Archive for the ‘Universals’ Category

More Ruthian re-shaping

August 25, 2016

A One Big Happy (dated 7/27) in my comics feed today: once again, Ruthie re-shapes an unfamiliar expression, in this case the legal-tinged word offense (‘a breach of a law or rule; an illegal act’ — NOAD2), in the phrase first offense:

with first offense re-shaped as thirsty fence, a phrase that doesn’t make sense, but at least has the familiar word fence in it (and is very very close phonetically to first offense: initial f vs. 𝛉, unaccented ǝ vs. i or I).

I suppose it’s possible that at some point before the time of the strip, Ruthie heard first offense, didn’t understand it, and re-shaped it  But what the substitution really looks like is an old mishearing of first offense; mishearings very often don’t make sense, but do have parts that are recognizable words.

At this point, you’d really want to look at errors made by real, rather than cartoon, kids, in context.

 

The linguistics of temperature

August 20, 2015

Posted to the Linguistic Typology (LingTyp) mailing list yesterday by Maria Koptjevskaja Tamm ‪<tamm@ling.su.se>, a query to the experts, incorporating some information about conceptual metaphors of temperature in (some of) the world’s languages. Her query

concerns extended uses of temperature terms (such as ‘warm’, ‘hot’, ‘cold’, ‘cool’, etc.), primarily in reference to emotions, human dispositions and interpersonal relations, which are the focus of my current cross-disciplinary research together with the social psychologist Hans IJzerman.

As you certainly know,  “affection is warmth”and “anger is heat” are two of the most widely quoted “universal” conceptual metaphors suggested by cognitive linguists on the basis of such expressions as “warm words, feelings” or “hot tempered”, well-attested in familiar languages.

However, the chapters in the volume The linguistics of temperature (John Benjamins, 2015), edited by [Tamm], clearly reveal a significant variance in using temperature metaphors.

(more…)