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Types of Metonymy

Different categories of metonymy have been proposed within Cognitive Linguistics. Perhaps the best-known taxonomy is that described by Radden and Kovecses (1999), consisting of 64 types separated into two broad categories: whole and рант and part for part metonymies. Taking an example from the quotation by Jeffress above, kneeling (representing the act of praying) is a case of subevent for whole event metonymy in that the act of kneeling forms one part in a sequence of actions that make up the act of praying. However, there are often significant cases of overlap between different types; for example, the use of kneeling to represent one part of the sequence of praying is a subevent for whole event metonymy, but also potentially a salient property for category metonymy. This would especially be the case if a believer intended to emphasize submission to God in the act of prayer. The analyst therefore must be aware that more than one category might be relevant when analyzing particular uses of metonymy and that a careful consideration of context may help to decide which category is more appropriate. In the same extract, Jeffress refers to his “Bethel” as the place where he prays. This involves the name of a location to stand for the action that is associated with it and is, therefore, one example of a part for part metonymy and, more specifically a place for event or place for activity performed at that place metonymy.

The Evangelical Times testimony by Davis includes the sentence: “Not only does he save us from ourselves, but his blood, shed for us on Calvary’s cross, saves us from the penalty of eternal death”. The reference to “ourselves” in place of the sins “we” are perceived to have committed is an instance of whole thing for part of the thing metonymy, although a second alternative may be an agent for action metonymy since the author may be establishing a connection between the action of sinning and the person doing the sinning. “Blood” standing for life can be viewed as the opposite: a part of a thing for the whole thing. However, the use of “blood, shed for us” to represent death could be taken as an instance of cause for effect because the cause (catastrophic bleeding) stands for the effect ofjesus’s death. In addition, the precise reference to blood being shed on Calvary’s cross would be another instance of subevent for whole event. Finally, the use of“eternal death” to stand for a particular fate after death (residing in hell rather than heaven) is another example of whole thing for part of the thing.

This exploration of metonymy types can be extended by briefly reviewing other notable examples of analyses of religious language in the cognitive linguistic literature. Barcelona (1999) has identified effect for cause metonymy in Christian language about the relationship between a source of light and rays of light (e.g., John 1:9: “The true light, which enlightens everyone,was coming into the world”). He notes that God is often discussed not only as the cause of light or light itself, but also as an entity that shines and therefore radiates or gives off light. This allows Christian writers to express a distinction between God the Father and God the Son, while at the same time drawing on an effect for cause metonymy to insist that they are also one and the same. Barcelona (2018) also explores visual metonymy in Christian paintings related to portrayals of the Trinity. In his analysis of the 1635- 1636 Trinity painting by Jose de Ribera in the Museo del Prado, Madrid, he identifies a series of metonymies related to Christ’s death and resurrection.These include instrument for event in the form of the crown of thorns and object involved for event in the form of the Holy Shroud, both representing Christ’s crucifixion, in addition to effect for cause in the form of the visual representation of Christ’s wounds standing for his death (Barcelona, 2018).

Kovecses (2011) has also examined a wide range of metonymy types in his cognitive linguistic analysis of Christian doctrines. His identification of a chain of metonymy in one interpretation of the Christian conception of Jesus is particularly relevant here. In relation to John 1:1—“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”—Kovecses (2011) notes that Jesus stands for the “word of God”, which in turn represents God. This suggests a metonymic chain connecting embodiment of the word of god for the word of god to the word of god for god. A reformulation of this in the language of the metonymy types discussed in this chapter yields embodiment of instrument

FOR INSTRUMENT linking to INSTRUMENT FOR AGENT.

 
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