When My Eyes Are on You, Do You Touch My Eyes? A Reclassification of Metaphors Mapping from Physical Contact to Perception

Compendium of Cognitive Linguistics Research, Volume 2, Thomas Fuyin Li, ed., 189-200, 2013

11 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2014

See all articles by Karen Sullivan

Karen Sullivan

University of Queensland

Wenying Jiang

University of Queensland

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

Many emotional and cognitive stimuli are perceived through the senses, especially through vision. As a result, metaphors mapping to Thinking or Emotion often incidentally involve Perception. This does not mean that Perception is the target domain of the metaphors. In this paper, we present examples from English and Chinese to argue that the role of Perception in Thinking and Emotion has led to the miscategorization of numerous metaphors as synaesthetic, when in fact they map to Thinking or Emotion. Furthermore, we suggest that differences between the domains of Thinking and Emotion lead to the supposed division between “Perception is Reception” and “Perceiving is Touching,” and we argue against the grouping of these under the heading of Perception is Contact between a Perceiver and a Perceived (Lakoff 1993). This reclassification has the additional advantage of a stricter and more explanatory delineation of the range of metaphors considered synaesthetic.

Keywords: emotion, sensory modality, synaesthesia, synaesthetic metaphor

Suggested Citation

Sullivan, Karen and Jiang, Wenying, When My Eyes Are on You, Do You Touch My Eyes? A Reclassification of Metaphors Mapping from Physical Contact to Perception (2013). Compendium of Cognitive Linguistics Research, Volume 2, Thomas Fuyin Li, ed., 189-200, 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2387216

Karen Sullivan (Contact Author)

University of Queensland ( email )

St Lucia
Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

Wenying Jiang

University of Queensland ( email )

St Lucia
Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

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