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Journal articles

The impact of metaphorical framing on term creation in biology

Abstract : The present paper is an in-depth study of the lexical units transferred by metaphorical extension from general English to the field of biology, based on the analysis of a 20 million word corpus of scientific articles. Terminological metaphors are analysed both as keys to cognitive processes involved in scientific activity, but also as linguistic units. We examine the role metaphors play in the evolution of the discipline, as well as the process by which they are introduced, reinforced by common usage and ultimately lexicalized. The metaphorical term candidates extracted from the corpus are analysed as representing different stages in a diachronic process of lexicalization, or demetaphorising. They are classified according to the perceptual basis (similarity of shape, function or position) or to the ‘root’ conceptual metaphors on which they are built. Finally, we examine the syntactic transformations that these items undergo in the metaphorical transfer.
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Contributor : Natalie Kübler Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - 3:46:49 PM
Last modification on : Monday, April 4, 2022 - 3:32:28 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-01135027, version 1


Alexandra Volanschi, Natalie Kübler. The impact of metaphorical framing on term creation in biology. Terminology. International Journal of Theoretical and Applied Issues in Specialized Communication , John Benjamins Publishing, 2011, 17 (2), pp.198-223. ⟨hal-01135027⟩



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