Adjectives (attributes or prop Qualifications, description, a The constallation of elements Note which elements are presen Entities: People, Bodies, Obje The metaphysical elements -- e Events or incidents: Changes, The generic or general case is Aspect or Aspectual Structure The Source Domain is mapped to In terms of lexical units:
Nou "Metaphysical" is used here as Nouns (things, objects, people Prepositions (orientation, dir In terms of lexical units:
Nou Verbs (action, movement, force

Contents

Adjectives

Adjectives (attributes or properties of nouns);

Example: Her regal bearing attracted the attention of onlookers.

Adverbs

Qualifications, description, attributes of the action, movement, force conveyed by associated verbs.

Example: We're getting along swimmingly.

Agents, Affected Parties, Forces/Movement, Possessions, Obstacles, Locations

The constallation of elements is often associated with metaphors of causation, but even when causation is not evident ,generally these elements are all or partly present.

These elements (particularly the "metaphysical elements") will be partly or fully represented in the Target Domain. A full evocation of a Source Domain can provide additional reference or information to various elements. That is, should the Target Domain contain information about the presence only of an Affected Entity or of a force or movement, the Source Domain's attributes (insofar as they don't violate the basic structure of the Target Domain) are likely to map across information about an Agent, Locations, etc.

For example: "The little kid who smelled bad and had funny hair was always picked on." This example has an Affected Entity (the little kid), possessions (smell and hair) and some force or action (picked on), but it does not have an identified Agent or Location. Simply identifying the Elements that are present begins the process of uncovering a metaphor. In this case the Source Domain of bullying is invoked. Thinking of this Source provides the possible Agent (e.g., a peer) and Location (e.g., school or in the neighborhood).

The identification of Elements is a step in uncovering a client's operating metaphor. (The mere notion that a client's account of a situation would have "elements" may evoke the metaphor of chemistry, wherein constituent elements stand in relation to each other, combine, dissolve, precipitate, release energy, etc. Many Elements in real life situations can be people; note how often they are referred to as "players", which evokes a game or sport metaphor, or "stakeholders", which evokes a mining, frontier settler, commercial or investment metaphor.)

"Constant conflict teaches children to fight." The obvious elements present are Agent (constant conflict), Affected Entity (children), Force (teaches; fight). Note that the sentence implies a two-stage event (conflict then fight) where children are the Affected Entity in the first part and the Agent in the second. What about Possessions, Obstacles, or the Movement part of Force? Possessions may be implied in the "teaching", in that patterns or ideas are given to children. Obstacles may be overcome by "teaching", in that normal barriers to violence are breached. There may be a metaphoric idea in this sentence that "constant conflict" moves children into a position where fighting is more likely.

If a client in mediation had uttered the above sentence, and there was disagreement about the meaning or implications, this review of implicit operating metaphor suggests questions that can be asked to increase communications, understanding and options.

Drill

Note which elements are present, absent.

One by one, remove what is present and note changes in clarity and what is meant (what, how, why).

One by one, add a missing element, note, etc.

Re-phrase the metaphor leaving out one or more elements. Does this induce the listener to fill in this element on his or her own?

Entities: People, Bodies, Objects

Entities: People, Bodies, Objects (including external objects), Matter or Substances with definable boundries; Attributes of these (including container attributes) particularized in time and space (preferably not just general properties).

Possessions would be a class of objects distinguished by being located with a person, animal, thing, etc., being acquired by, being lost by, given to, taken away, etc. (so, "Possession" implies more about How and Why than other Objects).

Locations, strictly speaking, are neither Entities nor Events. Locations are defined in spatial terms (bounded regions in space), but don't become "real" until the boundries and/or contents (objects contained) are defined. So Locations are metaphorically understood as Containers.

Important special cases:
"Here", metaphorically understood as a bounded region in space where objects or events exist; "there" where they may have existed, could be created, or will exist.
Time is metaphorically understood as points along a spatial continuum or line.

Event Sequence

Event Structure

The metaphysical elements -- entities and events -- and the constellation of Agents, Affected Parties, Forces, Possessions, Obstacles, and Locations -- while present to some degree in all metaphors, are of particular importance in metaphors of cause and effect. In fact, certain elements must be present for one to understand cause and effect at all. Or, said another way, if causation is understood, certain elements and their corresponding dynamics are automatically inferrred, whether stated explicitly or not.

A purpose in identifying Event Structure in a situation or metaphor is so that the meaning becomes more accessible.

Metaphors of cause and effect are of particular importance to the mediator because conflict is so often about who was responsible, what lead to what, what will be the effect of such and such a plan, etc. It has been proposed that our essential understanding of causes and effects takes a particular form. The causal parts of all metaphors could be seen as extensions from this basic form.

In discussing our metaphorical understanding of events and causation, Lakoff and Johnson (1999, starting on page 177) describe in detail a basic metaphor they call the "event structure." Besides explaining this very large and important group of metaphors, this is a extensive lesson on radial categories, literal prototypes and their extensions into metaphors that have rich inferential structures.

Prototypic causation, according to Lakoff and Johnson, in its most fundamental form, is "the manipulation of objects by force, the [conscious] volitional use of bodily force to change something physically by direct contact..." Explaining how this category of forms of causation is radial, they say, "...less prototypical literal causes are literal variations... in [such things as] degrees of directness or in whether the effect is positive or negative. Other noncentral forms of causation are metaphorical, mostly using Causes Are Forces and some metaphor for event structure..."

In a moment we shall review such metaphors, but at this point it is worth noting how basic ideas of causation are literal in terms of actual bodily experience and extend then to other literal, experientially similar forms (e.g., indirect causes, positive and negative causes). They also extend literally to conflated or correlated experiences (e.g., cause precedes or is simultaneous with effect, cause comes from the agent of the force). Metaphors of causes and events extend this category, affording richness in our forms of causal reasoning.

Lakoff and Johnson (1999, page 178) focus on events. What an event is, in our understanding, comes from two basic metaphors -- the Location Event-Structure metaphor, that conceptualizes events in terms of locations, and the Object Event-Structure metaphor, that conceptualizes events in terms of objects.

First we take Location Event-Structure. This kind of event is conceived in terms of states, changes, causes, actions, purposes, means, difficulties, etc. That is, the idea of an event includes the ideas of something(s) having one or more states, changing or being changed, by something, through action, with purpose(s), using means, which may encounter difficulties, etc. Each of these sub-ideas is usually understood metaphorically (because it is not possible to know about these things directly or literally). Here is Lakoff and Johnson's (1999, page 179) full list of metaphors constituent to the Location Event-Structure metaphor:
States are Locations (interiors of bounded regions in space)
Changes are Movements (into or out of bounded regions)
Causes are Forces
Causation is Forced Movement (from one location to another)
Actions are Self-propelled Movements.
Purposes are Destinations
Means are Paths (to destinations)
Difficulties are Impediments to Motion
Freedom of Action is the Lack of Impediments to Motion
External Events are Large, Moving Objects (that exert force)
Long-term, Purposeful Activities are Journeys

The Target Domain of each metaphor is on the left (States, Changes, etc.) and the Source Domain is after the verb "is" or "are" (Locations, Movements, etc.). Recall that the Target Domain is understood metaphorically in terms of the Source Domain. So, states are metaphorically understood to be locations, changes understood in terms of movements, etc. All of the Source domains are known from bodily experience. Consequently, this account asserts that most of our conceptual understanding about events is known in terms of our conventional, ordinary physical experience of our bodies moving in space.

More than that, our bodily experience has a known form of possibilities, limits, extensions and relationships (e.g., you move your hand from one location to another, when you arrive in a place, you were somewhere else before that, you move your hand (it doesn't usually move you) when you are under something, you are not also over it, etc.). This body of knowledge in physical experience forms a "logic" which gets metaphorically mapped to the conceptual domain of events (you can change something from one state to another, when a thing is in a particular state it was probably in another state before that, events are caused by movements, events may occur before, after and in some kind of stable relation to each other.)

Lakoff and Johnson (page 179) refer to this as the inferential structure of metaphor. "What this mapping does is to allow us to conceptualize events and all aspects of them--actions, causes, changes, states, purposes, and so forth--in terms of our extensive experience with, and knowledge about, motions in space."

Evidence for the actual existence of these metaphorical mappings are of four kinds (page 180):
(1) Polysemy, or the logical consistency in the multiple meanings of words applied to the literal and the metaphorical cases, e.g., in States are Locations you can be near a location and near a state, locations have boundries that you are in or out of and so do states, etc.
(2) Inferential, or in the form "if x therefore y", e.g., if you have left a location it is likely to be behind you, not in front of you, and likewise if you have left a state (of mind, health, etc.) it is not likely still ahead of you (unless your path is circular).
(3) Poetic, or making possible interpretations of novel expressions, e.g., "But Inez was so anxious, and so clear/ Of sight, that I must think, on this occasion,/ She had some other motive much more near/ For leaving Juan to this new temptation." (Lord Byron, The Vision of Judgement, 101). She had a motive (state) that was near (you can be near a location); Juan's new temptation (state) that he can be left in (location).
(4) Experimental, e.g., where diagrams, drawings or pictures showing physical objects, spaces, movements, etc. are prepared, and presented to "prime" subjects before metaphorical statements are made; if the drawings showing corresponding object/space/movement relationships decrease the time required to understand the statement, this confirms the hypothesis that there is a metaphorical connection.

Next we take the Object Event-Structure Metaphor. Lakoff and Johnson term this a "dual" of the Location Event-Structure Metaphor, in that in the latter the affected entity is moved relative to a location and in the former objects or possessions are moved relative to the affected entitiy (a figure-ground switch). So, where with the Location Event-Structure metaphor Changes are Movements (to or from locations), in the Object Event-Structure Metaphor, changes are Movements of Possessions (acquisitions or losses); Causation is forced Movement vs Causation is Transfer of Possessions; Purposes are Desired Locations vs. Purposes are Desired Objects.

Evidence... [structures as above]

Variations and Extensions of Basic Metaphors.
I proposed earlier that any metaphor involving causation is a variation or extension of one of the Event-Structure metaphors (or, that Even-Structure properties are present). Lakoff and Johnson (1999, page 202) outline several ways that basic metaphors might extend or vary. Event-Structure metaphors have special cases, entailment extensions, and additional variations:
Special Cases look at the types or subcategories found in the Source Domain. For example, from the original list of metaphors comprising the Location Event-Structure metaphor we find Means are Paths. Think of all the different types of paths, such as trails, invisable lines, roads, highways, tracks, and trajectories. Are any of these conventionalized as metaphors? Means (to an end) are Trails (to the destination) [not so good], Means (to do what's needed) are Invisable Lines {that show the way), ...
Entailment Extensions involve the different qualities entailed in the Source Domain. For example, again taking Means are Paths, what are all the qualities or qualifications or modifiers of "path"? Straighteness, narrowness, length, clearness, etc. "Straightness of the means is straightness of the path" [clumsy). Yet, by altering words a bit, it makes sense: "When the means are direct the path is direct." The other examples all work okay.

[I'm not getting clear or coherent instructions from L&J's different subheadings named above. Here are all the ways I can think of that inference structure might be built up: From the above we have all the examples or cases of the category named (Special Cases, above), all the qualities or factors defining (entailment extensions, above). We might also
Chunk to less/more inclusive categories (arrow, stepping stone/route, orientation),
Less/more inclusive time frames (jump/migration),
Unpack the implied process or sequence (stop other movement, orient to path, take first step...),
Look for events conflated with the one named (packing, saying goodby),
3 layers,
Related bodily movement,
Even homonyms, rhymns, cross-sensory connections, etc.

[I tentitively conclude that we do not yet have a clear way to define inferential structure.]

(For more on causation also see Lakoff and Johnson on Causation, and illustrations in Causal Metaphors.)

Events, Changes or Incidents

Events or incidents: Changes, transitions, action, movement, force involving entites in/between/throughh time and (usually but not always clearly understood to be in) space. A fully defined event includes WHAT entity or entities, at what time, what changes in properties or attributes, what changes in location; HOW mapped in time; and WHY, that is, what (a) explains the event and (b) is explained by it.

Also see Event Structure.

Generic is Specific Metaphor

The generic or general case is metaphorically understood as a specific case. Extremely common metaphor for understanding the generic level structure in terms of the specific knowledge structure.

The Invariance Principle implies that the Generic is Specific metaphor is the minimal mapping that occurs (see Lakoff, 1993, p 235).

Generic-Level or Aspectual Structure

Aspect or Aspectual Structure is a term in linguistics refering to decomposition of verb phrases to reveal the structure of action and events, particularly the presence of an agent, force, causation, etc., and is also called Generic-Level Schema by metaphor theorists. In Lakoff's writing it seems identical to Image-Schematic Structure.

"The metaphoric interpretation of such discourse forms as proverbs, fables, allegories, and so on seems to depend on our ability to extract generic-level structure." (Lakoff, 1993, p 235)

Includes:
Causal structure (causal metaphor elements and dynamics).
Temporal structure (how an event is measured out, i.e., instantaneous or repeated, single or repeating, completed or open-ended, having fixed stages or not, Persistence of entities (do they continue to exist or not after the event?)).
Event shape.
Purpose structure (Event Structure terms).
Modal structure [could, would, did, imagined, remembered, etc.]
Linear scales (corresponding to the Linear Scales are Paths metaphor that give us consistent interpretations of up-down, forward-backward, nearer-farther, etc.)
Aspectual Structure, also called Event Sequence, is defined in a course at UC Berkeley as follows:
An action or event has (at least) the following aspectual structure:
1. A Readiness Condition
2. Start
3. A Process
4. A possible interruption and return
5. A possible interation
6. A possible purpose to be achieved
7. A conclusion
8. A final state.

Parts 3, 4 and 5 define the internal structure
of the action or event, while the overall structure
minus the internal structure defines the external
structure.)

These are mentioned collectively as constituting Event Shape. Event Shape must be preserved between Source and Target for the metaphor to apply. The Invariance Principal specifies how the Source is mapped to the Target. Event Shape is also called Generic-Level Structure or Schema.

Invariance Principal

The Source Domain is mapped to the Target Domain so long as the structure of the Target Domain is not violated. Metaphor mappings preserve the "cognitive topology (image schema structure) of the Source Domain in a way that also preserves the inherent structure of the Target Domain. That is, the inherent Target Domain structure limits what can be mapped. For example, "He was a tiger at the office," maps the preditory behavior, rapid lunges, and feline style of a tiger onto a man in the office, but not four legs and fur.

The Event Shape and Generic-Level Structure of the Target Domain more clearly defines what is limited in that which can be mapped from the Source Domain.

Linguistic or Lexical Elements

In terms of lexical units:
Nouns (things, objects, people, Agent, Affected entity, etc.);
Adjectives (attributes or properties of nouns);
Verbs (action, movement, force);
Prepositions (orientation, direction, location, relative position).

Metaphysical Elements

"Metaphysical" is used here as philosohers might use the term -- that is, designating the essential ontological units -- the stuff out there.

Can a metaphor be understood (fully) if it omits one or more of these typical elements? For example, "The game of life": We tend to fill in objects and events from our knowledge of games. Games include such objects as two or more players and the materials used (ball or cards or other implements). And games include events such as putting objects in play, moving or propelling objects, matching, etc. (Rules that govern these elements, such as how objects are defined and sequence of events are covered when we discuss levels).

In the terms often employed by philosophers of metaphysics:
Entities: People, Bodies, Objects (including external objects), Matter or Substances with definable boundries; Attributes of these (including container attributes) particularized in time and space (preferably not just general properties).

Events or incidents: Changes, transitions, action, movement, force involving entites in/between/throughh time and (usually but not always clearly understood to be in) space. A fully defined event includes WHAT entity or entities, at what time, what changes in properties or attributes, what changes in location; HOW mapped in time; and WHY, that is, what (a) explains the event and (b) is explained by it.

Nouns

Nouns (things, objects, people, Agent, Affected entity, etc.);

Example: He is a teddy bear.

Particularly --

Prepositions

Prepositions (orientation, direction, location, relative position).

Example: Because of her experiences people looked up to her.

Typical Metaphor Elements

In terms of lexical units:
Nouns (things, objects, people, Agent, Affected entity, etc.);
Adjectives (attributes or properties of nouns);
Verbs (action, movement, force);
Prepositions (orientation, direction, location, relative position).

In terms of metaphysics:
Entities: People, Bodies, Objects (including external objects), Matter or Substances with definable boundries; Attributes of these (including container attributes) particularized in time and space (preferably not just general properties).

Events or incidents -- changes, transitions, action, movement, force involving entites in/between/through time and (usually but not always clearly understood in) space. A fully defined event includes WHAT entity or entities, at what time, what changes in properties or attributes, what changes in location; HOW mapped in time; and WHY -- what (a) explains the event and (b) is explained by it.

A purpose in identifying Elements in a situation or metaphor is so that the meaning becomes more accessible.

[Development Notes: Product - Process - Working the Process summarizes the above; or, you could enhance Product - Process - Working the Process by including more of the above.]

Under Revision

Verbs

Verbs (action, movement, force);

Example: He dove into his dinner.


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Last modified: 2002-10-06 14:48:03