Ecosemiotic aspects of zoomorphic metaphors: The human as a predator

  • Ariel Gómez Ponce CONICET-Facultad de Lenguas, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba
Keywords: metaphor, predation, rhetorical order, Argentinian culture

Abstract

Through history, predatory features are used to constructs when constructing textual representations on the human/animal frontier. The predatory act has remained a recurring motif that emerges from a metaphoric system in cultural imagination. An ecosemiotic approach to this topic allows us to understand how specific predatory behaviours constitute a source of meaning: in other words, how an alleged “animal tendency” is appropriated (translated) into various cultural texts through metaphors, creating a rhetorical order. To illustrate this, some features of metaphors of predatoriness in certain texts in Argentinian culture will be reviewed. A particularly vivid example is provided by two species, the cougar and the jaguar, that have generated cultural translations which expand and proliferate into contemporaneity. These translations constitute a form in which culture metaphorizes aggressiveness and interprets certain species from a historical and ideological perspective. The Argentinian cases suggest a revision of how history has treated the cultural other in terms of cultural and biological inferiority.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Metrics (links, shares etc)

Metrics Loading ...
Published
2016-07-05