Endangered Metaphors

Anna Idström | University of Helsinki
Elisabeth Piirainen | Steinfurt, Germany
Tiber F.M. Falzett | University of Edinburgh
ISBN 9789027204059 | EUR 95.00 | USD 143.00
ISBN 9789027274922 | EUR 95.00 | USD 143.00
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When the last speaker of a language dies, s/he takes to oblivion the memories, associations and the rich imagery this language community has once lived by. The cultural heritage encoded in conventional linguistic metaphors, handed down through generations, will be lost forever. This volume consists of fifteen articles about metaphors in endangered languages, from Peru to Alaska, from India to Ghana.

The empirical data demonstrate that the assumptions of contemporary cognitive linguistic theory about “universal” metaphors and the underlying cognitive processes are still far from plausible, since culture plays an important role in the formation of metaphors. Moreover, that theory has been based on knowledge of metaphors in some standard languages. Indigenous and other minority languages, especially mainly orally used ones, have been disregarded completely.

Besides researchers and students in linguistics, especially in metaphor and figurative language theory, this compilation provides food for thought for scholars in large fields of cultural studies, ranging from anthropology and ethnology to folkloristics and philosophy.

Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“Perhaps the major issue facing linguists today is the phenomenon of language endangerment. [...] Metaphors are a particularly interesting area of language because of their interaction with both language and culture, providing an insight into the ways in which different cultures come to terms with their environments, an insight that will be lost if the metaphorical systems of different languages disappear without being documented. It is therefore with great pleasure that I recommend the present volume to a broad linguistic readership. The editors and contributors have succeeded in bringing together and systematizing a wide range of phenomena involving metaphors in endangered languages [...]. I join them in encouraging others to continue their work by documenting metaphors in endangered languages, always bearing in mind that metaphors may be one of the first parts of a language to disappear once it becomes endangered.”
Endangered Metaphors offers a fascinating collection of articles looking at metaphoric language in languages that are slowly vanishing from the world's landscape. These chapters focus on many issues related to metaphor theory, including questions on the universality and cultural specificity of conceptual metaphors, and topics associated with globalization in human languages and culture. The range of linguistic data explored is incredibly impressive [...]. Endangered Metaphors is a wonderful addition to the new book series on Cognitive Linguistic Studies in Cultural Contexts.
“The book breaks new ground in empirical and theoretical metaphor and idiom research, since it looks at the figurative lexicon of endangered minority languages that have never before been the topic of metaphor or idiom research. Therefore, the book is highly innovative and stimulating. The fifteen articles treat significant issues of figurative language and its cultural foundation in languages of five continents. […] No similar publication exists to date.”
“[...] this volume represents a commendable empirical contribution to data both on minority languages and on metaphor. The comprehensive background provided in the prologue makes this work accessible reading for anyone interested in the study of underrepresented languages or metaphor, or in cognitive linguistics more generally.”
““Endangered Metaphors” is a thought-provoking volume opening windows for future explorations. The focus of this compilation is not on the vulnerability of minority languages, but rather on the vulnerability of the metaphors used by their speakers as a consequence of the progressive change towards new figurative expressions through borrowing from majority languages. Consequently, the book is of great interest not only for linguists working in the field of endangered languages, for whom the focus on figurative language use may constitute a pleasant novelty, but also for readers interested in the intertwine between language and culture. The articles in this book are immensely inspiring and contribute effectively to our understanding of this relationship.”
Cited by

Cited by 21 other publications

Baranyiné Kóczy, Judit
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Baranyiné Kóczy, Judit & Rita Brdar-Szabó
2023. Introduction. Cognitive Linguistic Studies 10:2  pp. 259 ff. DOI logo
Barnden, John & Andrew Gargett
2020. Introduction. In Producing Figurative Expression [Figurative Thought and Language, 10],  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
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Ralph Ludwig, Steve Pagel & Peter Mühlhäusler
2018. Linguistic Ecology and Language Contact, DOI logo
Musolff, Andreas
2014. Metaphors: Sources for intercultural misunderstanding?. International Journal of Language and Culture 1:1  pp. 42 ff. DOI logo
Musolff, Andreas
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Musolff, Andreas
2020. Metaphor production and metaphor interpretation. In Producing Figurative Expression [Figurative Thought and Language, 10],  pp. 85 ff. DOI logo
Musolff, Andreas
2020. Political metaphor in world Englishes. World Englishes 39:4  pp. 667 ff. DOI logo
Musolff, Andreas
2021. Figurative Conceptualisations of the Nation(-State). In National Conceptualisations of the Body Politic [Cultural Linguistics, ],  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Musolff, Andreas
O'Meara, Carolyn, Laura J. Speed, Lila San Roque & Asifa Majid
2019. Chapter 1. Perception metaphors. In Perception Metaphors [Converging Evidence in Language and Communication Research, 19],  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Onysko, Alexander
2017. Conceptual metaphor variation in meaning interpretation. Cognitive Linguistic Studies 4:1  pp. 7 ff. DOI logo
Piirainen, Elisabeth & Ari Sherris
2015. 1. Introduction. In Language Endangerment [Cognitive Linguistic Studies in Cultural Contexts, 7],  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Saarikivi, Janne & Reetta Toivanen
2015. Change and Maintenance of Plurilingualism in the Russian Federation and the European Union. In Cultural and Linguistic Minorities in the Russian Federation and the European Union [Multilingual Education, 13],  pp. 3 ff. DOI logo
Sharifian, Farzad
2014. Advances in Cultural Linguistics. In Approaches to Language, Culture, and Cognition,  pp. 99 ff. DOI logo
Sherris, Ari
2021. Re-thinking everyday metaphors through Indigenous Ghanaian languages. Sociolinguistic Studies 15:1 DOI logo
von Prince, Kilu
2017. Dozing eyes and drunken faces. Studies in Language 41:2  pp. 502 ff. DOI logo
Wiseman, Rob
2014. Social Distance in Hunter-Gather Settlement Sites: A Conceptual Metaphor in Material Culture. Metaphor and Symbol 29:2  pp. 129 ff. DOI logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 16 april 2024. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.


Main BIC Subject

CFG: Semantics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2011049143 | Marc record