"Specialization" and "generalization" are thus identified on the evid-' ence of comparing logical notions expressed by the meaning of words. If, on the other hand, the linguist is guided by psychological considerations and has to go by the type of association at work in the transfer of the name of one object to another and different one, he will observe that the most frequent transfers are based on associations of similarity or of contiguity. As these types of transfer are well known in rhetoric as ; figures of speech called metaphor (Gr meta 'change' and phero 'bear') and metonymy (Gr metonymia from meta and onoma 'name') and the same terms are adopted here. A metaphor is a transfer of name based on the association of similarity and thus is actually a hidden comparison. It presents a method of description which likens one thing to another by referring to it as if it were some other one. A cunning person, for instance, is referred to as a fox. A woman may be called a peach, a lemon, a cat, a goose, etc. In a metonymy, this referring to one thing as if it were some other one is based on association of contiguity. Sean O'Casey in his one-act play "The Hall of Healing" metonymically names his personages according to the things they are wearing: Red Muffler, Grey Shawl, etc. Metaphor and metonymy differ from the two first types of semantic change, i.e. generalization and specialization, inasmuch .as they do not originate as a result of gradual almost imperceptible change in many contexts, but come of a purposeful momentary transfer of a name from one object to another belonging to a different sphere of reality.
In all discussion of linguistic metaphor and metonymy it must be borne in mind that they are different from metaphor and metonymy as literary devices. When the latter are offered and accepted both the author and the reader are to a greater or lesser degree aware that this reference is figurative, that the object has another name. The relationship of the direct denotative meaning of the word and the meaning it has in the literary context in question is based on similarity of some features in the objects compared. The poetic metaphor is the fruit of the author's creative imagination, as for example when England is called by Shakespeare (in "King Richard II") this precious stone set in the silver sea, or when A. Tennyson writes: What stamps the wrinkle deeper on the brow?/ To view each loved one blotted from life's page.
In a linguistic metaphor, especially when it is dead as a result of long usage, the thing named often has no other name. In a dead metaphor the comparison is completely forgotten, as for instance in the words gather, source and shady in the following example dealing with some information: / gathered that one or two of their sources were shady, and some not so much shady as irregular in a most unexpected way. (SNOW)
The meaning of such expressions as a sun beam or a beam of light are not explained by-allusions to a tree, although the word is actually derived from OE beam 'tree' || Germ Baum, whence the meaning beam a long piece of squared timber supported at both ends' has also developed. The metaphor is dead. There are no associations with hens in the verb' brood 'to meditate' (often sullenly),'though the direct meaning is 'to sit on eggs'.
There may be transitory stages: a bottleneck 'any thing obstructing an even flow of work", for instance, is not a neck and does not belong to a bottle. The transfer is possibly due to the fact that there are some common features in the narrow top part of the bottle, a narrow outlet for road traffic, and obstacles interfering with the smooth working of administrative machinery.
Metaphors, H. Paul points out, may be based upon very different types of similarity, for instance, similarity of shape: head of a cabbage, the teeth of a saw. This similarity may be based on a similarity of function. The transferred meaning is easily recognized from the context: the head of the school, the key to a mystery. The similarity may be supported also by position: foot of a page, of a mountain, or behaviour and function: bookworm, wirepuller. The word ‘whip’ a lash used to urge horses on' is metaphorically transferred to an official in the British Parliament appointed by a political party to see that members are present at debates, especially when a vote is taken, to check the voting and also to advise the members on the policy of the respective party, etc.
In the kg of the table the metaphor is motivated by the similarity of the lower part of the table and the human limb in position and partly jn shape and function. Anthropomorphic metaphors are among the most frequent. The way in which the words denoting parts of the body are made to express a variety of meanings may be illustrated by the following: head of an army, of a procession, of a household; arms and mouth of a' river, eye of a needle, foot of a hill, tongue of a bell and so on and so forth. The transferred meaning is easily recognized from the context: ... her feet were in low-heeled brown brogues with fringed tongues. (PLOMER>
Numerous cases of metaphoric transfer are based upon the analogy between duration of time and space, e.g. long distance:: long- speech; a short path :: a short time. The transfer of space relations upon psychological and mental notions may be exemplified by words and expressions concerned with understanding: to catch (to grasp) an idea; to take a hint; , to get the hang of; to throw light upon.
This metaphoric change from the concrete to the abstract is also represented in such simple words as score, span, thrill. Score comes from OE scoru 'twenty' from ON skor 'twenty' and also 'notch'. In OE time notches were cut on sticks to keep a reckoning. As score is cognate with shear, it is very probable that the meaning developed from the twentieth notch that was made of a larger size. From the meaning 'line' or 'notch cut or scratched down' many new meanings sprang out, such as 'number of points made by a player or a side in some games', 'running account', 'a debt', 'written or printed music', etc. Span from OE spann 'maximum distance between the tips of thumb and little finger used as a measure of length', came to mean 'full extent from end to end' (of a bridge, an arch, etc.) and 'a short distance'. Thrill from ME thriven 'to pierce' developed into the present meaning 'to penetrate with emotion'.
Another subgroup of metaphors comprises transitions of proper names into common ones: an Adonis, a
, a Don Juan, etc. When a proper name like Falstaff is used referring specifically to the hero of Shakespeare's plays it has a unique reference. But when people speak of a person they know calling him Falstaff they make a proper name generic for a corpulent, jovial, irrepressibly impudent person and it no longer denotes a unique being. Cf. Don Juan as used about attractive profligates. To certain races and nationalities traditional characteristics have been attached by the popular mind with or without real justification. If a person is an out-and-out mercenary and a hypocrite into the bargain they call him a Philistine, ruthlessly destructive people are called Vandals. Cicero