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Abstract

The present contribution focuses on one specifi c fi gurative usage of proper nouns, namely paragon names, currently employed as derogatory or scornful terms in the debate about public affairs in Poland, as exemplifi ed by the sentence Dlatego Kaczyńscy-PL i Trumpy-PL wygrywają wybory1 [That is why Kaczyńskis and Trumps win elections]. The article argues that metonymic approaches advocated by cognitive linguists (Lakoff 1987, Kövecses and Radden 1998, Barcelona 2003, 2004, Brdar and Brdar-Szabó 2007, and Bierwiaczonek (2013, in press) proffer a more felicitous and precise explanation of the motivational processes behind paragonic uses of names than the metaphoric model advanced in Polish onomastic research, represented, among others, by Kosyl (1978), Kaleta (1998), Cieślikowa (2006) and Rutkowski (2007a, 2007b, 2008, 2012, 2017). We provide a detailed discussion of the recent cognitive linguistic literature on paragons, followed by an analysis of two Polish examples of paragonic uses, which serve as illustration of the explanatory power of selected metonymic frameworks presented in the paper.
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