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Code and Inference in metaphor comprehension: interpretation of metaphorical language in Dante's Inferno by Italians and Australians

Albrici, Sara LU (2016) SPVR02 20161
Master's Programme: Language and Linguistics
Abstract (Swedish)
This thesis investigates the interpretation of metaphorical expressions in Dante’s famous Inferno and how this may be motivated through the use of codes and inference. Based on Coseriu’s Integral Linguistics (Coseriu, 1985), metaphorical expressions can be divided depending on the kind of knowledge that is required to interpret them. The first level is the universal level where metaphors can be interpreted based on potentially universal knowledge and bodily experiences. The second is the historical level requiring shared codes and cultural knowledge. The last is the situated level which requires highly specific knowledge.

Given this distinction, it was hypothesized that Italians and Australians would be able to easily interpret Inferno... (More)
This thesis investigates the interpretation of metaphorical expressions in Dante’s famous Inferno and how this may be motivated through the use of codes and inference. Based on Coseriu’s Integral Linguistics (Coseriu, 1985), metaphorical expressions can be divided depending on the kind of knowledge that is required to interpret them. The first level is the universal level where metaphors can be interpreted based on potentially universal knowledge and bodily experiences. The second is the historical level requiring shared codes and cultural knowledge. The last is the situated level which requires highly specific knowledge.

Given this distinction, it was hypothesized that Italians and Australians would be able to easily interpret Inferno metaphors at the universal level while they would find it harder to interpret metaphors at the situated level. The historical level is where a difference between the two groups should be mostly noticeable: If metaphors at the historical level are indeed based on shared codes and cultural knowledge, their interpretation should be easier for Italians than for Australians. An empirical study was designed to test these predictions. The results suggest the validity of the hypotheses, and the study shows the potential to combine quantitative analysis with qualitative research in cognitive semiotics. (Less)
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author
Albrici, Sara LU
supervisor
organization
course
SPVR02 20161
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
Keywords: cognitive semiotics, cultural knowledge, meaning, metaphor, specific knowledge, universal knowledge
language
English
id
8891626
date added to LUP
2016-10-06 09:28:22
date last changed
2016-10-06 09:28:22
@misc{8891626,
  abstract     = {This thesis investigates the interpretation of metaphorical expressions in Dante’s famous Inferno and how this may be motivated through the use of codes and inference. Based on Coseriu’s Integral Linguistics (Coseriu, 1985), metaphorical expressions can be divided depending on the kind of knowledge that is required to interpret them. The first level is the universal level where metaphors can be interpreted based on potentially universal knowledge and bodily experiences. The second is the historical level requiring shared codes and cultural knowledge. The last is the situated level which requires highly specific knowledge.

Given this distinction, it was hypothesized that Italians and Australians would be able to easily interpret Inferno metaphors at the universal level while they would find it harder to interpret metaphors at the situated level. The historical level is where a difference between the two groups should be mostly noticeable: If metaphors at the historical level are indeed based on shared codes and cultural knowledge, their interpretation should be easier for Italians than for Australians. An empirical study was designed to test these predictions. The results suggest the validity of the hypotheses, and the study shows the potential to combine quantitative analysis with qualitative research in cognitive semiotics.},
  author       = {Albrici, Sara},
  keyword      = {Keywords: cognitive semiotics,cultural knowledge,meaning,metaphor,specific knowledge,universal knowledge},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Code and Inference in metaphor comprehension: interpretation of metaphorical language in Dante's Inferno by Italians and Australians},
  year         = {2016},
}