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A corpus-based study of some linguistic features of metaphor

Publication Date
  • Pe English
  • P Philology. Linguistics
  • Linguistics
  • Literature


Recent studies of metaphor have stressed both its importance to thinking and its pervasiveness in language. A number of researchers now claim that metaphorical transfer often connects semantic domains at the level of thought. This has implications for formal features of individual linguistic metaphors and for the lexical relations holding between them. The linguistic data used by metaphor researchers has largely been either intuitively derived or taken from small hand-sorted collections of texts. As yet, there have been few attempts to systematically examine metaphorical linguistic expressions in non-literary corpus data. In this thesis I use corpus data to examine a number of polysemous lexemes and I attempt to establish whether their metaphorical meanings, the lexical relations holding between these meanings, and aspects of their collocational and syntactic behaviour can be accounted for by a theory of metaphor as conceptual mapping. The investigation comprises a number of studies of non-innovative metaphorical expressions and their literal counterparts. I conclude that the contemporary theory of conceptual metaphorical mapping accounts for some features of linguistic metaphor but that it does not completely explain the data.

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