Although much has been said about the communicative aspect of language use, the ludic function has been more or less ignored. This ludic property is well captured by the highly creative, metaphor and/or metonymy based compound expressions that are constantly emerging in both everyday speech and the media. Such compounds are often based on word play, and require considerable amount of effort on the part of the reader/hearer to uncover the intended meaning. Interestingly, many of these highly creative compounds are based on some sort of phonological analogy as well: alliteration and rhyme.
It is hypothesised that phonological analogy is deliberate and serves a number of purposes: 1) as an attention-seeking device it enhances emphasis; 2) helps the reader/hearer to decipher the meaning of a novel expression; 3) aids a novel expression’s acceptability and long-term retention; 4) signals an informality of meaning; and 5) helps in the creation of a “social bond” between the participants of a speech situation. The seminar will investigate the various patterns of phonological analogy inherent in novel metaphor and/or metonymy based compound formation and will outline its implications for cognitive grammar.
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