Fwd:       Re: [ADS-L] metonymy-TRY

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Fri May 25 01:33:52 UTC 2007

another one that didn't go to the whole list...

Begin forwarded message:

> From: "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at csli.stanford.edu>
> Date: May 24, 2007 9:23:34 AM PDT
> To: RonButters at aol.com
> Subject: Re:       Re: [ADS-L] metonymy-TRY
> On May 23, 2007, at 12:45 PM, RonButters at aol.com wrote:
>> But doesn't "personification" apply equally well--or even better--
>> to the artistic contexts? Is "metonymy"--the substitution of a
>> part for a whole--
> "metonymy", as i use it (and i don't think this is an eccentric
> use; in any case, i got it from jakobson), refers to all sorts of
> figurative uses that turn on *association* or *contiguity* (while
> "metaphor" covers all sorts that turn on similarity).  part for
> whole is synecdoche, usually understood to be a specific type of
> metonymy.  but there are many many types of metonymy that are not
> synecdoches.
> consider, for instance, the use of the name of the capital city of
> some jurisdiction to refer to the administration/government of that
> jurisdiction: Washington refuses to engage in talks with Tehran;
> Albany balks on infrastructure funding; etc.  this isn't
> synecdoche, or straightforward personification, for that matter.
> the artistic-creation case (like the capital-city case) does
> involve using a NP with normally inanimate reference in a syntactic
> context that calls for a NP with animate reference, which also
> happens in personification.  but in personification the thing is
> actually treated as a person, and that's not what's going on in the
> artistic-creation and capital-city cases, which are more
> complicated: there, the inanimate NP is a stand-in for an animate
> NP via an association between their referents.  that's metonymy.
> arnold (noting the fairly frequent misspelling of "metonymy" as
> "metonomy", parallel to "synonomy" for "synonymy")

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