Jacobson - Metaphor and Metonymy
What makes a verbal message poetic?
A. The six functions:
Any given act of verbal communication is composed of six factors:
Corresponding to these six factors, depending on the factor emphasized in a specific message, are six functions:
The focus within the verbal message on one of the six factors, creates a message corresponding to a certain function.
All other functions are always there as well but are subordinate to the dominant one.
When the focus is on the message itself the function of the message, according to Jacobson, is poetic.
B. The two operations:
The message construction is based on two simultaneous operations*:
In poetry - the projection of the principle of equivalence from the axis of selection (metaphor) is used as the major means of constructing a sequence (combination; metonym).
This projection, according to Jacobson, is the defining characteristic of poetry, and it expresses itself in rhyme, meter, symmetries, repetitions, motifs.
The dominant mode in the poetic is therefore that of metaphor. Whereas in Prose - the metonym prevails, the chain of events, the plot, successive actions, a sequence of occurrences**.
*The terms METONYMY and METAPHOR are not used as figures of speech but rather as pervasive forces organizing language.
**The opposition is not an absolute one, but rather a mark of a tendency.
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