Thursday, 5 May 2016

Why Congruent And Metaphorical Expressions Are Not Synonymous: Scale

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 538):
The second problem is that of sheer scale. If only odd, more or less random instances of this kind of metaphor occurred, they could have little effect on the system as a whole. But given the massive scale of this shift in the grammar, affecting as it does entire registers of modern English, it cannot simply be dismissed as meaningless variation. As we saw in Chapter 6, the metaphoric processes themselves are highly systematic; moreover they occur in typical syndromes, so that it is not just one aspect of the construction that is affected. Rather, the entire perspective is shifted sideways, so that each element in the configuration is reconstructed as something else. When this pattern comes to predominate throughout a large proportion of the discourse of adult life, it amounts to a fairly major resemanticising of experience.