Sticking one’s nose in the data : Evaluation in phraseological sequences with nose

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Sticking one’s nose in the data : Evaluation in phraseological sequences with nose

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Sticking one’s nose in the data : Evaluation in phraseological sequences with nose
Author(s) Levin, Magnus ; Lindquist, Hans
Date 2007
English abstract
With the realization that introspection and the use of dictionaries constitute a precarious foundation for studies of metaphor and metonymy, corpora have in recent years been used increasingly in the endeavour to explore the authentic use of figurative language (see, e.g. Deignan 2005; Stefanowitsch and Gries 2006). Similarly, investigations of phraseology (e.g. Moon 1998) have come to rely heavily on modern large-scale corpora, while analyses of evaluative lexis in the tradition of John Sinclair (e.g. Sinclair passim; Hunston and Thompson 1999; Stubbs 2001) have a theoretical commitment to the corpus as an indispensable tool. The present paper brings together these theoretical strands. It is commonplace in cognitive linguistics that human cognition is embodied (cf. Lakoff and Johnson 1980; Langacker 1987, 1991; Kövecses and Szabó 1996; Gibbs and Wilson 2002; Gibbs et al. 2004). Therefore it is no surprise that many phraseological sequences are built up around words related to the body, and in this corpus-based case study we have chosen to focus on the evaluative functions of metonymic and metaphorical sequences containing the noun nose. In comparison with other body parts, such as the hand and the mouth, the nose is fairly restricted in its use. Whereas in some cultures, like Maori and Inuit, the nose has an additional social importance as it is used for greeting, in western societies the nose seems to have predominantly negative or humorous connotations (cf. Gogol’s The Nose). One can only speculate about the reasons for this: perhaps it is the predominance of bad smells, or the association with snoring and the excretion of mucus. Some sequences containing nose also imply that the agent is behaving like an animal. As an example of the latter type of connotations, consider (1) to (3) with the metonymic sequence stick one’s nose somewhere. This sequence is most frequently negative, as in (1), sometimes slightly ironic, as in (2), and occasionally positive, as in (3) (see further section 4.1.1). (1) The Steinbrenner we remember was always sticking his nose in where it’s not wanted. (NYT 1996) (2) As soon as it’s nice enough to stick your nose outside, this place is packed (…) (Ind 2000) (3) Stick your nose in it. Grind it out. You can’t be turning the other cheek all the time. (NYT 1990) In contrast to most studies of evaluative language we will consider both instances where speakers express their opinions about other people’s activities and cases where the disapproval is on the part of the agent in the clause without the speakers conveying their opinions of this.
Link http://icame.uib.no/ij31/ij31-page87-110.pdf (external link to publication)
Publisher Aksis
Host/Issue ICAME Journal
Volume 31
ISSN 0801-5775
Pages 87-110
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) phraseology
evaluation
corpus linguistics
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::HUMANITIES and RELIGION::Languages and linguistics::Other Germanic languages::English language
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/10917 (link to this page)

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