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Metaphor, metonymy, language learning and translation

Denroche, Charles Thursby; (2012) Metaphor, metonymy, language learning and translation. Doctoral thesis , Institute of Education, University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis investigates the role of metonymy in communication, in creating text, in learner communication and in translation. I make the claim that metonymy, defined here as the ability to recognize part-whole relations between things, words and concepts, is the essential mechanism behind a whole variety of linguistic phenomena, normally dealt with in linguistics as distinct topics. In the General Theory of Metonymy presented here, I suggest that metonymy is a unifying principle behind how we process language. I discuss a range of data to demonstrate metonymy at work. I show that metonymic principles are not just in play in metonymic language but also in metaphoric and literal language. I argue that metonymy not only offers alternative ways of referring to entities, but is powerful in giving nuance and spin, and is the key to understanding why language is so fit for purpose in giving us the flexibility and subtlety so important in our social dealings with others. I illustrate the role metonymy plays in our lives by examining data from social and recreational activities where metonymy is central and seems to be explored for its own sake. In the Metonymic Theory of Learner Communication I propose that learner communication relies in a number of different ways on metonymic processing; and in the Metonymic Theory of Translation I propose that translation also relies heavily on metonymic processing. The burgeoning interest in metonymy in recent years has generated an extensive literature. This thesis attempts to make sense of this body of knowledge, offers an original synthesis of it, proposes how it might be developed and suggests practical applications of it. I suggest that a new discipline of Metonymics might emerge and that this could make a valuable contribution in reframing issues of debate in a variety of different areas of practice.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Metaphor, metonymy, language learning and translation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://ethos.bl.uk/ProcessSearch.do?query=554225
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis: (PhD) University of London Institute of Education, 2012.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10020697
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