en A Cognitive Approach to Metonyms Based on Food
  • Andrioai,  Gabriela
As a term of cognitive linguistics, metonymy is the use of a single characteristic to identify a more complex entity. Metonymy works by contiguity unlike metaphor, which works by similarity. Typically, when using metonyms, we do not wish to transfer qualities (as in the case of metaphors), but to transfer associations that may not be integral to the meaning. Metonyms help us make our way through language and, as George Lakoff and Mark Johnson sustain, metaphors and metonyms are the basis for much of our understanding in everyday life. Starting from this idea, our study concentrates particularly on the investigation of metonymy, a device not so thoroughly studied in literature (probably because unlike metaphor, it does not discover new relations but arises between words already related to each other) ; we hope that our analysis will carry us over to other kinds of figurative language, as metonymy is an important factor in semantic changes. Our analysis concentrates mainly on the cognitive linguistic approach which is a relevant theoretic account of metonymy as it offers a variety of the interpretative use of language and gives rise to semantic extension, lexical polysemy and semantic change. We have chosen to base our study particularly on the food domain as it is available for anyone who wishes to take a well-understood aspect from a familiar domain and use it in such a way as to stand for a thing as a whole or just for a part of it.