Metonymies and their context. A corpus-based analysis of nominal metonymies in Spanish

Publikation: KonferenzbeitragKonferenzposter


This poster presentation is based on a study whose main issue is to establish a typology of nominal metonymies. The underlying metonymic model regards metonymies as results of more or less creative, contiguity-based processes of speech production or reception (Blank 1997: 230-259, Blank 1999: 169-191, Göke 2005, Koch 1999: 139-167). It's supposed that the cognitive as well as the situational and the linguistic levels have a forming and formative influence on metonymical expressions. We will focus here on the immediate linguistic context in which metonymies occur. More precisely, we want to show how certain types of cognitive metonymies manifest themselves linguistically through typical contextual elements such as, for example, the use of certain verbs, prepositions or adverbs, or the occurrence of certain semantic information. Thus, we will try to detect routines or patterns for metonymic expressions and illustrate their status and functions (Hilpert 2006: 123). The investigation is based on a corpus of, so far, more than 1000 nominal metonymies found in different, mostly written, texts (e.g. newspaper articles, novels, web sites, etc.). The main focus is on Spanish, but we treat French, English and German examples as well, in order to include a comparative perspective. To give an example, we analyze metonymies which are based on a relation between an OBJECT and an ACTIVITY (1) CAFE - TOMAR UN CAFE, (2) OFICINA - TRABAJAR EN LA OFICINA, (3) IGLESIA - IR A MISA). (1) Después del café, Brunetti pidió la cuenta. (2) Después de la oficina la movida sigue en los bares. (3) Adónde vamos el domingo a la noche después de la iglesia??? We see here that the immediate context quite regularly includes temporal information. Temporal prepositions like después seem to form an integral part of the respective formulation pattern. It directs and facilitates the inference process of the interpretation as an activity.
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2010