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Look Inside Using Figurative Language
eBook forthcoming

Using Figurative Language

$110.00 (C)

  • Date Published: November 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107105652

$ 110.00 (C)
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About the Authors
  • Using Figurative Language presents results from a multidisciplinary decades-long study of figurative language that addresses the question, “Why don't people just say what they mean?” This research empirically investigates goals speakers or writers have when speaking (writing) figuratively, and concomitantly, meaning effects wrought by figurative language usage. These “pragmatic effects” arise from many kinds of figurative language including metaphors (e.g., “This computer is a dinosaur”), verbal irony (e.g., “Nice place you got here”), idioms (e.g., “Bite the bullet”), proverbs (e.g., “Don't put all your eggs in one basket”) and others. Reviewed studies explore mechanisms – linguistic, psychological social and others, underlying pragmatic effects, some traced to basic processes embedded in human sensory, perceptual, embodied, cognitive, social and schematic functioning. The book should interest readers, researchers and scholars in fields beyond psychology, linguistics and philosophy that share interests in figurative language – including language studies, communication, literary criticism, neuroscience, semiotics, rhetoric and anthropology.

    • Proposes a much more broad view of figurative language cognition that will appeal to and inspire multiple interdisciplinary constituencies that study figurative language
    • Readers will be able to understand discussed phenomena through access to vivid examples culled from authentic language data and widely available cultural sources
    • By demonstrating the deceptively complex interplay of mixed mechanisms in seemingly simple 'everyday' figurative utterances, the book will leave readers with an appreciation of the depth and complexity of figurative language
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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2015
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107105652
    • length: 284 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.55kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: why don't people say what they mean?
    2. What is a pragmatic effect?
    3. What are the pragmatic effects?
    4. How is figurative language used?
    5. What is figurative language use?
    6. Conclusion: meaning happens.

  • Author

    Herbert L. Colston, University of Alberta
    Herbert L. Colston is Professor and Chair of Linguistics at the University of Alberta. Previously, he was a Professor of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin, Parkside. Dr Colston has published widely and edited several books including Figurative Language Comprehension: Social and Cultural Influences and Irony in Language and Thought: A Cognitive Science Reader. He co-authored Interpreting Figurative Meaning (Cambridge, 2012) with Raymond Gibbs.

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