Re-viewing Space: Figurative Language in Architects' Assessment of Built Space

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Mouton de Gruyter, 2006 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 261 pages
This book describes and explores the linguistic metaphors used by architects to assess design solutions in building reviews, and the conceptual mappings that motivate them. The genre perspective adopted throughout the work offers a view of figurative language that considers its use in the discussion of architectural topics in a real communicative situation, involving specific participants, clear rhetorical goals and recognisable textual artefacts. The book thus combines a genre approach to texts with a cognitive view of metaphor. It further aims to restore as the centre of attention the linguistic and textual aspects of metaphor as an instrument of both cognition and communication. The theoretical implications of the applied cognitive approach to metaphor adopted in the book are twofold. First, a situated description of how metaphor is used in a particular genre provides rich detail about its rhetorical potential. The second important contribution made by this study is to provide a fuller account of image metaphor, a type of mapping which is very salient in this particular genre. The weight given to visual metaphors in architectural discourse allows a fuller consideration of the cognitive and communicative import of a class of metaphor often regarded as marginal or ad hoc in cognitive linguistics, and the book thus contributes to a better understanding of this phenomenon in the context of a genre characterised by its concern with the visual aspects of architectural design. In this sense, the empirical data offered by a particular research methodology contributes to theory formation, and will prove of interest to cognitive linguists as well as to discourse analysts or genre researchers.

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About the author (2006)

Rosario Caballero, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Spain.

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