Séminaires RALI-OLST

Cultural Specificity of Terminological Metaphor

Boyan Alexiev

Department of Applied Linguistics University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy Sofia, Bulgaria

Wednesday 8 June 2005 at 11:30 AM

Salle C-9019, Pavillon Lionel-Groulx


In this talk, I will propose a methodology for evaluating the cultural specificity of terminological metaphor with the purpose of choosing the proper strategy for its translation. The methodology is based on a combined terminological-experientialist model of special metaphorical concept creation involving a general reference concept-onto-a special referent mapping with a resultant interactional metaphoric characteristic that is lexicalised in the term form. Within this framework the metaphorical term designator makes two cognitive choices, namely, the choice of a designation characteristic to be explicated metaphorically and the choice of a general concept containing a characteristic that can be related by analogy to the designation one. These choices are determined by culture-experiential parameters such as the angle of special referent perception, degree of cultural typicality of the general reference concept, availability of a fixed general concept-onto-broad special concept mapping in the particular culture and level of specificity of special referent perception. The terminological metaphor translator determines whether similar or different culture-experiential parameters operate in the source and target language. In the first case the metaphorical conceptualisation is preserved by calquing and in the second it is either substituted by a cultural metaphoric substitute or lost by resorting to a superordinate, a gloss or a loanword.


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