Refereed journal article or data article (A1)

When Important Is 'Ahead': The Use of Motion-Implying front Grams in Spatial Metaphors of Importance in Finnish

List of AuthorsKrista Teeri-Niknammoghadam

PublisherBrill Academic Publishers

Publication year2019

JournalCognitive Semantics

Journal name in sourceCognitive Semantics

Volume number5

Issue number1

Start page91

End page120



Human beings often discuss their priorities in terms of spatial language (I put my needs ahead of yours). When describing order of importance, the Finnish language predominantly uses motion-implying front grams, that is, grammatical words that code spatial relations on front-region, and indicate in-tandem motion of Figure and Ground. In such scenarios, the mover ‘ahead’ on the so-called path of importance is regarded as more important than the mover ‘behind’. In this corpus-based cognitive-semantic study, I explore the ways Finnish uses motion-implying front grams and gram constructions in spatial metaphors of importance by conducting a grammatico-semantic analysis on my data. As a result, I present four grammatically and semantically distinctive but related spatial metaphors of importance: important moves ahead, important is placed ahead, unimportant is moved away from ahead of important and important leads movement; these all use the notion of ‘ahead’ to define the importance of an entity.

Last updated on 2023-12-01 at 14:00