Dichotomy Between Source Domain and Target Domain in The Concept of Cognitive Metaphor: A Review


    This research looks at cognitive linguistics in general and specifically reviews the concept of source domain and target domain as the basic aspects cognitive metaphor. Defining these domains of cognitive metaphor, the paper argues that, contrary to the notion that source domain in metaphorical expression is a concrete phenomenon, it is actually an abstract phenomenon. This is because, in the definition of cognitive metaphor, scholars are in agreement that source domain is derived from the brain, resulting from the perceptual experience of the speaker. This becomes the idea which is limited to him as he is yet to share such idea with the addressee. The argument, therefore, is that, if the source domain is from the brain and the perception of the speaker, then it could not be said to be concrete, rather, abstract. What is concrete is the target domain because that is what is already laid out and shared between the speaker and the addressee. The paper, thus, views metaphor as a cognitive phenomenon, deriving from the precept that physical events are naturally conceived through abstract notions, not the other way around. The research, in this regard, is of the view that source domain, which is an idea generated from the speaker’s experience of the world, is an abstract phenomenon while the target domain is the manifestation of shared assumptions between interlocutors. This is the principle underlying the relationship between human thought and language use.

    Keywords: Cognitive Linguistics, cognitive metaphor, source domain, target domain

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    author/Salisu Muhammed Raj, PhD

    journal/Zamfara IJOH Vol. 1 Issue 3