World Literature

Metaphor and Iconicity: A Cognitive Approach to Analyzing by Masako K. Hiraga (auth.)

By Masako K. Hiraga (auth.)

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The mapping thus established enables the transfer of knowledge about the source domain to the target. Many metaphorical mappings are conventionalised in a particular language and culture. The cognitive theory of metaphor assumes that linguistic metaphorical expressions such as ‘I hope our paths will cross sometime soon’, ‘He got a ticket for success’ and ‘they have a bumpy marriage’ are possible because there are metaphorical concepts such as LIFE IS A JOURNEY and MARRIAGE IS A JOURNEY which correspond with the linguistic expressions.

He sees that even in iconic signs a conventionally established code is in operation. Rejecting the notions of iconicity such as a sign sharing the same properties as its object, being similar or analogous to its object, or being motivated by its object, Eco (1976: 192) assumes that icons are ‘culturally coded without necessarily implying that they are arbitrarily correlated to their content’ (italics in the original). 3). Having in mind the background literature on metaphor and iconicity, I will move to major methodological issues, which give a frame of reference to the present study.

Being based on a structural rather than a sensory dimension, diagrams are more abstract and conventionalised than images. It might be said that the image is recognisable by anyone, whereas to recognise the diagram requires an understanding of certain conventions. The third subtype of iconicity, metaphor, is only very briefly discussed Methodological Framework 33 by Peirce. Besides the definition given above, there are only a few descriptions of metaphors in his writings, in contrast to his recurrent explanation and description of images and diagrams.

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