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Altogether, the term 'endangered metaphors' is not meant to refer exclusively to metaphors in endangered languages, but rather to metaphors that are themselves endangered, due either to language endangerment or to radical changes in the linguistic environment of the host language. The editors strongly encourage the documentation of figurative language in minority languages, concluding that metaphors ''start to vanish at the very beginning of a language becoming endangered'' p. Toward that end, the contributions in this book provide novel data representing languages from all six inhabited continents and ten distinct language families.

All fourteen papers are united by the central theme of 'endangered metaphors'. He begins by discussing what metaphors are and how we can recognize them, noting importantly that conceptual metaphors take different shapes in different cultures. Finally, he discusses the importance of the study of metaphor to preserving endangered languages, arguing that metaphors provide a crucial link to understanding the cultural underpinnings that provide hope for a language's future.

She argues that, although other Athapaskan languages may use different stems to lexicalize the same concepts, these lexicalizations tend to share the same underlying conceptual metaphors. Finally, Rice claims that there is a pedagogical benefit to understanding figurative expressions in underrepresented languages, namely the ability to teach native speakers authentic word-building strategies. Next is Carolina Pasamonik's contribution, '''My heart falls out': Conceptualizations of body parts and emotion expressions in Beaver Athabascan''.

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Pasamonik explores the use of body part terms to express abstract emotions and personality traits in Beaver Athabascan, arguing that these expressions follow patterns established by systematic metaphors and metonymies. In ''Walking like a porcupine, talking a like a raven: Figurative language in Upper Tanana Athabascan'', Olga Lovick discusses two classes of animal idioms used to describe human behavior: iconic idioms directly compare the behavior of humans with the observed behavior of animals; and symbolic idioms compare human behavior to traits that are associated with mythological conceptualizations of animals.

Lovick examines other Athabascan languages and concludes that these types of expressions are not unique to Upper Tanana; however, these idioms are falling out of use with younger generations of speakers and are in danger of being lost as populations decline and shifts in language usage occur.

The next contribution, ''Are Nahuatl riddles endangered conceptualizations? She concludes that classical riddles reveal historic, mythic, biological, and sociocultural information that is not present in contemporary riddles and suggests that classical Nahuatl riddles express ''endangered ways of thinking and conceptualizing'' p. Because the morphemes under discussion are all optional, van Kleef and van Kleef conclude that narrative concerns -- rather than syntactic ones -- must drive the selection of the appropriate morpheme.

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In the next contribution, ''Kewa figures of speech: Understanding the code'', Karl J. Franklin describes many varieties of figurative language in Kewa. Many of these figures of speech are embedded in 'saa agaa', a form of veiled speech in which speakers use not only idioms and metaphors but also maxims that serve as coded warnings. Some general observations about Athapaskan metaphor and metonymy; 4. Discussion; 5. Beaver language and culture; 3. Culture, embodiment, and conceptual metaphors; 3. Emotions and body parts; 4.


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Linguistic patterns of body part expressions; 6. Conclusion and discussion; References; Walking like a porcupine, talking like a raven 1. Background; 2. Cultural grounding; 3. Discussion; 4. Conclusion; References; Are Nahuatl riddles endangered conceptualizations? Zazanilli, Sa:sa:ne:hli, Sa:sa:ni:hli 3. Methodology; 5. Shared riddles; 5. Introduction 2.