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A Mechanism of Creativity

Mark Turner and Gilles Fauconnier
Poetics Today
Vol. 20, No. 3, Metaphor and Beyond: New Cognitive Developments (Autumn, 1999), pp. 397-418
Published by: Duke University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1773272
Page Count: 22
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A Mechanism of Creativity
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Abstract

Conceptual integration-"blending"-is a basic cognitive operation for creating new meanings out of old. Conceptual integration is dynamic, supple, and active in the moment of thinking. It yields products that frequently become entrenched in conceptual structure and grammar. It often performs new work on its previously entrenched products. For the most part, conceptual integration is a routine, workaday process that escapes detection except on technical analysis. It is not reserved for special purposes, and it is not costly. We present examples of conceptual integration, analyze some linguistic constructions that evoke conceptual integration, and present literary passages that derive from conceptual integration.

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