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Verbal Communication by Louis de Saussure, Andrea Rocci

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Marcel Danesi

8Metaphor and figurative meaning in verbal communication

Abstract: The notion of metaphorical language starts with Aristotle, who claimed that it revealed much more than poetic decoration to literal language, although in the end he abandoned this idea. Jumping forward to developments in linguistics, psychology, and anthropology since the 1950s, Aristotle’s idea has come to the forefront and studied from various disciplinary angles. The findings are showing that figurative language is hardly decoration, but actually the backbone of linguistic meaning. This article looks at the work on figurative language and how it constitutes the core of linguistic cognition and then at how discourse unfolds through figurative structure. Overall, ...

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