Counting Metaphors: What Does this Reveal about Language and Thought?

Counting Metaphors: What Does this Reveal about Language and Thought? Counting metaphors has become quite fashionable in metaphor research. There are numerous attempts to reliably identify metaphors in discourse and count their frequencies. These studies aim to accurately assess the prominence of metaphor in language, but also provide insights into active metaphorical thinking. My evaluation of this research suggests that there may be rough correspondences between the frequency of metaphor and the richness of metaphorical thought. At the same time, even a single verbal metaphor can fundamentally structure an entire discourse, illustrating the power of metaphor to shape how we think about many abstract ideas and events. I also describe instances in which nonmetaphorical language can also enhance metaphorical thinking, and suggest the need for new ways of measuring metaphoricity in language and thought. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Cognitive Semantics Brill

Counting Metaphors: What Does this Reveal about Language and Thought?

Cognitive Semantics, Volume 1 (2): 155 – Aug 18, 2015

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2015 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
Subject
Articles
ISSN
2352-6408
eISSN
2352-6416
DOI
10.1163/23526416-00102001
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Counting metaphors has become quite fashionable in metaphor research. There are numerous attempts to reliably identify metaphors in discourse and count their frequencies. These studies aim to accurately assess the prominence of metaphor in language, but also provide insights into active metaphorical thinking. My evaluation of this research suggests that there may be rough correspondences between the frequency of metaphor and the richness of metaphorical thought. At the same time, even a single verbal metaphor can fundamentally structure an entire discourse, illustrating the power of metaphor to shape how we think about many abstract ideas and events. I also describe instances in which nonmetaphorical language can also enhance metaphorical thinking, and suggest the need for new ways of measuring metaphoricity in language and thought.

Journal

Cognitive SemanticsBrill

Published: Aug 18, 2015

Keywords: metaphor; counting metaphor; metaphor identification; automatic systems; psycholinguistics

References

  • How linguistic structure influences and helps to predict metaphoric meaning
  • Metaphor in idiom comprehension
  • Real and imagined body movement primes metaphor comprehension

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