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Motion metaphors in discourse construction

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Motion metaphors occur at different levels, from prepositional phrases to discourse, including theoretical metaphors. After reviewing Relevance Theory as a bottom-up approach, and Cognitive Linguistics and Segmented Discourse Representation Theory as top-down ones, an integrated approach to metaphor in discourse construction is developed, based on a cognitive operation of connection of lower units into higher ones, similar to subsumption in the Lexical Constructional Model and to chunking in the Usage-Based Approach.

In discourse construction, as the analysis of press and poetry examples show, either a motion metaphor may contribute to the discourse structure, or it may result from it. Discourses are packed into text structures; live discourse metaphors develop into text-type metaphors on their way to conventionalization. Metaphor and discourse construction are bottom-up processes, since they result from connection of lower units, but they are also top-down, based on properties of higher units, domains in metaphor and relations in discourse.
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  • Published under the auspices of the Spanish Cognitive Linguistics Association
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