Sign and Metaphor

Author(s): Yi-Fu Tuan
Source: Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 68, No. 3 (Sep., 1978), pp.
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Both presupposea mindthatis able to apprehendand create the affective sign. we sometimespostulatea man power to apprehendand create the affecworldin whichpeople are alwaysfeeling.SIGN AND METAPHOR YI-FU TUAN thecontrary.the metaphor. one generation will pass and another take thatwe can betterunderstandwhat lies at the its place.and the symbol. displays order-the order of routine and predictable activities. If there is a pedestrian mall or the circumstancesunder which people behave bridge. Printed in U. Both Innovationpresupposesa backgroundof staapproachesare valid. 3." Roger Barker. MN 55455.This is the ROUTINE BEHAVIOR AND SIGNS natural emphasis of humanistscholars.19 on Thu.present inhabitantsand resettledby people of totally pacityto innovateare closely linked.and symbolicthoughtare different modes of this process: theydifferin the degree of conscious awareness and in the contentof articulableideas. IN humangeographywe sometimestreatpeo- tivebehavioris manifestin multipleways durple as thoughtheyhave littleor no aware. This withhardlya hint of conscious awareness. bilityand order. and/or trainingprograms to reconstitutethe behavior environment of studyingthis process. imbuedresponseto environment? Phrased dif.two questionsmay be raised ing on the rightlanes.view of the city will show streams of cars movman geography. Humanistgeographers. and makingdecisions. The capacityto feel deeplyabout the environment and the ability to innovate-these two primaryconcernsof the humanistgeographer-are closely linked. An answer is to be Kansas.A comprehensive hu. ing.alien culture. a third in ferently.thougheach is limitedby its own restrictive view of the person. Even the modwithfeelingand thought. 68.another in a large department store. In fact.thinking.which some people like to describe as man geographywill need to embracethewhole almost a jungle. stopping when the traffic concerninghumanawareness. there will be changes in environmenheart of humanisticgeography-the feltqualityof the humanworld?I shall addressmyself 1 For a county seat (population 830) in eastern to the second question.theyrespondto theirenvironment focus of individual experience.dard patterns: one patternin the dentist'soffice.Environmentis vividbecause the stimulusa personreceivesfromone source can generatemultipleand unexpectedsensations. may simply reflectthe narrow othertimes.' In the course of ture and process of the human imaginationso time.154.and the symbol. Roger Barker has identified "198 standing patternsof behavior and milieu with noninterchangefound in the idea that the capacity to feel able programs.theywould require 198 instructionbooks Dr.Innova.the public library.40. September 363 This content downloaded from 187. Inside the buildto feeland think?The second questionis: what ings.ern city. we can safely predict that most people like automataand what are the circumstances will walk on the rightside even though the law underwhich.however. 116.and ideas. This is the approach of sociophysicists. and so on.will betterunderstandthe "feltquality"of environment and the problems of design. If the town were abandoned by its deeply-to see the world vividly-and the ca. 6 Nov 2014 11:53:21 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 1978 . Ecological Psychology (Stanford.: Stanford University Press. Vol.ingtheordinarycourseof living.A. Tuan is Professor of Geography at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. No.will. Calif. lies at theirroot is the uniquelydevelopedhuOn the otherhand.One is: whatare lights turn red.tivesign. images.We feel at timesthat ours is people behave at times almost like automata a chaotic and constantlychangingworld.the metaphor.S. people will behave by and large in stanis thenatureof a people's affective and thought. Synesthesia. ANNALS OF THE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN GEOGRAPHERS ? 1978 by the Association of American Geographers. are theremeans of exploringthe na. p. A bird's-eye spectrumof human awareness. theyare propelled does not require them to do so. metaphoricalpredication. From the standpointof a comprehensive hu. at feeling. 1968).but thatwhich ness.

A symbol encapsulates and nurtures offa movementor act ratherthan a mood. drive obvious biological uses. ..thatis to say. see respond unthinkingly to environmentalsigns makesforthatessentialorderor stabilitywith. This content downloaded from 187. Price.4Such worlds. 6 Nov 2014 11:53:21 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Association of the most elementary and most tangible sort of intel. need understand the system as a whole. but they use both kinds to guide their practical explored this theme in Space and Place: The Perspecactivities. Introduction to Structural Psychology (New York: Equinox. know how to one in whichthesignsare unambiguousin their interpretappropriatelythe signs in their recall forspecifictypesof behavior." Annals.I get into my car. spectiveenvironments:theymust in order to I see the hands of the bedside clock point to survive. anotherday. 168-270. No one. On the schematic nature of 2 A. Feeling and Form (New York: lection.American social speech is made up of cliches intricacies of our path stem from a quite different source than the intricacy of the ant's path. The interpretationof signs . PhilosostationI turnright."6 All anitheyhave establisheda routine. Langer.or a trainof thought. H. pp.For example. The apparent complexity of his behavior over automatic"speech acts" promptedby succes. September TUAN ferencelies mainlyin the number. . 205-13. psychological characteristicsfromthe worlds of animals. unpublished docguish between natural signs and artificialor fortuitous toral dissertation. The Organization of Behavior (New John Wiley. are programmedmachines withouthuman occupants. is quite to call for thought. p. a an idea or a set of ideas." Susanne K. from President to miner. Roger Brown. 1972). pp. But this York: Thinkingand Experiencing (London: Hutchinson Unistable world of reiterative patternsis littledif.: MIT Press. N. 68-74 and in the paper "Imlow arrows . Whitehead.consistently cliche-ridden. An affectivesign moreor less automaticallyto signsin the envi.D. 26. 65 (1975).. p. 3 "The interpretationof signs is the basis of animent. 1969).elicits an imaginativeand emotion-tinted reronment. 1955). and Encounter: A Phenomenology of mal intelligence. Animals presumably do not distin. Avon Book. and it is occasionallyused forthought(Fig. Langer.versity Library. is ages and Mental Maps.We do the same thing all day long.154. 60. watch the clock. I see a toothbrush in a tumbler and I brushmyteeth. There will be no foresight.tend to be schematic.I define"sign" as thatwhichtriggers sponse. Adventuresof Ideas (New York: the human world-the lack of conscious awareness in routine behavior-see David R. 96.type. BEYOND SIGNS Human beingsrespondnot only to signsbut also to affective signsand symbols.5 It is not surprising thatthe scientist'sabstractmodels should often prove adequate to the explanatorydescriptionoftheseschematicworlds. Clark University. 1958).Everyday EnvironmentalExperience. 1953).3 The dif- Words and Things (New York: The Free Press. like the trafficsignals. 1968). MoveMentor Book.human beings respond A sign is an aid to action. 1). A world in which human beings Mass. 39-42.nesota Press.An environment one conceive the idea it represents." On another elevatorand the secretarybehindher desk. obey warning signals.but there will be complete success in the maintenance of routine. and equally obvious criteria down the road and when I see the Esso gas of truthand falsehood.. A. 1977.364 Yi-Fu tal settingand adjustmentsin behavioralpatterns. 93-94. Whitehead put it thisway:2 A system will be the product of intelligence. We an. gestures. the kind of knowledge that we share with animals: that we acquire entirelyby experience. pp. pp. Hebb. 5 On the schematic nature of the animal world.Theirspeech is not mere verbal gesticulation. intelligence vanishes.but contains fresh metaphors." Herbert thatfitsnugglyintothe repertoire of customary A. fol.. 6 Susanne K. whichseem p. 1970). N.. I have signs.40. 0. out which innovationcannot arise. The Sciences of the Artificial(Cambridge. pp. But when the adequate routine is established. 71-72. viewed as a behaving system. Rest. mals. 1949). includinghuman beings. Even thewordsI use. Simon. 1977). and complexityof signsto whicheach species will respond.tive of Experience (Minneapolis: University of Minswer bells.but what mustimpressthe objectiveobserveris their stability:cars still stop or go whenthe lightschange as thoughthe cars. It "serves to make feeling. Seamon. In routineactivities.19 on Thu.Affectivesigns are withinthe experisix and I getup.because theyare uninformedor onlyweaklyinformed by imaginative feeling and thought. 52-53. H. ferent in its fundamental. pp.time is largely a reflectionof the complexity of the sive signssuch as a colleague standingby the environmentin which he finds himself. Vol. pp. In page: "Only human pride argues that the apparent short. 4 "A man. and Roger Muchielli.are oftenlittlemore than simple.and so on to the end of phy in a New Key (New York: Mentor Book.and is an in which people are at home is one wherein aid to thoughtand day-dreaming. that has Scribner's. and the system is maintained by a co-ordination of conditioned reflexes .

and simile are way stations to symbolic thought. a dog respondto a traffic signal? He may take it as a sign-perhaps forrelieving nature. and think.but to a unique degree among humans.The humanworld. thinkingto symbol. Again. and the greater the problem of design. but he cannot see it as a symbolforthe idea of law and"order.and symbolwithtwo examples. It can also be a symbol.say.To motoristsit is a sign and calls for suitable action. Behavior responds to sign. a dog may be taughtto reactto a cross in a seeminglyreverentialmanner. Engineersput it therefor no other purpose.Unlike the traffic light.The main arrow points in the direction of increasing awareness. affectivesign.Considerthe traffic light. I shall illustratethe meaningof sign. ence of both animals and humans.1978 365 SIGN AND METAPHOR Feeling Behavior (action) Thought Affectivesign Symbol Sign Synesthesia.How would an intelligent animal.19 on Thu. In a dark foggy night." This content downloaded from 187. Under certain conditionshe may respond to it in dread as to a threatening presence. but occasionallyI coin a freshmetaphorsuch as "the red eye of the traffic signal. feel. 1. howconcerningChristianity. metaphor. Symbols exist solelyin the humanworld. Metaphor.despiteits weightof routine. The greater the awareness the less stable the world becomes.Because the human worldcontainsaffective signsand symbols.a mere landmarkfor ori- entationin the city.mere verbal gestures to smooth the social intercourse.A Christian may respondto it as to a sacred objectone thatevokes a sense of dread.Simile Space: Schematic-action Aesthetic Symbolic-abstract World: Routine-practical Affective Conceptual-exploratory Humanistic geography (Study of ideas and concepts) Academic field Behavioral geography Stable world: design is feasible Unstable (innovative) world: design is problematic FIG.I may see it as a symbolof law and order in differsin importantways fromthe animalworld. feeling to affectivesign.The traffic lightthenbecomes an affectivesign. or as a symbol aroundwhichhe can organizehis thoughts To capable of radical changeinducedby large shiftsin awareness. Synesthesia.but it will not be forhim a symbol thatconduces to thought. AFFECTIVE SIGN AND METAPHOR My speechmaybe fullof tiredphrases.Anotherexample is the cross on top of a church. The scientificmethod is best adapted to studyingthe world of signs (behavioral geography). and not just signs. ever. The human world is one in which individuals behave (act).for instance.however.the glowingred eye mayevoke an emotion-tinted responseand vaguelystirthe imagination. the cross may well play an unintended role-that of a sign.40. 6 Nov 2014 11:53:21 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .154. Humanistic geography is concerned with the worlds of affect and of thought.the cross is meantto be an affective sign.

g. is an aestheticterm. hearingor vision) are presented. p. Odbert. 2 (1938). 50. tionof thepitchof a sound withthebrightness strivesforthecreationof meaningthroughjux. 1). Whatis a metaphor?PhilipWheelwright recognizes two parts in the concept-"epiphor" and "diaphor." for instance." Psychological Monographs.19 on Thu.It is an individualand personal perspectivefroma positionon theground.hearingof a sound inducesthe visualizationof derstand-but ratherit serves as an affective a certaincolor.and pro. however. No." Domain belongs to the vocabulary of politicaland economicdiscourse. F. and thatidea whenclothedin words revealsits metaphoricalstructure. dependability. 9T. For example. or hintingat. 72. p. To a few-perhaps less than ten percent We look at a streamwindingits way to the of any large populationsample-this capacity sea or peteringout in a waste of sand. The fortressanchorsone facet an insightinto the metaphoricalprocess by of God-his strength.It occurswhen"sensationsfromone is an epiphoricvehicle.We can. cit. it can be viewed objectivelyfroma theoreticalpoint high above. Karwoski and H.The diaphoricmeaningof landscape lies not in one image (concretelyknown) pointingto another.The fortress sign its roots: thisis synesthesia(Fig.violinsand "life". 8 Wheelwright.on the otherhand. Vol. The tenor). In human speech." Nothingis closer to us than our own (e. ence."9We lifeand yetit seems elusivebecause we cannot all have some capacityfor synestheticexperisee it. ratherit is to combine two dissimilar sopranovoices producewhiteor brightimages. a vehicle for the outreachand extension able to evoke colored images withremarkable of meaning. 3.. Thus. consistency. Scenery.Another common association is between the scape. high pitched sounds are small. footnote 7. be "colored hearing.metaphoricalprocess. somethingof greater Synesthesiais the blendingof sensoryeximportance."domain" and "scenery. the fortress periences.40. we would have solved the problemof humanthinking and creativity.op.althoughof greaterworth or importance.pitchof a sound and the size and shape of an rives its tensive meaning throughcombining less known (the semantic two dissimilarentities. taste or smell) are called divinepower. and say is developedto an exceptionaldegree..Put in anotherway." It is a diaphorin the sense thatit de." Consider two rathercommonplace ex."a conditionwhereinthe a messagethathumansas well as animalsun. which lies at the basis amples: "A mightyfortressis our God" and of human imaginationand thought. drums. SYNESTHESIA AND METAPHOR How is it possible that stimulusfromone object or idea can evoke anotherimage or idea thatis onlydistantlyrelatedby analogy?If we have an answer. of which the tenor is sense modality(e. The otherexample is "the river forthwhen stimuliof anothersense modality of life.When I am in a fortressI feel process that resemblesit and probablylies at God's presence. 1962). Take the word "land. is an affective pointingto.from "river" to duce distinctionto the epiphor." The human resignis invariablytouched sponseto an affective by an idea.acquire fuzzyconcept. This content downloaded from 187.g.whereassqueaks. But occasionally it functionsas an affective sign: it can stirmyfeelingand imagination."The epiphorstrivesforthe outreach and extensionof meaningthroughcomparison. 7 Philip Wheelwright.and thunderprotapositionand synthesis. 73. appearances or ideas.366 September Yi-Fu TUAN signal My habitualrelationshipwiththe traffic is unimaginative:the signalmerelytriggersreflex actions." The body of waterhere does not commonvarietyof synesthesiawould seem to call for practicalaction-"stop.It looks alive and ifI had to describe the appearanceI would have said that"the red lightlooks like an angryeye. Metaphor and Reality (Bloomington: Indiana UniversityPress.A domainor an estatecan be surveyedand not "the river of life. S.154. p.low pitchedsounds Its role is not to point such as deep voices. vowels are sign. The riveris an apt epiphoricvehicle..The most "that'slife.Its essentialmarkis "to expressa similaritybetweensomethingrelativelywell known or concretelyknown (the semantic vehicle) and something which. "Colormusic. but ratherin both-equally important-imaginativelysynthesized.of an image." God is an importantbut clearlyunderstood.Still more commonis the associaThe diaphor. 6 Nov 2014 11:53:21 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .looking at a physiological and experiential tectivemight.8 from one thing to another.

A biological Navaho.19 on Thu. S. E white. nomenon.or is he speakingin a poetic. color withcoldness and passivity. by aiding Japanesegroups. pp. The Rus. 9. phors. deep axis withenergyrelease.12 Morse and more on the resourcesof language for a betweencer.To use a or between sensationsand actual experiences related term "affectivesign. The Mind of a Mnemonist (New York: Basic Books.furithas such a sharp. 15 Luria.The feelingtone of a phe. Osgood. 48-52. Quotation in Philip Wheelwright.although-in extremeform "fast" is seen as thin.firmgrasp on the world and forfindingit rich Peckhampostulatesa relationship Moreover.One person informedFrancis Galton where some tests on his remarkablememory thatto himthe letter"A" is alwaysbrown." Psycliol. No. The Russian mnemonare not only shapes but also colors.To them. op. p. Marks. forall threegroups. pp.. once told the linguistL. -it leads to fantasy. A the black.but thevividnessof directexperiencein Synesthesiaaids memory."15 10 Karwoski and Odbert. p.the imaginative and mayalso be transcultural: association of verticalityand soliditywith a uctsof his imaginationwithreality. 2 (1960).an outsidesource. 24. 13 Morse Peckham.round.To had been conducted.S. 6 Nov 2014 11:53:21 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .For example.synesthesiais a probable conmost of us. This content downloaded from 187.whichmay be an appearance or an cult to distinguish idea. pp. 1967). and near. "quiet" is he depends less on the servicesof synesthesia horizontal and "noisy" is crooked.with the resources dimensionsand human feel. phors. Vygotsky: "What a crumbly. 38.A personlike S.but we do (Arthur Rimbaud). footnote 14.Cultureand rich but it also tends to be hallucinatory.of closed solids withfixityor rejection. "The Cross-cultural Generality of Visual-Verbal SynestheticTendencies. and if not a specificcolor for ideas.As a child grows older.thatdespitedifferences guage and culturetheyshow similarsynesthetic memory." the meaningof of events. and blue The world of an extremesynesthetemay be of redcolor withwarmthand activity.and massive.People tend to assume thatpoetrycalls 12 Charles E. replied: "How could I the poet enables the child to get a firmer tendencies. in lan. 152-53. 5.and yet hears a sound and sees a color as well. knowthatS.the idea hold on his world.His vivid and phantasmalworld rean affectivesign-its connotativesignificance sembles in some ways that of a small child.1978 SIGN AND METAPHOR 367 angularand sharplyedged..yellow voice you have."14 and widelyshared: forinstancethe association thermore. It "A" is black.ran. p.known to experimenters as S. op. 14 A.40. Luria. then at least the pitch of a sound dition for understandingand inventingmetadoes suggestimages of brightnessor darkness. is its connotativesignificance. tendenciesthanadults. Indeed. S.154. Likewise. cit. Vol.whereaslow pitched sian synestheteand mnemonist. bright. tain architectural in character of languagethe child can explorethe world in ings that appear to be synesthetic theprodwayswithoutconfounding forexample. childrenare known to show stronger -may be transcultural. footnote 7. but an exceptionalcomputationalgift thetictendencies. 1968). on the otherhand. and synesthetic in his studyof Anglo-American. green U. 199. cit. has difficulty in appreciating metaop. We no anOr is he both? have guage? doing 11 "You vowels." BehaviowalScience. 1Is S. p. was once asked whetherhe soundsare dark.and stimulating. No. findsit diffione sensationfromanother. R. dark. "heavy" is down.A sound is not only a sound may hinderthe birthof originalmathematical but also a color.advantage of this capacity is that. possiblyforget?Afterall.13 The human world is richerfor our synes.. 60.piercingsound. Man's Rage for Chaos (New York: Schocken Books.metaphorical lanogy Today. open pavilions with flexibilityor mixedblessing. 1 (1975).levels.a minimaltalent with ade. footnote 9. here's this fence. Highly specialized giftsof nature can be a sense of demand.and diffuse. 76. here simplyreportingon his sensations." Synesthesiacan also be general has such a saltytaste and feels so rough.Thus.. "Synesthesia. Vol.although the "feelingtone" of theirworlds may have onlyhis auditoryorganhas been stimulatedby much in common. Charles Osgood notes. Some day I will reveal your hidden identities. light and rectangularity tion for doing mathematicsat more advanced quacy." swer for this particularinstance. and Lawrence E. blue 0.Extremesynesthetes an extremesynesthetecan be an enchantment of a highorder.that hampersthe mind fromexploringanaloare mnemonists dom alphabetsare easy to recall because they gies at thelevel of ideas.10 and could find his way home from the institute Synesthesiacan be highlyindividualistic specific.He languagedifferamong human groups.forcalculatingnumbersin the head is a condiopenness.

JamesFernandez He notes thatthe Osgood putsit. than in others. Karwoski." "you. Odbert."This becomingan object. Some metaphorsare so old and univerpeople appear to associate the visually large sallyemployedthat.theyare the vehiclesof a process that has for millennia a syn.Finally. Cultureoperates at by side witha woman.19 on Thu. 122. covers a very wide range. 168. "Studies in SynestheticThinking. " he.culthe meaning. 26 (1942). p.already We say of a lovely youngwoman that "she is given.on the otherhand.phoricalthought. F. them. ture."18Childrenlearn ingpower. p. 18 James Fernandez.pronoun. They on the priorinputof formulatedideas? I can. the outreach fromone sensationto anotheris an automatic the various colors of billiard balls when he hears physiologicalprocess made possible by an in.They are become objects by takingthe point of view of not the resultof an active imagination.and individualtalent."T. 6 Nov 2014 11:53:21 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . No.whetherideas have to themselves. 2 (1974). The op. "it is simplya characteristic of arguesfortheiruniversality.literature.and whereis the resem. this in factplayeda role. . and constitution to a cabbage than to a young the generaltendencyto associate frontalspace humanfemale.By masteringthese at a landscape and see a reclininghuman fe.Strong synesthesiain an individualis a unique I registering unreflectively estheticevent or does my experiencedepend theiridentitiesby playinganimal games.17Between them lie intermediate E.But this is clear: when I look ous beasts of preythe next.Pronounsmust occur withoutpreparatorythought.infantsand college coeds play UNIVERSAL METAPHORS It may be thatstrongsynesthesiaand meta. "Learning .withilluminatedspace and futuretimemay be phor that many people will find its coupling more explicitlyacknowledgedin some cultures withthe lattermore natural.are nervouschickensone momentand ravennot be certain.It can "the other.numbers from one to fifteen.turnedto the animal world.the certainkindsof widely with the auditoriallyloud. Such coupling can shared synesthetic experience.theyseem conbe the productof invariantexperiencerather stitutiveof human nature. ."1 Synestheticevents of this kind affectivesign. with all of the sensory analogies there tensionof an image or idea is a playfulleap suggested.some metaphor.a fewfresh logical endowment.An example.In states. For example.and nurtur.the metaphorsin poetic language evoke tion. and Charles of the mind.368 Yi-Fu TUAN September for the most graphickind of imagination. characteristicsof these animals.roles theylearnto see themselvesas havingthe male or motherfigure.whenI look taking the other. this predicationupon the at a landscapeand see peace.Put a rose side withthe auditoriallyloud. 17 Role of Form in Visual Responses to Music. In theexchangesof dailyspeech. 15. metaphorsmay emerge but most are shopuniversalsynesthetic tendenciesalso exist.Vol.however. As metaphorsare cases in point.a more conscious level: it extendsand elaboblance? A rose is much closer in appearance rates a synestheticdisposition.Vol.At the other extreme we have the learning of language and familiaritywith terlacingof nerve fibers. II.154..At one end. p. S. Boys engage in "horse phoricalthinkingare two ends of a continuum play." Journal of General Psychology.thatthepronouns object approaches or is approached. cit." Fathersteasinglypretendto eat up their in human capacity. 215. "The Mission of Metaphor in Expressive Culture. but also as "Mother earth" is a metaphor. At one extreme we have the case of the individual who sees 6Osgood. This content downloaded from 187.For instance." A synesthete or a small childmaywell experienceis the couplingof the visuallylarge findthisexpressionnonsensical.of synesthesiaas the resultof conjoint a rose.Even in our machine-domitranscending nated society. " it") are in visual angle are correlatedwithincreasesin inchoate unless they are predicatedon some loudness. footnote 12.piercingsound" as well is a the other. by marryingit to another: he attemptsmetahis capacityis inborn-a functionof his neuro." Current Anthropology. All worn."beforetheycan become subjects be difficult to tell. a person can seek to A personwho looks at a fenceand hears a enrich and deepen the meaningof an image "sharp.40.whereinthe translationfromone sensafact. image.Animal and human than of some neurophysiological process. H. the physical world that as a noise-producing humansenseof selfis elusive. calm. Osgood.increases of social life (the "I. or idea to anotheris dependent notso muchimagesas ideas: theimagesare not in varyingdegree on conjointexperience.yetsuchis theforceofthemeta.imaginationis at work.with stuffedanimals.

likewise. his topographicalvocabulary reasoning. The Philosophy of Rhetoric (New York: Oxford University Press. see T. "Autumn. 1973). This content downloaded from 187. and proceeds by comparison.The answerwould seem to be yes.and the plant cover the hairpiece reach fromone image or idea to anotherand of a cosmic being. emerge. soil is flesh. 1936).volcanicneck. A.As adults.the spine phor of his time-the idea thatman's body is or brow of a ridge. and the full articulationof ideas form a enoughso thatto some nonagricultural can Indians it is sacrilegeto tear up the grass continuum:one movesfromthe implicitto the for the purpose of plantingcrops. p.however."and thenproceedto metaphors.Clearly. ed. Vol. continueto appear. 179 (16 March. 24 Leonard Barkan. op. The association is strong perceivetheirjoint meaning." Science.we maybeginwiththe as partof a continuingtradition. Hulme. I say of a colleague thathe I walked abroad is a jelly fish.cient times as antitheticalways of life.A church.thatis.op cit.and theymay direct apprehensionthat "society is an orgastillaffectthewayspeople treatnature.thought. like an organism.Althoughneitherof us has seen And saw the round moon lean over a hedge.20 Even to explicit(Fig. and the metaphors of language derive therefrom. a jelly fish.1978 SIGN AND METAPHOR 369 small children.theimpactof the fertile. for example. 1104.Plato acceptedthe microcosmicmetaple. He we feelmorere. The simile.forexample. E.knownin diverseculturesin widely parts of the world. 94. T. 19 20 wright.foothill. abstractedaffective sign thathas lost its direct Although Westernman does not look upon linkwitha humansubjectin a distinctionto peoples.seeing the The symbolgoes beyond the simile.A few are kept alive a morecurrentexample. C.itsemotionalpower. but nodded.the And round about were the wistfulstars label will stick.the idea different Synesthesiaprovides a foundationfor the the earth. 23 "Thought is metaphoric. It is an earth as motheris not just a literaryconceit.he proceededto build Usinghumanbeingsor animalsas predicates on it a toweringschema of correspondences of nature is an ancient practice."We take the nextstep and say that"soimages they call forthhave gone stale.154.think explicitlyand in detail in what ways novative conjunctions of ideas continue to societyis.moreover. Nature's Work of A rt: The Human Body as Image of the World (New Haven: Yale UniversityPress. 21 Victor W.ile.but the nism. New cietyis like an organism. mentsof ambiguity assuredif we can liken the opposingteams to A touch of cold in the autumn night hawks and doves. and is not. The human mind is extraordinarily As we move on to thought. 1).We may well ask whetherthe moon originalaffective signor metaphortendsto lose and the stars can still inspirenew anthropo. p. For samples of American Indian lyricism." propitiationsand sacrifice. Richards. sation has been made and that. shoulderof a valley. In. Hulme. 17-18. pp." Quotation in WheelFernandez.the tail of a drumlin.we both know thata precise accuI did not stop to talk. is an aid to day-dreamingand to does explicitin its analogy: "wistsome agricultural in the past arousedunease and called forritual ful stars are like white-facedcity children.24To take nal power to stimulate.23 Metaphor. 1971).Discurof rain impregnating common habit of thoughtto see the earth in sive and systematicthoughtrests.simAmeri. He did not. E. 122. Turner. cit. 6 Nov 2014 11:53:21 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .. the human abilityto create metaphors. Like a red-faced farmer.fromthe very small to the very large.and thenofferthempiggyback evoke freshimages and ideas by linkingthe rides. diggingup the earth the metaphor. Touch the Earth: A Self-Portrait of Indian Existence (New York: Outerbridge& Dienstfrey.It is an old and developmentof metaphoricalthought.19 on Thu. Many such harmonizingthe componentsof the universe zoo-metaphorshave long since lost theirorigi..In mo.and themouthof a river. McLuhan.40. was able to 22T.we neverbecome so confident heavenlybodies of perduringhuman concern theneed to the countryand the city. "Symbols in African Ritual. footnote 7.21 restwiththe metaphor. headland." morphicimages.19 With white faces like town children. pp.viewed since anas to escape altogether ofour identities for animal metaphoricpredications.wrote:22 or conflict. "Sky father" and "earth mother" are old METAPHOR AND SYMBOL metaphors.the a likenessof the cosmos. pebbles in a streamas "toes" (like the Dogon It permitsan extendedexcursionin analogic of West Africa). turn. 1975).on terms of human anatomy: rocks are bones.of course. footnote 18..

The language of signs is explicit eighteenth-century England. it is much rarer in tradithesizes two dissimilarideas-"domain" and tional cultures.But to someonewho is aware of thismomentary of Christiansymbolismand has profoundsym. the feelinginside ecological health.p. Considerhow one ings.waned: we rarelyrespondto a landscape as to trineof salvation.But the symbolicmeanthe relationshipbetween God and man. 6 Nov 2014 11:53:21 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . ing of landscape has increased.26The harmonyand lovelustriousdeparted.being directand imsigns that evoke cheer.phoric functionof landscape seems to have ence it becomesa symbolfortheChristiandoc. This content downloaded from 187." Science.teenthcentury. "While exesider "landscape. a sense of thrusting plicit in its effect. Designingfor ism and vitality. p.insteadtheyinterpretthe ap. in the one case and handicappingit in the The difference betweenthe affectivesign or routinized. p. Forms."Landscape is epiphoricinsofaras it symbols.Raymond Williams. have implicationsfordesign: theysuggestwhy theychoose not to respond to the lightsand designerscan make successfulplans. shows that it is usually quite difficultto obtain the significataof "scenery. blood-covered effigiesof the dying ance was achievedbetweenthe shiftingforces Christ. 261366. 1973). thelightsand so did teen-agedyoungsters used to drivetheirresuscitatedvehiclesup and DESIGN IMPLICATIONS down the strip. ness of choice.otherpeople is feasiblebecause humanbehavpearances symbolically. 143. A Land (London: Cresset phoricpowerand become a mereunitof space.its insensitivity action tablishedvalues. it can more the other On explicit acquire hand. throughthe eyes of Jacquetta Hawkes. 182 (28 December. proportionin scale between the cottage and a contraryexample.We may now choose to see it ral in a Latin country. are oftendeprecatory.Children appreciate symbolaroundwhichideas concerningecologiwho cal healthor social injusticecan accrue. 106. in fact.however.memorialsand stone coffinsof the il.They are all affectivesigns liness of the English countrysideare a result balance. Fernandez.facilitating thrustfor quick success." James W.why plans oftenfail (Fig. Empirical research.They forgetthe conveThe categoriesof perceptionhere sketched nienceof the signswhichtell themwhat to do. which the symbol allows and Bright illuminationand colors are affective which the affectivesign. "Analysis of Ritis a vehicleforsomethingmore importantand ual: Metaphoric Correspondences as the Elementary less tangiblethanitselfsuch as divinepresence. The other is the power againstthe darknessand gloom of the possibilityof usingthe landscape as a material surroundingcountryside. The strip is brightlylit the mansionis a symbolof social injusticein at night.Sophisticatedadults.19 on Thu.women in whom it is a momentwhen a precariousbalblack.It is dark and musty.Jacquetta 1951).370 Yi-Fu TUAN September longercommandsawe.One is the consciousto where he can stop to refuel and to eat. its blatancyand crassness.154. 27 Raymond Williams. a sense.may be clear or ambiguous. take the English landscape in the eighmightexperiencethe interiorof an old cathed.We thinkand this seeminglyfragileweb of articulatedideas talk about it more.can thus serve as a symbol for the idea of pathy for the storyit tells.than do people in traditional in universityculture.however. Vol. and also colors as affective signs-metaphorsof dynam.We may. The commercialstripof new and rapidlyex. The Country and the City connotationsand become a symbol.25 signsthat As an illustration of multiplesymbolicmeancan overcomethe impactof affective workdirectlyon the senses." We have seen that it is a gesis of anythingand everythingis the order of the diaphorin the sense thatit combinesand syn.The strip as a whole ior.The epi.forthe church'steachingon a numinouspresence.40.choose to see the same landscape throughthe eyes of thechurchis not morbidnessbuthope. like thatof otheranimals. Press. for there are flickeringcandle lights.27The pointof the and leaves no doubt in the motorist'smind as illustrationis two-fold.for whom the gross dispandingAmericantownsprovides. From a numinouspres. and in its parts symbolizefor them the least dependson thehabitof respondingto environappealing sides of American life-its vulgar mental signs in an appropriatemanner. Landscape may lose its affectiveand meta. One duty of the planner is to ensure metaphoron the one hand and the symbolon theotheris one of degree: the symbolcarriesa 25 We articulate our feelings and ideas far more greaterproportionof articulableideas. Hawkes. 1).of natureand of man.(New York: Oxford UniversityPress.does not. A particularscene ofwoe and death. 1973).Signs to es.

juxtapose two dissimilarelementsor deliberatelyintroduceambiguityin his design so that a client is challengedto perceive his environment anew.but it ultimatelymustembrace humandiscourse." verticality of "demand. A freshmetaphormay cause incomprehension rather than enlightenment. SPEECH AND REALITY A talentedwritercan evoke the mood and personalityof a place. membercannot be sure thathis pun or practical joke will producethe desiredeffect. Synesthesia and the root metaphorsof a culturegive stabilityto a people's emotionsand thoughtso thattheyare. pp. accidentally beheaded on his job. withmere words he is able to conjure "life" out of a pile of stones.Clearly this power of speech applies not only to people but also to aspects of our materialenvironment.There are rules that govern affectiveand imaginative responses." But an imaginativedesignercan do muchmore than the followingof such simple rules.and vice versa.and highwayengineersmightbe able to designa route systemsuch that motoristscan drive fromone city to anotherwith minimal mentaland emotionalstress.g. Planning an environmentthat affectsour emotionsand stirsour imaginationis also possible. "Complexity and Ambiguity in Environmental Design. 1966).And herewe encounter in design. as I climbinto the car in preparationfor the long drive along the coast of New Jersey. There exist fundamentaldifficulties no rules that guaranteesuccessfulhuman discourse.for reasons alreadygiven. discursivethought-increasinglyprominentin modernsociety-can deeplyaffectour perceptionso that a landscape formerlyadmiredfor its harmoniouslines and ecological healthmay now symbolizesocial injusticeand economic exploitation. Moreover. or a reconstructed terthathas succeededfarbeyondtheutilitarian functionsit primarilyserves. folkshere believe thatthemarshflameyou willsee fromtheturnpike is the lanternof a railroadman. A casual metaphor. A designerknows that a certain stimuluswill evoke a certainfeelingand even a rudimentaryidea.28 We have movedfromsignsthattriggerstandard behavior to what approximatesa discourse between the imaginativedesignerand his responsive-imaginative client. At nightfall.Objects intendedas signs (e. are not readily overcome.1978 371 SIGN AND METAPHOR that the signs achieve maximumclarity. Vol.predictable.have the power of speech. 6 Nov 2014 11:53:21 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ." Journal of the American Institute of Planners. All human beings. We can all thinkof a real lifethe contextis given: it is whateverconcretesituation we happen to findourselvesin. Even withinthe shared cultureof a family. a urban cenresidentialarea. People whisperin our ears that so-and-sois a jelly fish.154.for instance. our view of a particularindividThenceforth. words have surprisinginfluenceeven if theyare not used in any strikingly original way. Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (New York: The Museum of Modern a planner or architectcan stimulatehis clientwitha new architecturalor spatial conceit: he might. Just as a writercan stimulatethe readerwitha new literaryconceit. however.includingthe use and appreciation of language..or that he has a razor-sharpmind." This content downloaded from 187.19 on Thu.Planningfor humanbeings can oftenbe objective. Given a real architectural conceit may baffle and distress rather than stimulateand refresh."A gingerbread house. searchingfor his head.forexample. ual is altered. 33 (1967). the traffic signal) may be read as affective signs or symbols.a 28 Robert Venturi.Unlike the professionalwriter. Differencesin individual personality and of culture.howeverslightly:he becomes a more vividpersonality-someoneforus to despise or admire.Red color is "warm" and and solidityevoke a sense "active.Thus architectsshould plan officebuildingsso that people can findtheirway fromone bureau to the next withoutthe endowmentof a sixth sense. We all can and do make the world around us more presentand vivid by giving utteranceon appropriateoccasions and in suitable settings.40. Amos Rapoport and Robert E." I say slylyof a proud businessman's mansion.Innovation even at the humblestlevel risksfailure. who has to conjurewithwordsan image of the contextwheretalk occurs. The reason why one can plan such environmentsis that a "grammar"of affectivesignsexists. 210-21. Kantor.We well know thata deftlytold ghoststorycan radicallyalter a man's perceptionof thelonelyroad.can detractor enhance the reputationof a neighbor.and its image suffers. a friendsays: "By the way. to a degree.

19 on the feltqualityof our going situationsof life. in a nutshell.40.a particu.A task forhumanistgeographers and also to shatterit. Even commonplace wordshave poweriftheyare utteredin theonhas heard the story.Wordsserveto maintainroutine sionallyvivid.Yi-Fu TUAN 372 September cumstancesdo the affectivesigns functionas such. but theymustbe supplementedby mood or idea.Such approacheshave eviflame can generatemore than just a passing dent value. create and recreatetheirmultifaceted affectivesigns and symbols?Under what cir.or a rudimentary idea. a feeling. occa.Given a settingwe ask: what are its speech. not only through ronmentscome to be imbuedwithfeelingand imaginativeaction but also throughenlivening affective signbecomes a powerfulsymbolable to create rallyin the course of day-to-daylivingand on an eerie scene in themind'seye of anyonewho more dramaticoccasions. sive speech?Whatthemestendto dominatethe Driving along the highwayI must be able to inhabitants'conversation?What are theirfavinterpretthem correctlywith a minimumof orite metaphors?The felt quality of a place consciouseffort. It is thatcan be elicitedthroughthe use of restricthen an affectivesign. As the result of attachingan studyinga people's speech as it appears natuelaborateghoststoryto the flame.want to know how a people.can never be fullyrevealed by describingthe lar object-such as themarshflamein thedark physicalstructures and notingthe ways people night-catches my attention and evokes a movein them.154. However. Humanist geographers is to understandbetterhow localitiesand envi. and not extractedby environment-mostlygray and unseen. This.Nor is it merelya stableattribute mood.and kaleidoscopic worlds.formalsurvey. the marsh tive questionnaires. CODA This content downloaded from 187.and not as meresigns?How are the symThe worldof competenceand habit consists bols maintainedby ceremonialacts and discurof signsthatdo not commandfocusedinterest. 6 Nov 2014 11:53:21 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . From timeto time.