Roldan Riejos, Ana Maria
Therapeutic metaphors in engineering: how to cure a building structure.
In: "The 2008 Metaphor Festival", 18 - 19 de septiembre de 2008, Estocolmo (Suecia). pp. 195-216.
Cognitive linguistics have conscientiously pointed out the pervasiveness of conceptual mappings, particularly as conceptual blending and integration, that underlie language and that are unconsciously used in everyday speech (Fauconnier 1997, Fauconnier & Turner 2002; Rohrer 2007; Grady, Oakley & Coulson 1999). Moreover, as a further development of this work, there is a growing interest in research devoted to the conceptual mappings that make up specialized technical disciplines. Lakoff & Núñez 2000, for example, have produced a major breakthrough on the understanding of concepts in mathematics, through conceptual metaphor and as a result not of purely abstract concepts but rather of embodiment. On the engineering and architecture front, analyses on the use of metaphor, blending and categorization in English and Spanish have likewise appeared in recent times (Úbeda 2001, Roldán 1999, Caballero 2003a, 2003b, Roldán & Ubeda 2006, Roldán & Protasenia 2007). The present paper seeks to show a number of significant conceptual mappings underlying the language of architecture and civil engineering that seem to shape the way engineers and architects communicate. In order to work with a significant segment of linguistic expressions in this field, a corpus taken from a widely used technical Spanish engineering journal article was collected and analysed. The examination of the data obtained indicates that many tokens make a direct reference to therapeutic conceptual mappings, highlighting medical domains such as diagnosing,treating and curing. Hence, the paper illustrates how this notion is instantiated by the corresponding bodily conceptual integration. In addition, we wish to underline the function of visual metaphors in the world of modern architecture by evoking parts of human or animal anatomy, and how this is visibly noticeable in contemporary buildings and public works structures.