ISSN: 2306-5737E-ISSN: 2658-4069
Acta Linguistica Petropolitana
Transactions of the Institute for Linguistic Studies
ISSN: 2306-5737E-ISSN: 2658-4069
Acta Linguistica Petropolitana
Transactions of the Institute for Linguistic Studies 

The metaphors of falling

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Rakhilina Ye. V., Reznikova T. I., Ryzhova D. A. Tipologiya metafor padeniya. Acta Linguistica Petropolitana. 2020. XVI(1): 64–114.

The paper discusses the metaphorical extensions of FALLING verbs, identified on a sample of 20 languages, including, besides several Standard Average European languages, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Aghul, Adyghe, Basque, and some other languages from different language families. The verbs under study are characterized by a wide range of figurative meanings, which are shown to be recurrent across languages, cf. the well-known pattern LESS IS DOWN, as well as the semantics of the onset of a season, transformation, surrender, lagging behind a group, and many others.

The study is conducted within the frame-based methodology: figurative meanings of the verbs with initial semantics of falling are revealed from dictionaries and corpus data, as well as via elicitation with the help of a context-based questionnaire specifically designed for these purposes. The revealed metaphorical usages of FALLING verbs in different languages are reported mostly in the corresponding papers of the present volume. This paper gives an overview of the attested figurative meanings of the verbs denoting uncontrolled downward motion and offers a typological analysis of the detected patterns.

Based on the typological data, we argue that the derived meanings should be traced back not to the idea of falling in general, but to a particular frame of falling, i.e. to a certain type of uncontrolled downward motion: falling from above (from an upper surface), loss of vertical orientation, destruction, or detachment. Thus, the onset of the time period goes back to falling from an upper surface, transformation is derived from loss of vertical orientation, surrender from destruction, and lagging behind a group from detachment.

lexical typology, verbs of falling, metaphor, typology of metaphors
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lexical typology, verbs of falling, metaphor, typology of metaphors
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