Synecdoche - Wikipedia
This article is about the linguistic term. For other uses, see Synecdoche (disambiguation).
A synecdoche (/
/ sin-NEK-də-kee,[1] from Greek συνεκδοχή, synekdochē, 'simultaneous understanding')[2] is a figure of speech in which a term for a part of something refers to the whole of something or vice versa.[3][4][5][6]
In "New York won the game", the speaker refers to the New York Yankees baseball team, which is an example of a synecdoche.
A synecdoche is a class of metonymy, often by means of either mentioning a part for the whole or conversely the whole for one of its parts. Examples from common English expressions include "suits" (for "businessmen"), "boots" (for "soldiers") (pars pro toto), and "Ulster" (for "Northern Ireland", totum pro parte).
The use of government buildings to refer to their occupants is metonymy and sometimes also synecdoche. "The Pentagon" for the United States Department of Defense can be considered synecdoche, because the building can be considered part of the bureaucracy. Likewise, using "Number 10" to mean "the Office of the Prime Minister" (of the United Kingdom) is a synecdoche. Similarly, the names of capital cities referring to the sovereign states they govern follows this pattern.
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Synecdoche is a rhetorical trope and a type of figurative speech similar to metonymy—a figure of speech using a term to denote one thing to refer to a related thing.[7][8] Synecdoche is considered a type of metonymy.[9]:118
Synecdoche (and thus metonymy) is distinct from metaphor[10] although in the past, it was considered to be a sub-species of metaphor, intending metaphor as a type of conceptual substitution (as Quintilian does in Institutio oratoria Book VIII). In Lanham's Handlist of Rhetorical Terms,[11] the three terms possess somewhat restrictive definitions in tune with their etymologies from Greek:
Synecdoche is often used as a type of personification by attaching a human aspect to a nonhuman thing. It is used in reference to political relations, including "having a footing", to mean a country or organization is in a position to act, or "the wrong hands", to describe opposing groups, usually in the context of military power.[12]
The two main types of synecdoche are microcosm and macrocosm. A microcosm uses a part of something to refer to the entirety.[13] An example of this is saying “I need a hand" with a project... but needing the entire person.[14] A macrocosm is the opposite, using the name of the entire structure of something to refer to a small part.[13] An example of this is saying "the world" while referring to a certain country or part of the planet.[14] The figure of speech is divided into the image (what the speaker uses to refer to something) and the subject (what is referred to).
This type of reference is used by politicians. The residence of an executive is often credited for the executive's action. A spokes-model of the Executive Office of the President of the United States is identified in "The White House announced a new plan to reduce hunger." References to the King or Queen of the United Kingdom are made in the same fashion by referring to today's official residence, Buckingham Palace. Worldwide examples include "the Sublime Porte" of the Ottoman Empire, and "the Kremlin" of Russia.
Sonnets and other forms of love poetry frequently use synecdoches to characterize the beloved in terms of individual body parts rather than a coherent whole. This practice is especially common in the Petrarchan sonnet, where the idealised beloved is often described part by part, head-to-toe.
Synecdoche is also popular in advertising. Since synecdoche uses a part to represent a whole, its use requires the audience to make associations and "fill in the gaps", engaging with the ad by thinking about the product.[15] Moreover, catching the attention of an audience with advertising is often referred to by advertisers with the synedoche "getting eyeballs".[16] Synecdoche is common in spoken English, especially in reference to sports. The names of cities are used as shorthand for their sports teams to describe events and their outcomes, such as "Denver won Monday's game", while accuracy would require a sports team from the city won the game.[16]
Kenneth Burke (1945), an American literary theorist, declared in rhetoric, the four master tropes, or figures of speech, are metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, and irony. Burke's primary concern with these four master tropes is more than simply their figurative usage, but includes their role in the discovery and description of the truth.[17] He described synecdoche as “part of the whole, whole for the part, container for the contained, sign for the thing signified, material for the thing made… cause for the effect, effect for the cause, genus for the species, species for the genus".[18] In addition, Burke suggests synecdoche patterns can include reversible pairs such as disease-cure.[19] Burke proclaimed the noblest synecdoche is found in the description of "microcosm and macrocosm" since microcosm is related to macrocosm as part to the whole, and either the whole can represent the part or the part can represent the whole".[19] Burke compares synecdoche with the concept of "representation", especially in the political sense in which elected representatives stand in pars pro toto for their electorate.[17]
This section may contain indiscriminate, excessive, or irrelevant examples. Please improve the article by adding more descriptive text and removing less pertinent examples. See Wikipedia's guide to writing better articles for further suggestions. (May 2014)
Part referring to whole (pars pro toto)
General class name that denotes a specific member of that or an associated class
Specific class name referring to general set of associated things
Referring to material actually or supposedly used to make something
Container refers to its contents
See also
  1. ^ Wells, John C. (2008), Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd ed.), Longman, ISBN 9781405881180
  2. ^ from the verb ἐκδέχομαι "to take or receive from another" (simplex δέχομαι "to receive"). "συνεκ-δοχή, ἡ, A. understanding one thing with another: hence in Rhet., synecdoche, an indirect mode of expression, when the whole is put for a partQuint.Inst. 8.6.19, Aristid.Quint. 2.9, Ps.-Plu.Vit.Hom. 22." Henry George Liddell. Robert Scott. A Greek-English Lexicon. Revised and augmented throughout by Sir Henry Stuart Jones with the assistance of Roderick McKenzie. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1940.
  3. ^ "Oxford English Dictionary: synecdoche". 1998 – via University of Pennsylvania.
  4. ^ Clifton, N. R. (1983). The Figure on Film. University of Delaware Press. pp. 173–. ISBN 978-0-87413-189-5. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  5. ^ Klawitter, George. "Synecdoche". St. Edward's University. Archived from the original on 13 October 2008.
  6. ^ "Synecdoche". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  7. ^ Glossary of Rhetorical Terms, University of Kentucky
  8. ^ Jakobson, Roman & Morris Halle (1956). Fundamentals of Language. The Hague: Mouton. p. 95. ISBN 978-1178718140.
  9. ^ Zuckermann, Ghil'ad (2020). Revivalistics: From the Genesis of Israeli to Language Reclamation in Australia and Beyond. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199812790.
  10. ^ Figurative Language- language using figures of speech, University of West Georgia
  11. ^ Lanham, Richard A (1991). A Handlist of Rhetorical Terms: A Guide for Students of English Literature, Second Edition. Berkeley/Los Angeles/London: California University Press. p. 189. ISBN 978-0-520-07669-3.
  12. ^ "President Obama's State of the Union Address". Metaphors in American Politics. Archived from the original on 5 March 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  13. ^ a b Burke, Kenneth (1941). "Four Master Tropes". The Kenyon Review. Kenyon College. 3 (4): 426. JSTOR 4332286.
  14. ^ a b Enelow, David. "The Four Master Tropes". Head-Royce School. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  15. ^ Chandler, Daniel (2007). Semiotics: the Basics. New York: Routledge. pp. 132–133. ISBN 978-1-134-32476-7.
  16. ^ a b Bureman, Liz (24 September 2013). "Synecdoche: The Art of Getting Eyeballs". The Write Practice. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  17. ^ a b Burke, Kenneth (1945). A Grammar of Motives. New York: Prentice Hall. p. 503.
  18. ^ Burke, Kenneth (1945). A Grammar of Motives. New York: Prentice Hall. pp. 507–508.
  19. ^ a b Burke, Kenneth (1945). A Grammar of Motives. New York: Prentice Hall. p. 508.
Further reading
External links
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Synecdoche from Silva Rhetoricæ: The Forest of Rhetoric
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