Volume 13 (2008) Pages 15-29
Metonymy, one of the most basic cognitive systems of the human being, is a device for referring one thing to another. It contributes not only to rhetorical expressions but to some linguistic phenomena such as polysemy and meaning extension that have a productive mechanism. The purpose of this paper is to understand the linguistic mechanism. First, I will report my examination of various metonymical expressions obtained from four English language films within the framework of the Generative Lexicon devised by James Pustejovsky. Secondly, as a result of the examination, seven models linking between the lexicon and pragmatics in those expressions will be proposed and illustrated. This may clarify the mechanisms whereby the metonymical expressions acquire disambiguous meaning and help us understand the metonymical phrases appearing in English screenplays more easily. Finally, a new way of discussing the stylistics of the screenplays wifi be suggested. The significance of this study is that both context and lexicon have been discussed on the same plane, which allows, in general, for a more inclusive understanding of metonymy in English and, more specifically, of English language screenplays.