Metonymic Chains and Synonymy
- Mario Brdar, METONYMIC CHAINS
Reddy argues that hearers understand the sentence in (1) by inferring that ideas are expressed in words, printed on pages within books, which are found in libraries. More recently, several studies have taken up Reddy’s observation (Nerlich and Clarke 2001, Geeraerts 2002, Ruiz de Mendoza and Diéz 2002, Barcelona 2003), showing its continuing relevance for cognitive linguistics. While these studies mostly focus on lexical chained metonymies, as found in idioms and other figurative expressions, a different strand of cognitively oriented work investigates the role of chained metonymies in grammar (Heine et al.1991, Bybee et al. 1994, Traugott and Dasher 2002). For example, Heine and Kuteva (2002: 129) suggest that Bambara nyέ ‘eye’ has grammaticalized into the temporal deictic marker ‘before’ through a chain of semantic shifts, as shown in (2).