Connotative Meaning in English and Italian Colour-Word Metaphors

Philip, Gill (2006) Connotative Meaning in English and Italian Colour-Word Metaphors. Metaphorik, 2006 (10). pp. 59-93. ISSN 1618-2006
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Colour words are loaded with attributive, connotative meanings, many of which are realised in conventional linguistic expressions such as "to feel blue", "to be in the pink", and "to see red". The use of such phrases on an everyday basis reinforces the currency of the connotative meanings which they assume in particular cultural and linguistic settings, and the phrases themselves are often cited as evidence of the existence of colours’ connotative meanings. But how do the colour words in conventional linguistic expressions relate to the multitude of symbolic meanings that colours (in general) are said to represent? Based on data extracted from general reference corpora as well as traditional reference works, this article examines the use of colour-word metaphors in English and Italian. It pays particular attention to the ways in which colour words take on connotative meanings, how the meanings are fixed linguistically, and similarities and differences across the two languages under examination.

Document type
Philip, Gill
colour terms, connotation, metaphor, idiom, collocation
Deposit date
30 Nov 2006
Last modified
03 Oct 2011 11:07

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