Posted: Apr 04, 2022 10:34 am
by don't get me started
1. Cognitive Discourse Analysis: An introduction - Thora Tenbrink
2. Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything About Race, Gender And Identity- And Why This Harms Everybody – Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay
3. A History of the World in 12 Maps – Jerry Brotton
4. Origins of the Specious: Myths and Misconceptions of the English Language – Patricia T. O’Connor & Stewart Kellerman
5. Peer Interaction and Second Language Learning - Jenefer Philip, Rebecca Adams & Noriko Iwashita
6. Eugene Onegin - Alexander Pushkin
7. Found in Translation: How Language Shapes Our Lives and Transforms the World - Nataly Kelly & Jost Zetzche
8. English Words: A Linguistic Introduction - Heidi Harley
9. Questions: Formal, Functional and Interactional Perspectives Jan P. de Ruiter (Ed.)
10. Persepolis Rising - James S.A. Corey
11. English Prepositions: Their meanings and uses - R.M.W. Dixon
12. Draußen vor der Tür - Wolfgang Borchert

13. Metonymy: Hidden Shortcuts in Language, Thought and Communication - Jeannette Liitlemore

240 pp.

This is an investigation into a ubiquitous feature of all natural languages. Metonymy is the way people use some aspect of a concept to represent some other part, in a way that is recognizable to their interlocutor. A common example would be something like "In response to the statement by the Kremlin, the Whitehouse said that it would apply further sanctions." Now, of course, the Kremlin and the Whitehouse are inanimate buildings and are thus incapable of issuing statements. What is meant here is the Russian and American governments- meaning people who are officially part of the government of those countries. In daily discourse this is taken for granted and people know what you mean.

Metonymy is used in all kinds of situations. "The ham sandwich on table six wants his check' uttered by wait staff means 'the customer at table six who ordered a han sandwich wants his check. "The buses are on strike again" means that the people who drive buses are on strike. "The suits will no doubt want to review this policy" means the management will want to review this policy and so on. (These examples are canonical in the literature in that they all refer to noun metonymy, but Littlemore also points out that metonymy exists in verbs, adjectives and other parts of speech.)

The boundary between metonymy and metaphor is rather fuzzy and Littlemore gives a good overview of the various different methodological boundary disputes that exist in dealing with these two phenomena.
There was also some interesting stuff on metonymy and language learning and translation, as metononic expressions may or may not cross the language frontier intact.

The underlying idea is that most language is very under-specified and many utterances rely not on formal rules of grammar and semantics to be comprehensible, but on a whole host of other inferencing, implicating and shared understanding strategies to be comprehensible.