UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Referential metonymy: Cognitive bases and communicative functions

Bowerman, Josephine Ellen Scarlett; (2021) Referential metonymy: Cognitive bases and communicative functions. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

[thumbnail of PhDThesis_Anonymised_2021.pdf]
Preview
Text
PhDThesis_Anonymised_2021.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (3MB) | Preview

Abstract

Referential metonymy is a variety of figurative usage wherein our apprehension of relations of contiguity (e.g. the ‘distinctive property-individual’ relation) is exploited in order to pick out a specific target referent in the communicative context: The green trousers (= man wearing green trousers) is doing the Macarena with gusto. This thesis begins by providing an in-depth theoretical treatment of referential metonymy, exploring (i) the conceptual basis of the phenomenon, and how ‘contiguity’ may best be understood; (ii) the relationship between referential metonymy and other ‘contiguity-based’ usages of language (e.g. noun-noun compounds and conversions); (iii) current theoretical approaches to metonymy, namely Bowerman’s (2019) ‘repurposing’ account and Wilson and Falkum’s (2015, 2020, forthcoming) ‘neologism’ account; (iv) both metonymically-derived nicknames (e.g. ‘Red Shirt’) and the metonymic usage of established proper names (e.g. ‘a Picasso’ = a painting by Picasso); and (v) the relationship between metonymy and ellipsis. The theoretical claims I develop are then empirically examined, with an acquisition focus. First, I present a corpus study of two young children’s spontaneous production, in a naturalistic setting, of referential metonymy and other related phenomena (noun-noun compounds, conversions, metaphor, etc.) (Eleanor: 2;6-2;12, Thomas: 2;6-3;12). Key findings include: examples of referential metonymy and contiguity-based naming from 2;6, and striking evidence of metalinguistic awareness before age four. Second, I report a series of experiments into metonymy comprehension and production in Japanese adult learners of English as an additional language. Key findings include: support for the claim that metonym is a useful ‘gap-filling’ strategy during acquisition. Finally, directions for future research are indicated; in particular, examining metonymy comprehension and production in atypical development (e.g. ASD), and systematically comparing referential metonymy with referential metaphor (e.g. ‘the helmet’ = metonymy: woman wearing a cycle helmet/metaphor: woman with a lacquered bouffant resembling a military helmet).

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Referential metonymy: Cognitive bases and communicative functions
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
Keywords: Pragmatics, Linguistics, Language Acquisition, Philosophy of Language, Metonymy, Figurative Language, Experimental Pragmatics, Corpus Linguistics
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Linguistics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10134560
Downloads since deposit
152Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item