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Figurative Interpretation

Figurative Interpretation

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Users of English appear effortlessly to adjust their interpretations of such extended uses so that they make sense in a non-literal way. In other words, language competence seems to involve an ability both to construct and to understand figurative extensions, although there must be interpretative restrictions on the use of extended meanings
Users of English appear effortlessly to adjust their interpretations of such extended uses so that they make sense in a non-literal way. In other words, language competence seems to involve an ability both to construct and to understand figurative extensions, although there must be interpretative restrictions on the use of extended meanings

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Published by: ClassOf1.com on Nov 15, 2013
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09/05/2014

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Subject: English
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The Homework solutions from Classof1 are intended to help students understand the approach to solving the problem and not for submitting the same in lieu of their academic submissions for grades.
Figurative Interpretation
Users of English appear effortlessly to adjust their interpretations of such extended uses so that they make sense in a non-literal way. In other words, language competence seems to involve an ability both to construct and to understand figurative extensions, although there must be interpretative restrictions on the use of extended meanings. These restrictions seem simply to be that it must be possible to conceive of a situation that could reasonably be described by a given extended figurative usage. Needless to say, figurative extensions of the understandings of words and longer strings will not tamper with the inflectional networks and the syntactic frames of a language. Metonymic shortcuts are made possible by an obvious actual and practical connection between the literal referent(s) and the things or situation described by the metonymic extension. In other words: the basic sense and the metonymic understanding denote things that we know belong together out in the world. By comparison, a metaphorical extension comes about through perceived similarities between phenomena or situations that need not co-occur practically. The association behind a metaphorical extension is instead of a mental, imaginative kind. In the idiomatic expressions see (straight) into
somebody’s mind and see (right) through somebody quite complex conclusions concerning another person’s intentions, thoughts, or psychological reactions are described by means of a concretizing
comparison with the experience of seeing into, say, a room, or seeing through an open door or a glass pane of some kind, or perhaps even a so-called see-through article of clothing.  Actually, I would hypothesize that metaphorical shifts exploiting a source meaning representing a concrete, quite specific and easily imagined scenario stand a better chance of remaining transparent also when they have become conventionalized, in particular if such a figurative reading does not have a substantial set of sense relations within an obvious lexical field which can support a more independent semantic status. In Swedish the compound bollplank stands literally for a fairly high, flat vertical piece of boards, often a part of a solid fence, which can be used to practice throwing and catching a ball.
 
Subject: English
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The Homework solutions from Classof1 are intended to help students understand the approach to solving the problem and not for submitting the same in lieu of their academic submissions for grades.
It is, however, also used to speak of a person whom you can discuss plans and ideas with, commonly professionally, and who will assess them and come up with advice that may be useful. This now firmly lexicalized secondary sense of bollplank seems still quite transparent, and this is probably connected with the quite specific, concrete and easily pictured type of scenario that the literal source sense denotes. Finally, it should again be mentioned that all novel tropes are transparent figurative extensions, since they are created through a new exploitation of some source meaning. In other words, they are necessarily directly dependent on the source.

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