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Culture & Psychology

http://cap.sagepub.com Review Essay: Conceptualizing Metaphors versus Embodying the Language: Kvecses, Zoltn, Metaphor in Culture: Universality and Variation. Cambridge: Cambridge Universty Press, 2005. ISBN 0521844479 (hbk)
Carlos Cornejo Culture Psychology 2007; 13; 474 DOI: 10.1177/1354067X07082806 The online version of this article can be found at: http://cap.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/13/4/474

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Review Essay
Abstract The paper presents a review of Kvecsess book Metaphor in Culture: Universality and Variation (2005) advancing a more general critique to the cognitive linguistic view of metaphor. Kvecses addresses a pending problem for the cognitive linguistic approach, namely the observed variation both cross-culturally and within cultures in the use of metaphors. If, as predicted by cognitive linguistics, metaphorical expressions are bodily motivated, conceptual metaphors should be universals. Variation is also a problem for this theory. I argue that the problem reects the incapacity of the theory to integrate bodily and social meanings. To solve this dilemma, three tenets of cognitive linguistics should be changed: the necessity to hypothesize conceptual structures between body and meaning; the framing of metaphor as a logical device rather than a psychological process; and the omission of the phenomenological experience when using metaphors. I conclude with a brief sketch of how a metaphor theory should work when changing those tenets. Key Words conceptual metaphor, embodiment, meaning construction, metaphor, microgenesis

Carlos Cornejo
Ponticia Universidad Catlica de Chile

Conceptualizing Metaphors versus Embodying the Language


Kvecses, Zoltn, Metaphor in Culture: Universality and Variation. Cambridge: Cambridge Universty Press, 2005. ISBN 0521844479 (hbk). The object of this paper is to review Zoltn Kvecsess 2005 book, wherein the author tackles the issue of cultural variability in metaphor use from a cognitive linguistic point of view. According to this theory, linguistic metaphors are expressions of subjacent conceptual metaphors (Lakoff & Johnson, 1980), which are based on bodily experiences (Lakoff & Johnson, 1999). Therefore, the question is a crucial one for the validity of the theory: if metaphors are bodily grounded, and we all have the same physical constitution, how can cultural differences in the use of metaphors (documented so far) be explained? Kvecses also faces the problem of understanding cultural variations
Culture & Psychology Copyright 2007 SAGE Publications (Los Angeles, London, New Delhi and Singapore) http://cap.sagepub.com Vol. 13(4): 474487 [DOI: 10.1177/1354067X07082806]

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within a theoretical framework which defends the idea that universal (or quasi-universal) conceptual metaphors constitute the structure of abstract thought. Thus, the goal of the author is to offer a more comprehensive and sophisticated version of the [cognitive linguistic] theory [of metaphor] (p. 5), which would give a coherent explanation of the fact that metaphors vary considerably on all levels of their existenceboth cross-culturally and within cultures (p.34).

Metaphors and Conceptual Metaphors


After the presentation of his goal, Kvecses begins the introduction with a useful comprised exposition of the standard cognitive linguistic view of metaphor (henceforth: CLVM). It is useful to begin the presentation of the core tenets of the CLVM by indicating its differences with the classical analysis of metaphor. Central for traditional studies of metaphor is the distinctionintroduced originally by Richards (1936)between the tenor (since Black [1962], called topic) and the vehicle of a metaphor. Tenor or topic is what is described by the metaphor, while vehicle is the term used to describe the topic. So, in the metaphorical expression Physicians are gods, physicians is the topic, which is described by means of the vehicle gods. In the CLVM, topic and vehicle become target and source, respectively. This terminological modication obeys Lakoff and Johnsons (1980) claim that metaphor should be looked for not in metaphorical linguistic expressions (such as the example about physicians), but in the conceptual system of the speaker. In other words, metaphor is conceptual, not just linguistic. So, the metaphorical expression You make my blood boil is constructed upon a more basic conceptual metaphor, namely: ANGER IS A HOT FLUID IN A CONTAINER (following a long tradition in lexical semantics, cognitive linguists distinguish [simple] words from concepts by writing the latter in capitals). At this conceptual level, a metaphor does not consist of a supercial vehicle substituting or interacting with a supercial topic. Rather, a metaphor is:
. . . such a set of correspondences that obtains between a source domain and a target domain, where metaphorical linguistic expressions (i.e., linguistic metaphors) commonly make the conceptual metaphors (i.e., metaphors in the mind) manifest (although there may be conceptual metaphors that have no linguistic metaphors to express them). (Kvecses, p. 27)

In this sense, according to the CLVM, most of our abstract concepts are metaphorical: they are grounded in at least one conceptual metaphor. Nonetheless, what justies the election of the terms target and source is not only the localization of the metaphor at a conceptual 475

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level, but also its embodied nature. The CLVM suggests that the relation between both terms of a conceptual metaphor is a constitutive one: the target concept (ANGER) derives its meaning from the sensorimotor (i.e., bodily) experience contained in the source domain (HOT FLUID IN A CONTAINER). For this reason, the source is a more physical and the target a more abstract kind of domain (Kvecses, p. 5). Hence, language is embodied (or, more precisely, concepts are embodied). This is a crucial point for understand to what extent the CLVM represents a turn from the generativist tradition in linguistics. Conceptual metaphors have in all cases an experiential basis, be it direct, as in primary metaphors (such as AFFECTION IS WARMTH or TIME IS MOTION), or indirect, as in complex metaphors (such as ANGER IS A HOT FLUID IN A CONTAINER or SOCIETY IS A FAMILY). From this (direct or indirect) experiential basis, concepts and linguistic expressions acquire meaning. Bodily experience allows us to comprehend the very concept of WARMTH; from this corporal knowledge arises naturally the comprehension of AFFECTION IS WARMTH, considering the fact that, since birth, bodily experiences of affection are correlated with WARMTH rather than COLDNESS. Metaphorical expressions like We have a warm relationship also become easily understandable because there is an activation, at an unconscious level, of the conceptual metaphor AFFECTION IS WARMTH, which in turn goes back to embodied knowledge. AFFECTION is no longer the topic that, according to classical analysis, was described in a certain metaphorical manner. WARMTH is also not a vehicle through which we describe AFFECTION. WARMTH is a corporally based knowledge which feeds AFFECTION. Therefore, in the CLVM, topic becomes target and vehicle becomes source. Another difference with the traditional metaphor analysis is this: metaphor is in the CLVM a deep conceptual artifact, underlying the manifest metaphorical expression, which is the analysis unit of the traditional metaphor theories.

The Universality Claim and the Problem of Cultural Variation


An obvious corollary of the CLVM description is that conceptual metaphors should be universal, since we all have the same body, and, therefore, the same experiential basis. But, as Kvecses correctly points out, anthropological and linguistic evidence contradicts this universalistic image of the metaphor performance. The author provides abundant linguistic data from typologically different languages, showing variations in the use of metaphors at all levels, involving all components of the CLVM, not only cross-linguistically, but also within 476

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the same culture. For example, Kvecses observes that different cultures vary in the use of source, target and experiential basis. The same target (for example: HAPPINESS) can be conceptualized differently in many cultures/languages (Chinese: FLOWERS IN THE HEART; English: UP, LIGHT, FLUID IN A CONTAINER); this variation is denominated by Kvecses as the range of the target. Another kind of variation is the scope of the source: the fact that in different cultures/languages the same source domain (for example: BUILDINGS) can be associated with very different targets (English: THEORIES, RELATIONSHIPS, SOCIAL GROUPS; Tunisian Arabic: EDUCATING CHILDREN, IMAGINING). In other cases, however, cultures which use the same conceptual metaphors to express certain abstract concepts seem to diverge in their conceptualization preferences (e.g. in Hungarian LIFE is primordially conceptualized as STRUGGLE/WAR and as COMPROMISE, while in America, LIFE tends to be conceptualized as PRECIOUS POSSESSION or as GAME). Kvecses exemplies that variation is also to be found within the same culture at a subcultural, ethnic, regional and diachronic level. Even at an individual level, one can observe how a persons life experience is reected in their preference for certain metaphorical conceptualizations. How can order be restored in this chaotic linguistic world? Kvecses tries to conciliate the universalistic vocation of the CLVM with this (now) recognized factual complexity. First of all, the author points out that some aspects of the CLVM produce metaphornamely, experiential basis, source and target domains, and the conceptual integration between both (blending)while other aspectslike mappings, entailments and certainly the linguistic and non-linguistic metaphorical realizationsare, rather, affected by it. This distinction allows him to delimit the range of variation causes. On the other hand, Kvecses introduces several theoretical artifacts to make sense of variability while maintaining the universality claim. Two of them are particularly relevant as they are present throughout his work: (a) the idea of meaning foci; and (b) the consideration of description levels. The author proposes that metaphor variation can occur since conceptual metaphors have several meaning foci, that is, certain source domains contribute conventionally with predetermined conceptual material when applying to specic targets. As it is a conventionalized association, it follows that it can change cross-culturally, but still, in such cases, we can assume that the same conceptual metaphor is at play. Regarding the description of levels, Kvecses introduces in different segments of his book the idea that many cases of apparent crosscultural variability are, as a matter of fact, cases of variability at a specic level. However, when we analyze these cases at a higher level 477

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of abstraction, we nd the very same conceptual metaphor at a superordinated level. That means that a single bodily activity can be conceptualized with different meaning foci in different cultures; but the bodily experience that constitutes the base of a conceptual metaphor does not depend on its cultural interpretation. Thus, the body provides an ample experience that tolerates and constrains different possible cultural interpretations. Therefore, variation exists at a manifest level; and at a latent level, universality remains. The exposition of the multiple cultural variability evidences culminates in the last chapters, in which Kvecses presents an integrating view of the causes of variability in metaphor use. The author recognizes that there are mainly three different sources of variability: differential experience; differential cognitive preferences and styles; and individual creativity. Under differential experience the author comprehends differing awareness of physical, social and communicative contexts, the differing social and personal histories, as well as differing social and personal concerns and interests. The differential cognitive preferences and styles includes the differential experiential focus, that is,
. . . different peoples may be attuned to different aspects of their bodily functioning in relation to a target domain, or . . . they can ignore or downplay certain aspects of their bodily functioning as regards the metaphorical conceptualization of a particular target domain. (Kvecses, p. 246)

Other differential cognitive preferences are particular prototypes implicitly in operation when using a metaphor, and preferences for metaphorical or metonymical constructions. Finally, two universal cognitive processesnamely, metaphor and blending or conceptual integration (see Fauconnier & Turner, 2002)are responsible for variety in human thought. What varies here, however, is the nal product, not the involved processes. The Grim Reaper is, for example, the result of a multi-scope blending (with domains such as reaper, killer, death, human death, cause, etc.), which can only exist in a community with inherited Christian values and beliefs.

Body, Society and the Mind In-between


The background problem the book addresses is the relation between mind and society, or, more precisely, between mental contents and social contents, from a cognitive linguistic point of view. The CLVM can be considered successful regarding its arguments in favor of the metaphorical nature of many abstract concepts which we use daily and 478

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which we consider as literal. It is also successful regarding the demonstration of the embodied nature of these concepts. This theory is, however, not so successful in its capacity to understand the social nature of human thought. It would seem that the corporal anchoring of human thought becomes an obstacle when addressing the social dimension of any metaphorical or linguistic phenomenon. An example of this is the problem of the evident cultural variations in the use of metaphors. Much of the data reported by Kvecses seem to lead inexorably to the conclusion he arrives at: In metaphors and their linguistic expression, the cognitive and the cultural are fused into a single conceptual complex . . . what we have been calling conceptual metaphors are just as much cultural as they are cognitive entities (or, more exactly, processes) (p. 162). However, this is a major problem for a theory which understands embodiment in a narrow sense. Whenever a cultural content does not have a direct relation with bodily experiences, it is understood as indirectly associated. Whenever a metaphor exceeds the limits of biologynamely, the majority of our ordinary metaphorical expressionsit is considered as a supercial metaphorical expression, not a real (i.e., conceptual) metaphor. A good example of this point is discussed by Kvecses (p. 251). The Ifaluk word song (in English: anger) does not emerge from the metaphor ANGER IS A HOT FLUID IN A CONTAINER, but rather entails prosocial and moral aspects of community life. Here, Kvecses writes: Does this mean that song is an abstract concept not motivated by bodily experience? Yes, it does, because it is not universal bodily experience that motivates it. . . . Its motivation derives from the particular socialcultural practice of Ifaluk (p. 251). That is, since the moral feeling cannot be directly mapped in the body (as, for example, a PRESSURIZED CONTAINER), then it must be motivated by socio-cultural experience. But this is equivalent to saying that socio-cultural knowledge is not in the body (or, at least, not in the same way conceptual metaphors are). In order to be comprehensible, the moral feeling should also be subsidized by a conceptual metaphor, which we have still to discover. This conception of embodiment leads unavoidably to the false dichotomy of cognition/culture. As a matter of fact, Kvecses concludes his book suggesting a model for the cultural variation in the use of metaphor that basically includes three inuence systems: bodily experience; socio-cultural experience; and cognitive preferences and styles. Thus, a metaphor will vary within the constraints imposed by the bodily experience, according both to the socio-cultural experience of the person and to his/her cognitive preferences and styles. This is equivalent to saying that we have, on the one hand, corporal knowledge and, 479

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on the other hand, social knowledge. The ideal of a single conceptual complex is not satised either. According to an embodied vision of mind, we had expected the conclusion that moral feeling is embodied in an Ifaluk community memberwhen she/he feels angeras well as in every human. It is hard, in fact, to think of an Ifaluk feeling his/her song (our anger) and not feeling it in the body, that is, producing in her/him some action dispositions, gestures, bodily movements, a certain mood or even evoking certain mental contents. I suppose many cognitive linguists would not negate such consequences. What they are denying is its conceptual-metaphorical nature, and therefore its role as building-block of human knowledge. Here we are approaching the core of the problem. Embodiment is for the CLVM not just knowledge in the body. In the CLVM, embodiment is conceptual knowledge in the body.

Cant See the Metaphors for the Concepts


The CLVM represents undoubtedly a very important advance in the way to overcome the problems that present cognitive science inherits from its foundational theory: the representational-computational view of mind (see Cornejo, 2004). Cognitive linguistics was founded precisely with the goal to approach what were then (and actually are still today) the forbidden zones for generativist linguistics. Semantics belongs to these zones in the rst place. Lakoff arrives at novel ways to approach semantics just after his frustrated attempt to develop a generative semantics, where a mechanistic semantics was designed to complement (and to complete) Chomskys syntactic model. In the novel cognitive linguistics, semantics abandons its secondary position to become the central point in the analysis. By making this turn, Lakoff and Johnson (1980) describe human thinking as metaphorical, considering that conceptual metaphors are constitutive of our cognition (and not only its expressive means). The embodied character of these metaphors was in turn the explanatory instrument to bring back the body to cognitive studies. The CLVM not only brought semantics back to linguistics, but also brought the body back to mind studies. Nonetheless, it is not often observed that the emphasis in the conceptual nature of metaphors has many negative consequences, as observed in the dichotomy of bodily knowledge versus socio-cultural knowledge. The CLVM seems overtly disposed to accept the existence of corporal knowledge, so far as this is conceptually dened. The theory approximates to experiential philosophy and to phenomenology, but 480

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returns to the eternal world of concepts. Instead of founding cognition in tacit corporal knowledge, the CLVM ends up founding cognition in the abstract domain of concepts. What cannot be reported as conceptual metaphor is not considered likely to receive a bodily based cognition. Many social concepts and metaphorical expressions are either excluded or severely reduced. From the rich metaphorical expression cant see the forest for the trees remains only the structure TO KNOW IS TO SEE. The doors to the reign of embodied contents have a geometrical form. What are the consequences of this election? Regarding the study of metaphor, it means the CLVM will not study metaphors anymore; it will study conceptual metaphors. Regarding cognitive studies, it means that the embodied mind theory will be identied with the search for a new form of universal concepts.

On the Difference between a Word and a WORD


Like any form of lexical-semantic analysis, one may ask about the difference between a word and a concept. When the CLVM speaks of conceptual metaphors, it is supposedly telling us something about the concept of the expression, not (only) about the linguistic meaning of the words comprised in the expression. But what is this something else which expresses itself using the words as a carrier? (And that could still exist even not having a linguistic metaphor to express it [Kvecses, p. 27])?!) We are approaching here a metaphysical landscape very similar to that of the representations for the computational theory of mind. They are not in the phenomenological mind, because they are unconscious. But they are not in the body as well, because they are conceptually structured. They are in brief the cognitive remnants that Quine (1951/1964) once called the obscure intermediary entities: what Aristotles essence becomes when divorced from the object of reference and wedded to the word. Concepts can be useful units of analysis for a representational theory of mind, where these units are deployed in the mental scenario. But it is not very clear where such a-contextual entities are to be found. Surely concepts have an important representational function for philosophical, logical and scientic inquiries. But these do not reside in the mind if conceptual metaphors are still to be dened as static building-blocks of knowledge. When we pay attention to the human experience (just what the CLVM draws our attention to), we observe more richness, variability and dynamicity than objective, unchangeable entities are capable of evidencing. By expressing you cant see the forest for the trees we are not saying to know is to see. Just as well, we are not saying to know is to see when 481

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we say I see what you mean, and certainly we do not mean the same with you cant see the forest for the trees and I see what you mean. And even if to know is to see plays a role in the comprehension of you cant see the forest for the trees, it is only one of the many suggestions we are showing by the original metaphor. Therefore with you cant see the forest for the trees, we are suggesting a myriad of associations, whose richness consists just of its preverbal, tacit and non-conceptual nature. It is difcult to see why the supposedly conceptual nature functions as a prerequisite for cognitive/corporal knowledge to be considered as embodied. Certainly the CLVM has to defend a distinction between the linguistic meaning of a word and its concept. But where is the frontier between the meaning of anger and the concept ANGER? If we assume meanings are subjective while concepts are objective, what kind of subject discovers the perennial conceptual structures? And, nally, how can I grasp concepts but with words? The only answer we can nd is: Such an approach could lay the foundations for a more formal study of cultures . . . that is, at the same time, sensitive to both the universal and the non-universal experiences of human beings living in those cultures (Kvecses, p. 192, italics added). The apparently static and objective nature of abstract concepts converts them into good candidates for a formal approach to meaning. What is nevertheless often forgotten in this kind of reasoning is the fact that concepts are not abstract, but abstracted.

Metaphor as a Microgenetical Meaning Expansion


When we question the very need to search for abstract entities behind metaphorical expressions, metaphor comprehension comes closer to the phenomenological experience one has while producing or hearing metaphorical speech. In a non-conceptual analysis of metaphor, all the nuances and subtleties of ordinary metaphorical expressions, typically unobserved in a CLVM analysis, appear in the foreground. The particular casuistic of an expression like cant see the forest for the trees can only be noted when we focus on the meaning construal enacted through this linguistic action. By means of such an approach we are centering our attention at the microgenetical level (Rosenthal, 2004), where a metaphorical expression produces its peculiar expansion of meaning. In metaphors, a specic thematic eld is expanded in suggested, but tacit, directions. The need to descend from platonic universals to the grounded meanings of ordinary metaphorical expressions was already made 482

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explicit by Heinz Werner in 1919 through his distinction between a logical and a psychological interpretation of metaphor:
We have to distinguish between a purely logical and a psychological interpretation of this concept [metaphor]. In purely logical form, metaphor is understood as a substitution of an expression with another more or less vivid one. In this case the question about which subjective mental attitude creates the contrast is completely omissible. In the psychological interpretation the situation is different. In this case, it is crucial that the person who creates the metaphor knows also the fact that here there is no mathematically congruent substitution, but only an incidental, approximate one. The experience of incongruence in the equivalence is an essential characteristic of metaphor, when it is psychologically understood. (Werner, 1919, pp. 34)

What we discover with Werners proposal is that inherited terms such as substitution, comparison, topic and vehicle derive from a logical way of analyzing metaphors. This is a very useful one when we want to get a clear idea of which knowledge is involved by asserting determined metaphors. But this language is not attempting to describe the mental processes involved. We all know when we are confronted with a metaphor that cannot be evaluated as an assertion, because we all feel the experience of incongruence. We know in advance that you are not seeing forests or trees, that I cannot see your mind, and that the physicians are not gods. We know from the very start that every metaphor is false, like all similes are obvious truths (Davidson, 2001). Nevertheless we actively seek coherence in these expressions, because we are interested not in what they are saying, but rather in what they are insinuating. The experience of incongruence leads us to a search for coherence in order to make sense of what is agrantly false. (Incidentally, we can see in the case of metaphor the operation of a general principle of human cognition: the ubiquitous tendency to search for meaningfulness in the perceived world, what Hrmann [1976, 1986] called the sense constancy, in explicit analogy to the perceptual constancies described by the Gestalt school.) What distinguishes radically a metaphor from a purely logical substitution, comparison, or interaction between two conceptual or semantic domains is that the former is from the start experienced as incongruence without solution. It is a kind of incongruence which can never be logically resolved, because it simply does not have a logical solution. However, its patent falsehood does not preclude that we see something through the metaphorical expression. But what we see cannot be exhaustively paraphrased. In this sense, Davidson (2001) points out that metaphor says nothing special in addition to its literal meaning; instead it suggests. Metaphor 483

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does not provide a denite cognitive content, but it shows many things which cannot be completely linguistically expressed: Joke or dream or metaphor can, like a picture or a bump on the head, make us appreciate some factbut not by standing for, or expressing, the fact (Davidson, 2001, p. 262). Metaphor is also a form of language used in order to suggest contents which can be only imperfectly spoken. This insight is expressed in pragmatics through the distinction between to say and to show. And the work of metaphor is to show, not to say: The metaphor functions in the showing mode . . . [it] is not the vehicle of knowledge, but a window to knowledge (Fermandois, 2003, p. 438). To consider metaphor as a form of language use which consists of insinuating (not in saying) is to remember that metaphor also has a psychological interpretation. When considered as a language use phenomenon, metaphor is not a mapping. Mappings suppose static cartographies to be related. But, psychologically interpreted, metaphor is a contextualized, ongoing process of meaning development that has reality in the phenomenological experience of a person. It is a process of meaning expansion in directions which are not made explicit, but only insinuated. From a psychological point of view, this means that what metaphor means is construed just at the (microgenetical) moment when the used terms co-occur in the same thematic eld. It is the synergetic effect of the contextualized presentation of two terms that makes persons see what metaphor shows. Shanon (1993) describes the metaphor in this respect as a primary mechanism by which new features are generated. . . . Metaphor juxtaposes words in manners which are novel . . . just as the placement of words with other objects creates the feature of objects, so the placement of words creates new features of words (pp. 8990). A consequence of a pragmatic view of metaphor is that it is an inherently dynamic process of generating new meaning. In the situation of language use, meaning relations are permanently evolving and dependent on many contextual cues. As microgenetically emerging construals, metaphors have usually multiple possible interpretations. The direction of the interpretation results from a holistic comprehension emerging not only from linguistic information but also from non-linguistic cues. These latter constitute the context of use and determine to a great extent what will be understood with the metaphorical expression. Physicians are gods means something very different when asserted by a grateful patient than by an angered patient after an unusually long waiting time. A further consequence of a pragmatic view of metaphor is that the problem of cultural variation disappears. Different communities will 484

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probably vary as a natural consequence that metaphors are linguistic actions for certain idiosyncratic purposes. From such a viewpoint, what demands explanation is not variation, but rather universality and precisely for that goal the CLVM is interesting.

Embodying the Language Instead of Conceptualizing Metaphors


One of the major achievements of the CLVM is the proposal to give an experiential basement to cognition. Certainly, as authors of this approach have through many cases demonstrated, even the most abstract conceptual constructions can be comprehensible insofar as we can understand them corporally. I have attempted, however, to show that the insistence of the CLVM to look for subjacent conceptual metaphors can easily lead one to ignore the fact that metaphor is a use of language, not a formal mapping. It is parole, not langue. Therefore it is dynamic, permanently evolving and drastically context-dependent. Problems with the CLVM become more evident when we realize that the very notion of embodiment is subordinated to a core of conceptual nature. A linguistic expression will be embodied in the CLVM when it is conceptually represented in the body, that is, when we can recognize a conceptual metaphor that motivates it. Thus, ordinary metaphors (so-called linguistic metaphors) are not relevant in themselves, but, rather, only their foundational conceptual metaphors are. The direct consequence of this kind of embodiment is that sociocultural and idiosyncratic metaphorical usages which do not adjust to the conceptual mold will not have a clear position in the model. Kvecses addresses this big puzzle in the CLVM, recognizing the abyss produced between the bodily-conceptual, universal knowledge described by the model and socio-cultural, locally situated knowledge. Kvecses attempts to integrate both, but conserving the conceptual hard core of the CLVM. Instead of seeking universal structures anchored physically in the body, metaphor research could gain much more by embodying sociocultural knowledge, which would be in line with a long tradition in cognitive studiessuch as the indwelling of Michael Polanyi (1958) or the affordances of James J. Gibson (1979). Integration of social and biological knowledge entails realizing that every person is a being-inthe-world and that our conceptualizations of the world are the arrival point, not the starting point, of cognition (Shanon, 1993). This beingin-the world is a phenomenological experience and is lived with a prereexive feeling of certainty. The sense experience involves an embodied 485

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presence. The body is the vehicle of our being-in-the-world, because we do not have a body, but we are our body (Merleau-Ponty, 1962). To be in the world also means to be bodily in the world. Since this being bodily in the world involves participating in actions with others, cultural meanings cannot be something extra-somatic. As Tim Ingold (2000) exposes: Sociality is given from the start, prior to the objectication of experience in cultural categories, in the direct, perceptual involvement of fellow participants in a shared environment (p. 167). Consequently, it seems more promising to embody the social language than to conceptualize the body.

References
Black, M. (1962). Models and metaphors. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Cornejo, C. (2004). Who says what the words say? The problem of linguistic meaning in psychology. Theory & Psychology, 1, 528. Davidson, D. (2001). What metaphors mean. In D. Davidson (Ed.), Inquiries into truth and interpretation (2nd ed.; pp. 245264). Oxford: Clarendon Press. (Original work published 1978.) Fauconnier, G., & Turner, M. (2002). The way we think: Conceptual blending and the minds hidden complexities. New York: Basic Books. Fermandois, E. (2003). Kontexte erzeugen: Zur Frage nach der Wahrheit von Metaphern. Deutsche Zeitschrift fr Philosophie, 3, 427442. Gibson, J.J. (1979). The ecological approach to visual perception. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifin. Hrmann, H. (1976). Meinen und verstehen. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp. Hrmann, H. (1986). Meaning and context: An introduction to the psychology of language. New York: Plenum. Ingold, T. (2000). The perception of the environment: Essays in livelihood, dwelling and skill. London: Routledge. Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (1980). Metaphors we live by. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (1999). Philosophy in the esh: The embodied mind and its challenge to Western thought. New York: Basic Books. Merleau-Ponty, M. (1962). Phenomenology of perception. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Polanyi, M. (1958). Personal knowledge: Towards a post-critical philosophy. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Quine, W.V.O (1964). Two dogmas of empiricism. In W.V.O. Quine (Ed.), From a logical point of view (2nd ed.; pp. 2046). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. (Original work published 1951.) Richards, I.A. (1936). The philosophy of rhetoric. London: Oxford University Press. Rosenthal, V. (2004). Microgenesis, immediate experience and visual processes in reading. In A. Carsetti (Ed.), Seeing, thinking and knowing: Meaning and

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self-organization in visual cognition and thought (pp. 221243). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic. Shanon, B. (1993). The representational and the presentational: An essay on cognition and the study of mind. New York: Harvester-Wheatsheaf. Werner, H. (1919). Die Ursprnge der Metapher. Leipzig: Wilhelm Engelmann.

Biography
CARLOS CORNEJO is Assistant Professor in psychology at the Ponticia Universidad Catlica de Chile. His research interests include theoretical and empirical aspects of meaning construction/processing, gurative language and pragmatism in psychology. ADDRESS: Escuela de Psicologa, P. Universidad Catlica de Chile, Vicua Mackenna 4860, Santiago, Chile. [email: cca@puc.cl].

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