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  • KATALIN RESZEGI Debreceni Egyetem


Metaphorical name-giving

The paper discusses the cognitive mechanics of metaphorical name-giving with a focus on place names, following an overview of cognitive metaphor theory and the questions of metaphorically used proper nouns. In cognitive linguistics, the use of metaphors is a cognitive mechanism that plays a fundamental role in human thought and understanding, and the creation of our social, cultural and psychological reality. A particular form of this also manifests in name-giving, creating a small but influential category of names. The category of place names also influences the application of this name-giving method: it is generally used in more informal names and name types. The creation of such a name requires the speaker to detach themselves from the conventional norms of direct description
and metonymic name-giving, and relies on their lingual creativity and ability to detach themselves from dominant name-giving models. However, names in the category can also be divided into subcategories. Beyond the typical common-noun-based metaphorical name-giving, more complex parallels can also be found, resulting in the associations connecting the names of several nearby locations. Place names can also serve as the base of metaphorical name-giving, supporting the complex meaning of these names. Despite the fact that the majority of metaphorical names are available from contemporary data collection, it is obviously a long-standing and ancient method of name-giving, as it is based on a cognitive mechanics that seem to be as old as humanity itself.


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