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A cognitive approach to understanding metaphors from the religious field

Publication Date
  • Metapher
  • Religion
  • Ddc:410
  • Linguistics
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • Religious Science


SAR ZN2a5 9 Z E S Z Y T Y N A U K O W E UNIWERSYTETU RZESZOWSKIEGO SERIA FILOLOGICZNA ZESZYT 14/2003 STUDIA ANGLICA RESOVIENSIA 2 Pedro J. CHAMIZO DOMÍNGUEZ, Mª Dolores FERNÁNDEZ DE LA TORRE MADUEÑO A COGNITIVE APPROACH TO UNDERSTANDING METAPHORS FROM THE RELIGIOUS FIELD Introduction The main cognitive evidence that manifests itself, in relation to the religious lexicon, is the one that has to do with the experience of each individual. The diachronic evolution of a word or phraseological unit1 in terms of meaning may show an important link with another basic element in cognitivism, imagination, whose meaning has been widely recognised (Johnson 1987, 1993). At this point, not only the appearance of new meanings and new non-literal ones, but also the disappearance of those that become obsolete, has to be considered. Thus, individual experiences, besides everyone’s imaginative faculties, become rather attractive arguments to face any kind of lexical analysis from a cognitive perspective. In the case of the English religious lexicon, an emergence can be appreciated; not only of the experience that has been lived, but also of what we have named imagined experience (Fernández de la Torre Madueño 1999). Thus, imagination has a lot to do with human experiences and mental faculties. We could argue that imagination is, in fact, a synthesis of both, as there is an interrelation between experiences and the way human mind processes categorise them. In the case of many words having to do with religion, as it happens with every abstract notion, experience may not always be a tangible part of the linguistic community’s background, as part of religious knowledge widely relies on metaphysics, the “superhuman” and the “beyond”. 1 Phraseological units in both English and Spanish are contrastively studied in different works by Corpas Pastor, some of the most recent ones being 1998, 2000. 10 1. A triple vision of metaphor as a means of ca

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