If we look at a range of mountains or a field strewn with large pebbles, we cannot really understand why the mountains are there or have a certain shape, or why all the pebbles happen to be in the field, unless we go back into the past. Only the past geology of the rock formations will give us a clear idea as to why such landscape features exist. In many ways, the same applies to language and, in particular to metaphor. In this chapter, we shall look at how cultural metaphor models may fluctuate in the past in one language and, using the illustration of the BUSINESS CORPORATION = FAMILY model outlined in the previous chapter, consider how they may fluctuate from a cross-linguistic viewpoint. This can help explain how even closely related languages may diverge or converge and can account for synchronic variation. At the same time, we are able to see how many of our present-day metaphors are networked to the past with the same images. The diachronic perspective is able to explore the origins of our conceptualisation.
KeywordsCultural Pattern Merger Model Synchronic Variation Diachronic Perspective Large Pebble
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