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Language is a Virus

Poetics Today, Vol. 13, No. 4, Winter 1992

12 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2009  

Mark B. Turner

Case Western Reserve University - Department of Cognitive Science

Date Written: March 1, 1992

Abstract

How do we make sense of a bare equation like language is a virus? Frequently, a bare equation can be understood as expressing a conventional basic metaphor which we already know as part of our everyday linguistic competence. For example, this job is a detour can be understood as expressing the basic metaphor LIFE IS A JOURNEY. In such a case, the basic metaphor provides most of the interpretation. But when a bare equation is not recognized as an instance of a conventional basic metaphor, then it must be understood through different conceptual instruments. This article discusses some of those conceptual instruments, especially the Invariance Principle and the commonplace notion of The Nature of Things.

Keywords: metaphor, blending

Suggested Citation

Turner, Mark B., Language is a Virus (March 1, 1992). Poetics Today, Vol. 13, No. 4, Winter 1992. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1394387

Mark B. Turner (Contact Author)

Case Western Reserve University - Department of Cognitive Science ( email )

10900 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44106-7068
United States

HOME PAGE: http://markturner.org

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