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Institute of Advanced Study

Metaphorical Creativity in Discourse


On the ‘standard' view of conceptual metaphors, metaphorical creativity arises from the cognitive processes of extending, elaboration, questioning and combining conceptual content in the source domain. I will propose that such cases constitute only a part of metaphorical creativity. An equally important and common set of cases is comprised by what I call  ‘contextinduced' metaphors. I will discuss five types of these: metaphors induced by (1) the immediate linguistic context itself, (2) what we know about the major entities participating in the discourse, (3) the physical setting, (4) the social setting, and (5) the immediate cultural context. Such metaphors have not been systematically investigated so far, though they seem to form a large part of our metaphorical creativity.

Insights Paper