Research article
Issue: № 2 (10), 2017


Problems of knowledge representation by means of images are still cognitively significant and invariably modern. The article deals with the image heuristic potential of a bookish sphere as a donor of meanings, aiding metaphoric scheme development of another modern sphere of cinematography. The key factor here is the differentiation between two basically different metaphor types – heuristic epiphora and image diaphora. The author had offered a unique methodology of counting of quantitative parameters of heuristic potential which opens the possibility of modeling the mechanisms of metaphoric meaning development. In the summary the author underscores that both ways of image scheme development are of importance to cognitive science, both heuristic epiphora and image-based diaphora play a significant role in the explication of image scheme development.

As an important sphere of cognitive linguistics, metaphoriszation is a productive and modern sphere of study, which is focusing on the mechanisms of human cognition and conceptual modeling of the picture of the world. The cognitive theory of metaphor is very topical due to questions it puts forward, such as problems of thought process reconstruction, problems of metaphoric choice forecast and problems of the metaphoric pragmatic impact, the former being especially interesting nowadays, when the importance of persuasion and direction of decision-taking processes can hardly be underestimated. Metaphoric Systematicity is also topical today, as it explains the function of human thought processes, based on manipulation with different conceptual structures, concepts, schemes and frames [6]. G. Lakoff and M. Johnson had laid the foundation of the theory of metaphor, offered such invaluable terms as ‘heuristic potential’, ‘basic logic’ of the model, metaphoric ‘switches’ and metaphoric ‘generators’ [4, P. 358]. George Lakoff had introduced the idea of image generating categories which are able to enliven the thought-generating process, to direct the further development of image schemes. The theory of metaphor is an interesting developing trend having its blank yet undiscovered possibilities, including description of types of image schemes, more productive for detailed development by comparison with others. As real metaphoric use shows, not all image schemes are amplified, staying within bounds of 2 or 3 separate contextual images.

The comparison of two closely-related spheres of books and cinematography is quite interesting as both deal with stories told via printed matter and vie image screening. The more developed bookish conceptual sphere thanks to its historical precedence has a more developed arsenal of items, which serve as a donor of meanings for cinematography. In connection with metaphoric theory we have found that bookish sphere contains a number of terms (36 units out of an open quantity): between the lines, blanks, blot out, book, catalogue, chapter, characters, context, copy-book, cover, dictionary, edit, erase, fine-print, footnote, illustrate, leaf, margin, mark, message, period, plot, preface, pretext, read, rewrite, scrap book, scratch, sheet, spell clearly, stamp, subtext, uncut, unreadable, vocabulary, volume ...  etc. These concepts may be organized into frames containing slots of verbal, nominal and attribute metaphors. According to metaphoric modeling, bookish metaphor can be represented by an explicit formulae «PERSON > A CLEAR SHEET (OF PAPER)», «PROBLEM > STORY», «THOUGHTS > IMPRINTS»,  «UNDERSTANDING > READING», «LIFE > STORY», reflecting historical development of the bookish conceptual sphere metaphoriszation. These formulaic expressions can be extended into a metaphoric description of a cognitive process with a cognitive personality (a human being) as a centre of the process of thought development. Here is a sketch of a bookish metaphoric model (which is explicated in detail in the author’s doctor’s thesis in 2014):  “My problem is like a book. It is only a small volume in the catalogue of errors. It is marked with a stamp of my personality. My problem has its plot and a preface. There are chapters of information in it. There are copy-book answers. There are lines of fine-print details. There are informative mental footnotes. There is a wide margin for error. To fill the blanks with something new I must erase unpleasant thoughts from my mind. Following this scheme I read between the lines. I spell everything out clearly. I illustrate the point. I draw the line at my problem. The word problem is not part of my vocabulary. I turn over a new leaf in my life”. The value of the model lies in its ability to open new vistas of thought, to offer new heuristic insights into problem-solving tasks.

Further on we will make a distinction between the two kinds of metaphor, i.e. cognitive epiphora and image diaphora, taking part in the formation of a conceptual image of the world of English-speakers. As we have found, the mechanisms of the two above-mentioned types of metaphor slightly differ in their mechanisms. There are a number of criteria to distinguish between them: 1) metaphoric function, 2) form of representation, 3) type of features being chosen, 4) mode of metaphoric prediction, 5) «presumption of truthfulness», 6) logic of image scheme development.

First, let’s take a look at cognitive epiphora which is viewed as a semantic extension of meaning [5, P. 589] through the conceptualization of an abstract entity with the help of a more definite, perceptible entity, from a concrete towards a vague image. M. Black named this type of metaphor a basic metaphor due to its ability to activate in nomination the essential quality of an object. E. McCormack named it a suggestive metaphor. G. Lakoff named it ontological metaphor which is able to represent ideas as things. This is true because epiphora is embodied in a sentence [9, P. 22] ‘two-member’ structure, where both members of a metaphor, the target and the vehicle, are explicitly given (The old woman is a fox). Epiphora may contain a single metaphoric unit or a number of units of a cognate sphere. Take a look at an example: “I pit them against each other for the best deal. Even my broker gives miles as dividends.” “So, what is your total?” I smiled, but didn’t speak. I’m an open book in most ways, and I feel I deserve a few secrets.” [Sparks 2000: 8]. Speaking about cinematographic sphere which abounds in its own specific terms (character, dialogue, drama, fast-forward, line, movie, play, puppet, scenario, script, slow motion, spotlight, stage, static, theatregoer, zoom … etc.), there are myriads of single, unextended metaphors, using cinematic terms as a source: “When he got back, in a new GMC diesel whose doors and tailgate were stenciled with his name, he was a different person, more distinct. The effect lasted years. He walked in his own spotlight.” [8, P. 76]. A man in the epiphora ‘to walk in one’s own spotlight’ is clearly seen as self-satisfied and happy with his achievement.

An extended epiphora may contain 7 cognate metaphoric units (blank, footnote, bookmark, page, to cut, margin, unsullied) drawing a full picture of ignorant carefree girls: ‘They were all so blank, these youngsters, so pristine, so lacking in footnotes and bookmarks, their pages uncut, their margins unsullied.’ [2. P. 228]. To tell the truth, epiphora is very explicit, depicting young creatures as careless things, the whole implication «GIRLS>BLANK BOOKS» can be pragmatically unwise, as those described can get offended and call for explanation. An extended epiphora from the cinematic sphere can include a number of units: (scenario, topspin, final cut) to describe a development of a story which has its turns but loses an actor in the end. “Andy tells me the whole story of what just happened to us as if I had not been standing right next to him at all. I smile. He always does that. I look forward to hearing the whole scenario again in a couple of hours’ time, after he has embellished it and given it more topspin. I wonder if my presence will even make the final cut.” [1, P. 118].

Grounding our explanatory lexicon on the main criteria mentioned above we can turn our attention to the diaphora as a more pragmatically-oriented variant of metaphor. Diaphora is a situational metaphor, the image of the referent is not included in the situation, but it is co-placed. Thus, diaphoric mechanism consists in denotational referential co-placing of separate images, accompanied by double actualization of meanings, creating a binary image, where direct and transferred meanings are activated at the same time without overshadowing one another. The features are quite close in their origin, which doesn’t allow to discern the similarity at a first glance (He is such a warm person). Thus, diaphora is a more sophisticated way of pragmatic influence. “People come, people go–they’ll drift in and out of your life, almost like characters in a favourite book. When you finally close the cover, the characters have told their story and you start up again with another book, complete with new characters and adventures. Then you find yourself focusing on the new ones, not the ones from the past.” [8, P. 136]. Taking a cinematic example we can see that two worlds are activated simultaneously – a man who says ‘I saw that movie’ may mean what he said (he was in the movie-theatre) or may mean that he is quite experienced in general. “I think you are working for the Allies and that you were dispatched to Grudwald for the same reason that I went there–to rescue Erwein Jahne. We have ways of making you talk, Albert Einstein.” “I saw that movie.” [3, P. 209].

Summing up, we would like to state that there is a close link between the two spheres – bookish and cinematic, which both involve metaphors and their variants – epiphora and diaphora. Both spheres activate their specific terms (script, character, plot) and there is a tendency of terminological borrowing from the bookish sphere which shows that there is a metaphoric continuity between them. Today books tell us stories as well as films. In terms of metaphoric conceptualization we can state that when epiphora forms the core notion of an object in new transferred terms, diaphora is a little different in its cognitive mechanism – it is able to mobilize the mental potential for the search of not-so-obvious similarities between two co-placed objects. Thus, there is a whole new vision of metaphoric conceptualization of the world if we look at metaphor as a creative mechanism for finding and placing in context distinguished similarities of important features of the world around us.  


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