Beyond Visual Metaphor: A Cognitive Interaction between Metaphor and Metonymy in Filming Visual Rhetorical Image of the Statue of Liberty



It was the boom of image transmission that accelerates a series of emerging interdisciplinary researches on visual rhetoric. The aim of this study is to investigate a cognitive function model of how metaphtonymy interaction takes place with cross-interaction of meaning operation and visual structure along with progressive imagery and values transfer both in source domain and target domain of visual metaphor. It results in two important findings: one comes from the exemplification of Top Ten Film Appearances of the Statue of Liberty where an active interaction might often operates between visual metaphor and metonymy either in metaphorical source domain or target domain or even in the both, during which four types of visual rhetorical figures, mainly represented by visual connection-related juxtaposition, visual opposition-related juxtaposition, visual connection-related fusion, visual connection-related replacement, more possibly interprets three steps of the target imagery transfer from archetypal imagery to conceptual image and last to symbolic imagery of the Statue of Liberty. It also unveils two levels of values shift from heuristic one to terminal one. The other finding attributes to a cognitive function model of interaction between metaphor and metonymy based on Liu’s model (2018) and a typology of visual rhetoric showing classification of ad examples (Phillips and McQuarrie, 2004) together with Liu’s (2011) three types of imagery transfer and Rokeach Values Scale. The first finding initially connects visual production to psychological cognition of imagery and values transfer. It paves a way to explore visual metaphor from a psychological cognitive point of view beyond advertising. The latter one, following Liu (2018), systematically rebuilds and exemplifies a cognitive model of metaphtonymy interaction, which can not only provide a significant guidance for audience to do critical thinking and rational judgment when consuming visual metaphors, but also contribute to visual products’ good quality and GAPP’ s effective supervision of visual products circulation.


Top Ten Film Appearances of the Statue of Liberty; Visual rhetorical image; Visual rhetorical figures; Interaction between metaphor and metonymy

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