea

no time 

passes between 

the coma 

of friendship

The more I study language the more I find the emptiness of words.

I do not mean words are empty but that words are now containers to me than I had once thought. No longer do words hold a power over me. I have stripped it of its special place. It is not a mystery anymore.

The poem above hinges on the word ‘coma’. Like a coma victim coming out of his or her long slumber no time passes. Before the sleep the world was a certain time and place. After the sleep the it could be that months, years or decades have passed. For the victim time is lost. For the awake much has happened in that time.

Friendship just seems like this where time has been forgotten people still seem to be the same after the period of separation.

This is not true, of course. People change. You just don’t notice it. Like the mind, words can deceive.

Two new books on metaphor

Two recent books on metaphors worth looking at is Raymond Gibbs and Herbert Colston’s Interpreting Figurative Meaning and Benjamin K. Bergen’s Louder Than Words. Gibbs and Colston approaches metaphorical meaning from psycholinguistics and neuroscience while Bergen looks at meaning from the cutting-edge perspective of neuroimaging.

Both are worth a look. The Gibbs/Colston is harder to get through than the Bergen. The latter is definitely an easier read, written for those with little background on the subject.

Teaching function words: the cognitive and corpus perspectives

I will be giving a presentation on function words, what we can learn from corpora about them, how we understnad them in light of conceptual metaphor theory and what this all means for second language teaching.

The venue and date: PanSIG @ Hiroshima University, 16 June 2012.