Metaphor and Grammar in the Poetic Representation of Nature

Cover Page

Abstract


This article is based on two assumptions which have already been evidenced in the literature of environmental discourse analysis. The first is that the normal congruent active material process clause (Halliday and Matthiessen 2004), if the empathy hierarchy (Langacker 1991) is imposed upon it, tends to represent humans as acting in a unidirectional way upon a passive environment (Goatly 2002, 2007). The second is that much pro-environmental discourse, such as the Worldwatch Institute’s reports, for the most part adopts this grammar and thereby undervalues the power of nature as a force independent of humans but with power over them (Goatly and Hiradhar 2016). This article builds on work already done in Goatly (2000, 2007) and Goatly and Hiradhar (2016) on non-congruent grammar, co-ordination, along with personification and other forms of metaphor, to represent the human-nature relationship in ways which are more in keeping with modern science, and more helpful from an ecological viewpoint. The poetic texts discussed are taken from Wordsworth’s The Prelude , Edward Thomas’ Collected Poems and Alice Oswald’s Woods etc. Besides the use of grammatical co-ordination and metaphor/literalisation to blur the human nature boundary, they illustrate the use of nominalisations, ergative verbs, the activation of tokens and existents, the emphasis on nature as sayer and experiencer, rather than goal, which is a grammar (and use of metaphor) quite different from the patterns in so-called environmental and news discourse.

About the authors

Andrew Goatly

Lingnan University

Email: apgoatly@gmail.com
8 Castle Peak Road, Tuen Mun, Hong Kong

References

  1. Bohm, D. (1980) Wholeness and the Implicate Order, London: Routledge
  2. Goatly, A. (2007) Washing the Brain: Metaphor and Hidden Ideology, Amsterdam: Benjamins
  3. Goatly, A. (2011) The Language of metaphors, 2nd edition, Abingdon: Routledge
  4. Goatly, A. (in press) ‘The poems of Edward Thomas: a case study in Ecolinguistics’
  5. Goatly, A. and Hiradhar, P. (2016) Critical Reading and Writing in the Digital Age, Abingdon: Routledge
  6. Halliday, Michael (1994) An Introduction to Functional Grammar 2nd edition, London: Arnold
  7. Halliday, Michael and Matthiessen, Christian (2004) An Introduction to Functional Grammar, London: Hodder
  8. Harvey, D. (1996) Justice, Nature and the Geography of Difference, Cambridge Mass.: Oxford
  9. Langacker, R.W. (1991) Foundations of Cognitive grammar, vol. 2: Descriptive Applications, Stanford: Stanford University Press
  10. Levin, S.R. (1977) The Semantics of Metaphor, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP
  11. Lovelock, J. (1988) The Ages of Gaia Oxford: OUP
  12. Monbiot, G. (2014) ‘The pricing of everything’ http://www.monbiot.com/2014/07/24/the-pricing-of-everything/retrieved 26/07/2014
  13. Muhlhäusler, P. (1996) ‘Linguistic adaptation to changed environmental conditions’ in Fill, A. (ed.) Sprachokologie und Okolinguistik, Tubingen: Stauffenburg Verlag
  14. Oswald, A. (2005) Woods etc., London: Faber and Faber
  15. Prigogine, Ilya and Stengers, I. (1985) Order out of Chaos, London: Flamingo
  16. Schleppegrell, Mary, J. (1996) ‘Abstraction and agency in middle school environmental education’, in J. C. Bang, J. Door, Richard J. Alexander, Alwin Fill and Frans Verhagen (eds) Language and Ecology: proceedings of the symposium on ecolinguistics of AILA ’96, Jyvaskala, Odense: Odense University Press, pp. 27-42
  17. Semino, E. (2008) Metaphor in Discourse, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  18. State of the World 2012: creating sustainable prosperity, (2012) The Worldwatch Institute
  19. Thomas, E. (1949) Collected Poems, London: Faber and Faber
  20. Wordsworth, W. (1933/1960, first published 1805) The Prelude, Oxford University Press

Statistics

Views

Abstract - 2043

PDF (English) - 643

Cited-By


PlumX

Dimensions


Copyright (c) 2017 Гоутли Э.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies