The paper focuses on metaphors with a culture specific source domain in the scientific discourse like Rosetta Stone and Trojan Horse, their functions and peculiarities traced from a novel metaphor to a term. Pertaining to general cultural knowledge these expressions continue to keep much of their original conceptual content and are used in special discourse metaphorically. These metaphors are predominantly used in the title of the work and then elaborated further in the ongoing process of text creation. No matter these metaphors seem to be rather specific, the conceptual analysis we are applying reveals that these complexes are particularly useful for transmitting new kinds of knowledge due to their dynamic conceptual content, heuristic potential and pragmatically aimed sphere of experience.
Our analysis has shown that although the content of these units is rather broad, one conceptual feature is usually brought to the limelight expressing the author’s central idea, which becomes the most salient feature in a particular stretch of professional discourse. This dominant evokes mental representations of the cultural content acting like a key to the piece of specialized discourse through categorization and conceptualization, thus determining the transformed metaphorical meaning of phrases becoming terminological units in the framework of a particular terminological system.
culture specific concepts, scientific discourse, ESP, academic discourse, conceptual dominant