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ERIC Number: EJ880241
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 84
ISSN: ISSN-0163-853X
Processing Deliberate Ambiguity in Newspaper Headlines: Double Grounding
Brone, Geert; Coulson, Seana
Discourse Processes: A Multidisciplinary Journal, v47 n3 p212-236 2010
Two experiments investigated the processing and appreciation of double grounding, a form of intentional ambiguity often used in the construction of headlines. For example, in "Russia takes the froth off Carlsberg results," the key element, "takes the froth off," is significant both metaphorically, where it refers to the detrimental impact of Russia, and metonymically via a contextual link between the company Carlsberg and beer, its best-known product. This study predicted that double-grounded metaphors would be more cognitively demanding than comparable single-grounded metaphors (where there is no such contextual link) and that, consequently, they would result in greater cognitive effects. Experiment 1 found longer reading times for headlines that employed double-grounded metaphors than for headlines that employed single-grounded metaphors with a similar meaning. Results suggested the re-profiling of the literal interpretation in double-grounded metaphors is cognitively demanding. Experiment 2 found that double-grounded metaphors were rated higher on a wittiness scale than single-grounded ones, revealing the aesthetic effect of double grounding. Results of Experiment 2 also suggest that participants in Experiment 1 were aware of the local ambiguity, ruling out the possibility that increased reading times observed in that experiment indexed failure of comprehension. Results of both experiments are discussed in terms of ideas from cognitive semantics. (Contains 3 tables, 1 figure and 7 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California