Reading group with Barbara Dancygier
Figuration has attracted much attention in cognitive studies in recent years. However, the focus has been primarily on conceptual metaphor and its cognitive underpinnings. In this talk Dancygier will focus on simile, to describe the role simile plays in the structure of the narrative and in representation of experience in narrative discourse. To suggest a more general description of simile, she will also refer to data from contemporary multimodal discourse. Overall, she will show how and why simile is a figurative tool which plays a special role in the expression of emotions, attitudes, and stances; she will also argue for an interpretation of simile which links it in specific ways to the study of embodied and enactive cognition.
Barbara Dancygier (external link) is a Professor of English and Cognitive Linguistics at the University of British Columbia. Her interests focus on cognitive explanations of construction of meaning in language, literature, performance, and visual art. She is especially interested in stance and viewpoint phenomena, especially in narrative discourse and multimodal communication. Also, she has worked extensively on various aspects of figuration, especially on the different viewpoint potential of metaphor, simile, and metonymy. She authored and co-authored three monographs (such as The Language of Stories) a textbook on Figurative Language (2014) and edited The Cambridge Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics. She co-edited five collections of papers and several special issues and published almost fifty book chapters and articles. In 2017-19 she was President of the International Cognitive Linguistics Association. She lives in Vancouver, Canada.