Sensuous cognition. Explorations into human sentience: Imagination, (e)motion and perception. Ed. by Rosario Caballero and Javier E. Díaz-Vera. (Applications of cognitive linguistics 22.) Munich: De Gruyter Mouton, 2013. Pp. viii, 303. ISBN 9783110300765. $140 (Hb).
Reviewed by Zhen-qiang Fan, Zhejiang Gongshang University
In line with the embodiment paradigm in cognitive linguistics, this book focuses on the complex and inseparable relationship between body, mind, and culture. Contributed by scholars from a wide range of disciplines, the papers in this book deal with specific issues related to embodiment, including many unexplored topics.
Apart from an introduction and a postscript, the book is arranged in three parts. The editors’ introductory chapter presents the aim and organization of the book. Part 1 concentrates on the mind and the body. Daniel Casasanto’s study explores how motoric differences between left- and right-handers shape the way they act and represent abstract ideas with positive and negative emotional valence. Roslyn M. Frank examines the linguistic representation of relationships between body and mind in Basque, trying to find out how bilinguals accept the target schema or modify their original indigenous schema. Ning Yu analyzes the Chinese body-part terms for ‘head’ and its parts and their metonymic or metaphoric extensions, showing the complicated interaction between universal experience with the body and cultural construal of the body in language and cognition.
Part 2 focuses on cognition and perception. Rosario Caballero and Carita Paradis tackle the perceptual landscapes of architecture design and wine by scrutinizing wine and architectural reviews, exploring how sensory experiences are conveyed in these genres across cultures. Iraide Ibarretxe-Antuñano’s paper deals with the relationship between language, embodiment, and culture in perceptual metaphors, including their motivation, entrenchment, and distribution. Rune Nyord’s paper demonstrates how to study conceptualization through visual materials, i.e. ancient Egyptian art. Based on instances of synaesthesia in films, Ernesto Suárez-Toste discusses how the passions aroused by food and wine are communicated to international and multicultural audiences.
Part 3 addresses the issue of imagination and (e)motion. Javier E. Díaz-Vera analyzes a set of Old English expressions for fear and their pictorial manifestations in Anglo-Norman textiles. Şeyda Özçalışkan and Lauren J. Stites explore the similarities and differences of the metaphorical organization of abstract concepts in English and Turkish, as well as how children develop their ability to comprehend these metaphors at an early age. Farzad Sharifian discusses the cultural embedding and conceptualization of ruh ‘spirit/soul’ and jesm ‘body’ in Persian. The author also compares the Sufi conceptualizations of the body and the soul to those of Neoplatonism. Finally, Kashmiri Stec and Eve Sweetser, by examining two pyrotechnic examples of religious architectural blending, illustrate how metaphor, metonymy, and other conceptual blends are ‘built in’ to the architecture and art to structure the experience of people in these spaces.
The book ends with David Howes’ postscript where he summarizes the contributions of the book to conceptual metaphor theory (CMT) and even to the emergent field of sensory studies in general. The emphasis on cultural diversity of embodiment complements CMT, which seeks universals. The contributions in this book also pay more attention to bodily diversity (e.g. the study of handedness). Another strength of the book is that it gives due attention to multimodal and inter-modal aspects of metaphor.