Original scientific article
Page 339 - 372

A note on the career of metaphorical domains: On the role of the XYZ constructions in metaphorical transfer reversal

Mario Brdar
E-mail: mbrdar@ffos.hr
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9582-4285
Filozofski fakultet Osijek

Rita Brdar-Szabó
ELTE Budapest

Tanja Gradečak
Filozofski fakultet Osijek

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Abstract:

One of most dominant conceptual metaphors used to talk about the COVID-19 across languages and cultures is the WAR metaphor, but many other metaphors have been attested, exploiting a wide range of source domains. It appears, however, that there is a sort of evolutionary movement concerning the frequency with which particular source domains are used, progressing first towards more aggressive, war-like concepts, then after a sort of culmination in the spring of 2020, towards other related concepts, as the epidemic turned into a pandemic, and as new waves of infections emerged. However, we can now observe the beginnings of a new cycle: the domain that has so far been conceptualized metaphorically in terms of other source domains is now beginning to emancipate itself, becoming itself a source domain. Metaphorically speaking, when we study this switch, we study not the career of a metaphor, but the career of a domain (which in our opinion is even more exciting than the former enterprise). The aim of this article is to shed some light on this incipient trend by taking a look at the constellation of two (among many possible) factors that may have facilitated this mutation: the phenomenon of domain homogenization (towards a negative paragon) as a semantic catalyst and the family of XY(Z) constructions as the formal catalyst.

Keywords:
metaphor, domain, metaphorical transfer, unidirectionality, bidirectionality, XYZ construction, discourse construction, metonymy, COVID-19,
Article data in other languages: Croatian