Some of the Secrets of the Heart: A View
However, after studying them in an attempt to identify
their metaphorical inspiration, we have come to the
conclusion that they were generated from the same conceptual
metaphor THE HEART IS A CONTAINER for emotions and people
who are the object of our love and affection. There
are many other expressions such as these in the two
languages, which, in sharing the same motivation, characterize
this conception as pervasive and very productive. Much
more could be said about this conceptual metaphor that
generated the sentences above, but it is not our intention
in this workshop to discuss details about them, but
simply demonstrate that conventional language can be
studied in a more systematic and meaningful way. Let
it be pointed out that if we accept the premise that
metaphors also shape the way we see things in the world,
conceptual metaphors will not only help our students
to make sense of conventional language, but also have
the further advantage of introducing them to the culture-specific
differences in language since metaphors can be different
across cultures (Ponterotto, 1994).
In my study, which involved the examination of 238
expressions in English and 218 in Portuguese, 11 conceptual
metaphors were identified. However, for the purpose
of this workshop, as far as the word heart in its figurative
use in both languages is concerned, I will limit myself
to an exercise (to be presented later on) in which the
audience will have some hands-on experience of unlocking
some of the secrets of the heart.
ACTIVITIES PRESENTED IN THE WORKSHOP
TASK 1: Literal and non-literal meanings
- Look at these pairs of sentences. Decide which contains
the literal and which the non-literal use of the words
1a I’ve lost my car keys.
1b I’ve lost my confidence.
2a I picked up a few bargains at the market on Saturday.
2b I can’t pick up my suitcase. There is too much
3a We can’t sit here. The ground is too wet.
3b This idea will never get off the ground.
4a So, what is your side of the story?
4b Somebody put a scratch right down the side of my
5a I don’t know what I have done to my back.
It really hurts when I bend.
5b Have you been talking about me behind my back?
TASK 2: What is the conceptual metaphor?
- Match the idiomatic expressions on the left with
the metaphors on the right:
|1.I simply cannot afford more than
a week off.
2.You win some, you lose some.
3.He had a constant stream of visitors.
4.I think I am in a rut.
5.Carry on but keep your head down.
6.We are going to have to weather the storm.
7.He was a bit hazy about the amount.
8.I just don’t see the point.
|a. Moods are weather.
b.A company is a ship.
c. Life is gambling.
d. People are liquid.
e. Seeing is understanding.
f. Business is war.
g. Time is money.
h. Life is a journey.
TASK 3: Look at the following sentences in Portuguese
and in English which have the word heart/coração
in its figurative sense and group them according to
the conceptual metaphors.
A alegria era tanta que não cabia no coração.
Edward was a lighthearted man.
Ela disputa com Lucinha o coração de
Give me your heart and I’ll make you happy.
I still haven’t found anyone that really makes
my heart flutter.
I still remember the poems I had to learn by heart.
I wish you the best from the bottom of my heart.
My heart is overflowing with happiness.
Quem conhece os segredos do coração?
Sua beleza atingiu o mais frio dos corações.
Sua imagem ficará gravada para sempre no meu
The heart of the town.
Rick Martin ocupa o posto n.1 no meu coração.
You’re the tenant of my heart.
Quem vê cara não vê coração.
1.THE HEART IS THE EPICENTER OF EMOTIONS
2.THE HEART IS THE SITE OF MEMORY
3.THE HEART IS A CONTAINER FOR THE EMOTIONS
4.THE HEART IS THE CENTER
5.THE HEART IS A CONTAINER FOR THE BELOVED
6.THE HEART IS A VALUABLE OBJECT
7.TRUTH IS IN THE HEART
8.THE HEART IS THE PERSON
TASK 4: Making sense of phrasal verbs
- Fill in the adverbial particles up and down
of the phrasal verbs in the following sentences:
1.Cheer _____, all the troubles are over now.
2.I want to bring _____the question of abortion now.
3.The dog has chewed _____my new shoes.
4.We were held _____on the road by a nasty traffic accident.
5.Make sure that you put_____every word she says.
6.Please turn the radio _____. I would like to hear
7.I think it’s time to wind_____this meeting –
we are all tired now.
8. It takes a while to quiet_____ the students after
9. Sales are picking_____this month.
10. Speak_____.I can’t hear you.
11.You’re not going out unless you drink_____your
12.We finally narrowed______the list of candidates to
4A Sort out the above phrasal verbs into the following
HAPPY IS UP
COMPLETION IS UP
MORE IS UP
LESS IS DOWN
OBSTRUCTION IS UP
WRITTEN IS DOWN
UNKNOWN IS UP
The theory by Lakoff and Johnson elevated metaphor
from a purely linguistic level to a cognitive one, which
allowed us to look at conventional expressions –
be they metaphorical or literal (a classical distinction
that has been undermined by their theory) – with
new eyes. In the words of Ponterotto (1994), “they
demonstrate that metaphor is not a “special”
use of language but pervades all interaction.
Therefore, expressions with the word coração,
in Portuguese, and heart, in English, that at first
glance seemed to belong to a chaotic universe, largely
disparate because they elicit different images that
are now looked upon as sentences that have something
in common – the conceptual metaphor that generated
them – and, therefore, can be grouped together.
It is very likely that many other expressions, in both
languages, come into existence on the basis of the conceptual
metaphors revealed e.g. the heart of the family, coração
do filme, pessoas que se hospedam no coração,
Be still, my heart, take my heart back. That phenomenon
corroborates the generative potential of the conceptual
metaphors that resulted from my study and provide strong
evidence that these conceptual metaphors as well as
the others presented in this workshop are likely to
continue generating new expressions that will certainly
be immediately understood by a person who comes across
them for the first time because they will be but “surface
forms of already existent and deeply ingrained subjacent
conceptions” (Bowles, 1995).
The exercises handed out to the audience were meant
to give ideas of activities that can be used in the
classroom to sensitize learners to the concept of metaphor
and its function as an acquisition device in allowing
and motivating the students to continue to collect expressions
they meet outside the classroom because, due to the
generative potential of the conceptual metaphors discussed
above, new sentences are created all the time. We all
know very well that vocabulary learning, and that includes
conventional language, which constitutes much of the
language of the effective language user, is a large
part of the work when studying a language. Therefore,
it is our responsibility, as teachers, to introduce
our students to a variety of methods and activities
for vocabulary learning, such as that of grouping conventional
expressions under the same conceptual metaphor, that
not only help them to continue learning outside the
classroom, but also equip them with one more valuable,
handy tool in making expressions more meaningful and
therefore more likely to be remembered and recalled
for use at the appropriate time. Hopefully, students,
with a great deal of these expressions at their disposal,
will be able to increase their communicative power.
Last but not least, we cannot forget that metaphors
shape the way we think about the world and therefore
the way we behave in relation to it. Negative metaphors
can undermine our potential. Think of your teaching
career as a journey of discovery and changes rather
than as a daily battle.
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