CRL Newsletter

Vol. 9, No. 1

February 1995

PDF Technical Report

Analogic and Metaphoric Mapping in Blended Spaces: Menendez Brothers Virus

Seana Coulson

Department of Cognitive Science, UCSD

This paper concerns the interaction of frame semantics and the use of blended spaces (Fauconnier & Turner, 1994) in the meaning construction invoked to understand a joke about a computer virus which shares certain properties with Erik and Lyle Menendez. We suggest that the purpose of the analogical mappings in the virus joke is to highlight one particular construal of the controversial source domain and discuss how this occurs. Mechanisms include: (i) the importation of one particular framing of the source domain into the blended space; and (ii) the projection of structure from a well-developed blended space back onto the source. We argue that there is nothing inherent to the process of analogical mapping which mandates mapping from the source to the target, and suggest that the traditional emphasis on source to target mappings is a by-product of standard examples of analogy and metaphor. The analysis of the Menendez Brothers Virus joke suggests how the conceptual integration which occurs in blended spaces can afford the linguistic representation of a dynamic conceptual system.


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