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Thesen über die Metapher als Prädikation und Illokutionstyp

Thomas Daiber

Since it is impossible to define 'metaphor' as a phenomenon, which is evoked only as a semantic contrast between a subject and its predicate, no matter whether or not a context is given, the article argues that the theory of metaphor should be based on a pragmatic definition of the specific communicative function of 'metaphor'. Therefore, 'metaphor' is described as the predication of a class term; the predication can be explained by comparison, yet the individual terms constituting the tertium comparationis in a comparison remain metaphorical. Metaphorical speech may be defined as a world-view understood as "a simultaneously subjective and universal validity" ("subjektive Allgemeinheit" in Kantian terminology). Thus, metaphor is a specific speech act whose acceptance may as well fail if the subjective viewpoint is not accepted as a universal by the recipient. This shows the specific illocutionary force in the metaphorical speech act: It claims an intersubjective agreement with an subjective point of view which can only be proven by existential experience, but not by objective or logical reasoning.

Linguistische Beiträge zur Slavistik. IX. JungslavistInnen-Treffen Halle a. d. Saale / Lutherstadt Wittenberg 2000. Hg. Thomas Daiber. München: Sagner 2002 (= Specimina Philologiae Slavicae 135), 31–54.