Visnja Cicin-Sain

Image of Visnja Cicin-Sain
Norwegian version of this page
Phone +47-22855619
Room NT 710
Visiting address Niels Henrik Abels vei 36 Niels Treschows hus 0851 OSLO
Postal address Postboks 1003 Blindern 0315 OSLO
Other affiliations Faculty of Humanities (Student)

My primary academic interests are metaphor and figuration in both their linguistic-discursive and conceptual-cognitive aspects. How do we conceptualize complex and multi-aspectual linguistic phenomena such as language contact, change and classification? What figurations do we commonly use in expressing evaluative stance to specific language phenomena (e.g. borrowings)? I address these and similar questions in my dissertation employing primarily a bottom-up, discourse analysis approach. Area specifically, I analyze discourses and language debates in the area of the former Yugoslavia. ​I examine the ways in which metaphors and figurations are deployed in discursive projects of creating and sustaining ideologies related to the successor languages established after the disintegration of Serbo-Croatian – Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, and Serbian, with a specific focus on the discursive employment of figurations in the delineation of language borders.

Given that my interests are interdisciplinary in nature (trying to synthesize discursive and cognitive approaches to language), I am committed to the idea of an experimental verification of theoretical, cognitive linguistic models. A part of my dissertation consists of devising and conducting experimental tasks to inquire into the psychological reality of conceptual(mental) metaphors proposed in my research. Recently, I have tested the A NON-NATIONAL LINGUISTIC ELEMENT IS DIRTYING LANGUAGE mental metaphor (based on the BAD IS DIRTY primary metaphor) in the context of attitudes to foreign linguistic elements in Croatia. The experiment aims to demonstrate that one of the attitudinal aspects of the “classical” linguistic purism, conceptualized/verbalized in terms of language dirtying, tainting, contamination, may be conceptually ‘grounded’ in the concepts of dirtiness and contamination.


Academic interests

  • Cognitive Linguistics
  • Metaphor analysis
  • Conceptual Metaphor Theory
  • Discourse analysis
  • Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian
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Published May 18, 2016 9:09 AM - Last modified Nov. 22, 2017 2:23 PM