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By Inger Lassen

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Extra info for Accessibility and Acceptability in Technical Manuals: A Survey of Style and Grammatical Metaphor (Document Design Companion Series, V. 4)

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Halliday, personal communication 1997, 1998). But there is an even more important diŸerence between lexical metaphor and grammatical metaphor. g. Mayer (1994: 561) who focuses on what he refers to as “the instructive metaphor hypothesis”. According to this hypothesis, metaphoric language plays an important role in fostering students’ comprehension of scientiªc language because it improves the retention of conceptual infor- 25 26 Accessibility and Acceptability in Technical Manuals mation by helping the learner to associate cause-eŸect relations in the text to similar relations in familiar contexts.

But as noted by Halliday information is packaged in larger grammatical units than words and not inside words, which makes the value of the usual approach dubious. However, the notion of lexical item is in itself problematic since it is di¹cult to deªne the boundaries between lexical items and lexical words. One useful distinction is the semantic unit, which would deªne a phrasal verb like blow up as one lexical item but two lexical words. Similarly, an idiom like take a bath would constitute one lexical item because the meaning corresponds to bathe, which is one lexical item.

And whereas the process of grammatical metaphor draws on syntax and morphology, the process of lexical metaphor draws on the vocabulary although both processes involve a remapping of semantics onto the lexicogrammar. (Halliday, personal communication 1997, 1998). But there is an even more important diŸerence between lexical metaphor and grammatical metaphor. g. Mayer (1994: 561) who focuses on what he refers to as “the instructive metaphor hypothesis”. According to this hypothesis, metaphoric language plays an important role in fostering students’ comprehension of scientiªc language because it improves the retention of conceptual infor- 25 26 Accessibility and Acceptability in Technical Manuals mation by helping the learner to associate cause-eŸect relations in the text to similar relations in familiar contexts.

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