A Cognitive Semantics Approach to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution

17 1. Theoretical Background: Cognitive Semantics thinking and language but, unlike Szwedek’s model, they do not privilege the technical domain. We return to the role of behavioral domains in metaphorization in Chapter 7. 1.1.6. CMT: scope and developments The study of conceptual metaphors began as a study of language and linguistic manifestations of metaphorical patterns, with the general claim that metaphors in language arise from metaphors in thought. While the aims of CMT were never modest, the scope of investigation and implications of their results have continued to grow. One extension concerns the kind of data analyzed, which has gone far beyond the initial interest in language. The theoretical and methodological toolkit of CMT has been applied to such areas of human activity as mathematics (e.g. Lakoff & Núñez 2000), gestures (e.g. Cienki 1998), sign language (e.g. Engberg-Pedersen 1999), images (e.g. Forceville 2008), music (e.g. Zbikowski 2008) and film (e.g. Bordwell 1989, 1992). These studies provide converging evidence for pervasive patterns of metaphoric projections in all modes of communication and intellectual activity. Another extension, a logical consequence of the claim that metaphors are not just a matter of language but also of thought, goes in the direction of connecting the study of metaphorical language and the study of the brain. One strain of this research can be located in the field of neurobiology. Following Grady (2007: 206), such studies may involve a search for “neurobiological correlates for observed patterns of mental operation” in order to determine how metaphors, schemas and concepts might be represented in the brain, for example, through the experimental identification of “correlations between particular types of brain activity and exposure to particular types of semantic, including metaphorical, content.” The other strain of this research concerns neurocomputational models of language, especially metaphorical and spatial language. It is based on the theory of neural computation and is currently being developed as the neural theory of metaphor (e.g. Feldman 2006, Lakoff 2008). Yet another development of CMT approaches metaphoric language from the dynamic systems theory. According to Gibbs, metaphoric language and thought, though distinctly human products, “may reflect deeper organic and physical principles found in the natural world” (2012: 349–350). One such principle is the tendency for self-organization, “a temporal and spatial process of attraction and repulsion, in which the internal organization of a system increases in complexity without being guided