Nine issues in metaphor theory and analysis
Hanks, P. (2010) Nine issues in metaphor theory and analysis. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 15 (1). pp. 133-150. ISSN 1384-6655
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/ijcl.15.1.06han
Starting as a review article discussing an important book on Metaphor and Corpus Linguistics, this article goes on to explore the distinctions between a) literal meaning and metaphor; b) conceptual metaphor and linguistic metaphor; c) creativity and convention in linguistic behaviour. It is now widely recognized that metaphor is a fundamental component of meaning in language, not a matter of mere decoration. The article suggests a new approach to the typology of metaphor, with an emphasis on semantic resonance. It argues that metaphors are generally a linguistic or cultural gestalt, rather than an experiential gestalt (as proposed by Lakoff and Johnson, 1980). It emphasizes the importance of statistical significance as a tool for recognizing relevant collocations (“frequency alone is not enough”) and discusses available statistical tools for this purpose.