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Metaphor (‎‎metaphorá‎), Ancient Theories of

(3,072 words)

Author(s): Anna Novokhatko
Abstract The article offers a brief history of ancient discussions on metaphor. Theories of metaphor are considered within the context of philosophical, rhetorical, and linguistic discourses. Though metaphor never lost its direct function as a stylistic device and as a figure of speech, philosophers from Empedocles, through Aristotle, to Plotinus also considered the cognitive nature of metaphor in transferring meanings and concepts. Thus, metaphor retained an equivocal position throughout the ancient thought.   Metaphora (Greek metaphorá, from metaphérein, Latin translatio…
Date: 2013-11-01

Figures (skhḗmata), Ancient Theories of

(2,649 words)

Author(s): Anna Novokhatko
Abstract The present article contains a brief history of the ancient understanding of figures in language. The ancient Greek term skhêma, ‘figure’, appears in two closely interwoven and interacting, but nonetheless separate, discourses: grammar and rhetoric. Both discourses developed the word ‘figure’ as a technical term: in the discourse of grammar, the word refers to a phonological, morphological, or syntactical formation of words (from Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, and the Alexandrian grammatical tradition up …
Date: 2013-11-01

Tropes (trópoi), Ancient Theories of

(3,316 words)

Author(s): Anna Novokhatko
Abstract The article contains a brief history of the ancient understanding of tropes in language. On a stylistic level, tropes were understood, in relation to figures of thought, primarily as deviations from the standard use of a word. On a cognitive level, they were understood as a shift in its meaning. The distinction between tropes and figures of thought was, however, never fully elaborated.   1. Introduction Tropes (Gk. nom. pl. trópoi ‘turnings; ways/manners of doing something’, a noun form related to the verb trépein ‘to turn’) are defined in ancient handbooks of grammar…
Date: 2013-11-01