Cornelia Müller (European University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder))
Friday, May 18th
The paper investigates the emergence and interactive elaboration of metaphoric meaning in ballet training. It explores how bodily experiences serve as a source for the emergence of a multimodal metaphor, how the metaphor established by the teacher makes its way through the entire lesson, and how the embodied understandings of the students differ and change as they work with the “silk thread metaphor”. Note, that metaphoric meaning is expressed in body motion and speech. In more technical terms multimodal metaphor refers to a metaphor in which source and target are expressed in different modalities (cf. also Forceville & Urios-Aparisi 2009; Müller & Cienki 2009).
The case study is based on video data (90min) collected during a ballet lesson in which the students worked on balance and posture. Additionally, the students were interviewed. Methods applied to examine the emergence and the elaboration of the “silk thread metaphor” are a linguistic analysis of gestures (Müller 1998, Müller forthc., Bressem et al. forthc.) and a documentation of activated metaphoricity based on the dynamic foregrounding of metaphors in use (Müller 2008a,b, Müller & Tag 2010).
The analysis revealed, that metaphoricity in speech and body movement is dynamically orchestrated on a micro- and a macro-level. Put differently, the dynamics of embodied ‘experiential conceptualizations’ change across time and speakers–even though it’s all about one verbal metaphoric expression: a silk-thread running through the body. What we observe here is a dynamic grounding of metaphoric meaning in constantly changing bodily experiences. The data allows us to reconstruct empirically, what the phenomenologist Sheets-Johnstone has termed “the languaging of movement” (cf., Kolter et al. 2012), or what we have termed the affective grounding of metaphors in felt sensations (cf., Kappelhoff & Müller 2011).
Bressem, J., S. Ladewig, & C. Müller (forthcoming). A linguistic annotation system for gesture analysis. In: Body – Language – Communication / Körper – Sprache – Kommunikation. Handbücher zur Sprach- und Kom munikationswissenschaft / Handbooks of Linguistics and Communication Science (Vol. 1). Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Forceville, C., & E. Urios-Aparisi (2009). Multimodal Metaphor. Berlin, New York: Mouton De Gruyter.
Kappelhoff, H., & C. Müller (2011). Embodied meaning construction. Multimodal metaphor and expressive movement in speech, gesture, and in feature film. In Metaphor in the Social World, 121-153.
Kolter, A., S.H. Ladewig, M. Summa, C. Müller, S. Koch, & T. Fuchs (2012). Body memory and emergence of metaphor in movement and speech. An interdisciplinary case study. In: Koch, Sabine, Thomas Fuchs & Cornelia Müller (Eds.) Body Memory, Metaphor, and Movement. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 201-226.
Müller, C. (2008a). Metaphors dead and alive, sleeping and waking: a dynamic view. Chicago: Chicago University Press.
Müller, C. (2008b). What gestures reveal about the nature of metaphor. In: A. Cienki & C. Müller (Eds.) Metaphor and Gesture. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 249-275. Müller, C., & A. Cienki (2009). Words, gestures, and beyond: Forms of multimodal metaphor in the use of spoken language. In: C. Forceville, & E. Urios-Aparisi (Eds.) Multimodal Metaphor. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 297-328.
Müller, C., & S. Tag (2010). The Embodied Dynamics of Metaphoricity. Activating Metaphoricity in Conversational Interaction. Cognitive Semiotics, 6.
Müller, C., (forthcoming). Methods of linguistic gesture analysis. In: Body – Language – Communication / Körper – Sprache – Kommunikation. Handbücher zur Sprach- und Kom munikationswissenschaft / Handbooks of Linguistics and Communication Science (Vol. 1). Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Sheets-Johnstone, M. (1999). The primacy of movement. New York: John Benjamins.