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ARTICLES SINCE 2005

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Creativity in Shakespeare’s writing is beyond doubt. My aim is to explore novelty in the stylistic use of phraseological units. How grounded are statements in research and dictionaries that affirm that a good many phraseo¬logical units were created by Shakespeare? Dictionary attestations, develop¬ment trends of English phraseology and a cognitive insight enable me to con¬clude that many of these allegations of authorship are hasty. They require ety¬mological proof and call for exploration. These assertions are frequently due to faulty attribution. The alleged origin of to make someone’s hair stand on end is Hamlet, though it goes back to the Bible. To wear one’s heart on one’s sleeve (Othello) comes from an old custom. Rhyme or reason (As You Like It) is used by Chaucer. My findings reveal that the true source of Shakespeare’s greatness lies in his sophisticated stylistic use of phraseological units (extended metaphors, puns, allusions): this is the manifestation of his talent and creativity.

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My aim is to explore proverbs from a cognitive linguistic point of view. Proverbs are stable figurative language units; they form part of the collective long-term memory of a nation. In the cognitive view, proverbs arise from figurative thought; they are linguistic manifestations of figurative thought, either in core use or instantial stylistic use. What is the stylistic potential of proverbs in their base form? What features are in common to stylistic use of proverbs, despite their admirable infinite diversity in different types of discourse over centuries? Innumerable stylistic changes in discourse testify not only to their diachronic stability but also to their stylistic stability, which is manifest in the preservation of the same image and type of figurativeness both in the system of language and in actual use. The functioning of proverbs presents a great variety of patterns of stylistic use, which form part of the language system and are hence reproducible (e.g., extended metaphor, metonymy, pun, allusion and others). These stylistic patterns are used not only in verbal discourse but also in visual representation where the verbal and the visual function together in instantial stylistic use. As figurative thought motivates stylistic use, it is the cognitive processes that determine stylistic changes of proverbs in discourse. Cognitive access to the base form of the proverb and knowledge of the pattern provide for the perception, identification and interpretation of the semantic and stylistic subtleties of the new instantiation that has emerged in discourse.

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Translation of phraseological terms is a new area of research both in the theory of phraseology and translation studies. It calls for comprehension of the basic tenets of phraseology, including figurative meaning as a categorial feature, and comprehension of metaphorical conceptualisation: the relationship between metaphor and thought, the role of metaphor in science, and the function of figurative language in terminology. Most phraseological terms are metaphorical. In the cognitive stylistic view, they are theory constitutive metaphors, an integral part of both scientific theory and the respective term; hence, the importance of preserving metaphor in the target language wherever possible. A cognitive approach to phraseological terms is a tool to recognise metaphor as a technique of abstract reasoning in the formation of terminology. Its translation is not merely part of cross-cultural communication; it is a cognitive operation of the mind. Translation of phraseological terms reveals the role of cognitive theory in translation practice.

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Visual representation of a phraseological image is of stylistic and cognitive interest as it brings out the creative aspects of the verbal and the visual in multimodal discourse. A cognitive approach to the instantial stylistic use of phraseological units1 (PUs) focuses on their perception, comprehension, and interpretation. In a visual representation, the process of creating a mental picture in one's mind relies on close ties between the visual and the verbal, and knowledge of the political, socio-cultural, and semiotic implications. Visual representation performs a semantic and stylistic function: it enhances and interprets the image of a metaphorical PU, and creates new meaning. It stretches our imagination and sustains figurative thought. Thus, phraseological metaphor exists not only in thought and language; it also exists in visual representation and its perception.

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The paper explores metaphorical traces within the cognitive linguistic framework and examines metaphorical networks in language, created by a cultural concept or a social event. In the cognitive view, our thinking, perception and experiences are basically metaphorical, which determines the interrelationship between thought, culture and language in the process of conceptualisation, resulting in a metaphorical representation in the human mind and its expression in language. Figurative language does not only reflect everyday individual or collective vision, but also testifies to past events, our values, beliefs and attitudes. Most of the abstract notions, phenomena and events are mapped in language in terms of metaphors. Many conceptual metaphors may be traced back to more ancient or recent periods, they may disappear altogether or may change their meaning in the course of evolution. The paper analyses the Latvian concept gaismas pils (castle/palace of light) and metaphors based on the concept “light”. It also illustrates nonlinguistic realisation of metaphor in social-cultural practice. Metaphor creation is examined on the basis of the Latvian conceptual metaphor LABUMS IR SAULE (goodness is the sun), covering a span since time immemorial up to the present day. The established conceptual metaphor generates concrete linguistic metaphors (both lexical and phraseological), which can be traced back to the original concept that has developed, securing diachronic conceptual continuity. New linguistic metaphors emerge in the evolution of the conceptual metaphor. The image of the sun has evolved into a cultural symbol; it is part of Latvian cultural heritage and the Latvian mindset.

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This paper is an attempt to have a closer look at the non-rational in the stylistic use of language. These cases are not logical fallacies, which violate the rules of logic and which are merely seen as errors in reasoning to be avoided in argumentation. My aim is to examine cognitive acts, which do not follow the cannons of logic, but at the same time are seen as acts of creativity, challenging the neutral standard forms of language expression. The use of the non-rational streak for a stylistic effect has been a long-standing tradition in the English language, which is manifest in many types of British folk wisdom: riddles, shaggy-dog stories, limericks and others. The non-rational lies at the basis of the whole genre of English Children's Nonsense Literature, providing the inimitable flavour of a unique topsy-turvy world and creating uncommon nonsense. The skilful use of the non-rational is one of the subtleties of thinking in English. The tradition of the stylistic use of the non-rational is alive in English today, both in literary and media discourses, including such applied areas as advertising.

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My approach to the issues of the translation of figurative terminology is based on the findings of cognitive science about the role of metaphor in language and thought, and my own translation and interpreting experience. The developments in the translation of metaphorical terminology in Latvian show that there is a clear trend to demetaphorise metaphorical terms. However, metaphor plays a constitutive role in framing a concept, it is a basic technique of reasoning that is also manifest in terminology. The replacement of a metaphorical term results in a different, non-metaphorical conceptualization. It is not justified as it severs associations, inhibits the perception and the recognition of the term and hence hinders its back translation and interpreting.

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In discourse a phraseological unit may extend across sentence boundaries, constituting a continuity. The sustainability of a phraseological unit is the spread of its image in the interrelated web of discourse. A sustained phraseological image provides for the semantic and stylistic cohesion of the text. My aim is to ascertain sustainability as one of the basic concepts of the stylistic use of phraseological units and prove that a sentence-bound approach and thinking fail to account for sustained figurative use.

The analysis is based on D.H. Lawrence's short story “Rawdon's Roof”. As the story unfolds, the phraseological unit under one's roof appears sixteen times, undergoing creative changes and acquiring new associations and figurative ties in discourse. It first appears in core use while further in the text new patterns emerge – puns and extended metaphors, subtly interwoven with reiteration of the image-bearing constituent roof or the whole phraseological unit, which becomes the key image by force of sustained reference to it. It is also used in the title, lending an overtone and spanning the boundaries of the short story. Sustained figurative use calls for enhanced cognitive skills of perception, comprehension and interpretation.

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Should you have any enquiries or suggestions concerning my area of research, do not hesitate to e-mail me: naciscione.anita[at]gmail.com.

 
   
 
                     
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