Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für Kognitive Sprachforschung

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Abstract Gezgin & Ulubay

Idioms, Language and Cognition

Idioms are a particularly difficult problem for compositional theories of meaning and those based on the supposed distinction between lexicon and syntax as Jackendoff (1997) genuinely points out. Inspired by Antonio Barcelona’s cognitive view of metonymy and Lakoff, & Johnson’s work on metaphors (though Haser (2005)’s criticisms are telling), it is possible that idioms are not linguistic phenomena but cognitive phenomena reflected and constrained by the potentials provided by verbal languages. Such a characterization can be linked to Radden, & Kövecses’ distinction between cognitive and communicative factors converging with Langacker (1993). Another possibility is implicated by Forceville’s works on visual metaphors (especially his pragmatic analysis of an Asterisk Album): Can there be not only verbal idioms but also visual ones that are transferred by generations and generations? Of course such an attempt is too complex to be covered in a single paper but in this study at least a preliminary attempt is exhibited for cognitive explorations in further studies.