Friday, July 01, 2011

Metonymy and Synechdoche

Not Particularly Organized Notes on Metonymy and Synechdoche
by CWK

I. Metonymy 

(from greek metonymia, lit. = a change of name). Figure of speech using one word or name to suggest another, as “President Bush” for the “policies of the American Government (Barnett Dictionary of Etymology).”

Metonymy = naming an attribute or adjunct of the thing without naming the thing itself, ex. “crown” for royalty (Introduction to Postmodernism, pg. 61).”

II. Synecdoche 

(fr. greek synekdechesthai = supply a thought or word, take with something else). Figure of speech where part is put for whole (fifty sail for fifty ships) or whole for part (society for high society). Results also from syntagmatic combination which involves a perception of contiguity.
other synecdoche
1. species for genus: cutthroat for assasin
2. genus for species: creature for man
3. name of material for the thing made: boards for stage

syntagmatic series (touching) the linear relationships between linguistic elements in a sentence (Introduction to Postmodernism, 60). A perception of contiguity (touching) can generate METONYMY

paradigmatic (substitution) the relationship between elements within a sentence and other elements which are syntactically interchangeable (Intro Post, 60). Involves a perception of similarity which can generate metaphor.

“metaphor and metonymy are opposed figures of speech. The consequence of this is extended discourses in which either the metaphoric or metonymic order predominates."

metaphoric order: poetry, romanticism, films, surrealism
metonymic order: prose, realism, journalism

The apparently simple binary contrast of substitution and combination generates higher degrees of complexity and might be said to account for the imaginative or symbolic use of language- in other words, the possibility of meaningful fictions (Introduction to Postmodernism, 61). 

No comments:

Post a Comment