Embodied concept mapping

Pragmatics and Cognition 24 (2):164-185 (2017)
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Metaphors are cognitive and linguistic tools that allow reasoning. They enable the understanding of abstract domains via elements borrowed from concrete ones. The underlying mechanism in metaphorical mapping is the manipulation of concepts. This article proposes another view on what concepts are and their role in metaphor and reasoning. That is, based on current neuroscientific and behavioural evidence, it is argued that concepts are grounded in perceptual and motor experience with physical and social environments. This definition of concepts is then embedded in the Structure-Mapping Theory, a model for metaphorical processing and reasoning. The blended view of structure-mapping and embodied cognition offers an insight into the processes through which the target domain of a metaphor is embodied or realised in terms of its base domain. The implications of the proposed embodied SMT model are then discussed and future topics of investigation are outlined.



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