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Data Structure in Cognitive Metaphor Research


Péter Csatár

This collection of papers focuses on cognitive metaphor research (CMR) from the perspective of the current debate on linguistic data and evidence. The peculiarity of the book is that it reveals the causes that trigger the methodological problems of data handling in CMR. These problems include the identifiability of metaphors in discourse and the reliability of the methods of gathering metaphors such as linguistic intuition, discourse analysis, corpus analysis, and psycholinguistic experiments. In order to overcome their weaknesses and to enhance their reliance, the papers argue, on the one hand, for the combination of different methods of gathering and evaluating data in CMR. On the other hand, the papers also point out that converging evidence cannot be obtained without constraining the combinability of data stemming from different sources.
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The cognitive research of metaphor includes in a broader sense besides conceptual metaphor theory (Lakoff & Johnson 1980; Lakoff 1987, 1990, 1993; Kövecses 1990), also blending theory (Fauconnier & Turner 2002), Gentner’s structure mapping theory (Bowdle & Gentner 2005; Gentner & Bowdle 2008), Glucksberg’s property attribution theory (Glucksberg 2001) and some relevance theoretical models of metaphor (Tendahl 2009). This research area which aims to explore the mental processes underlying metaphors in everyday language has not only processed a huge amount of linguistic material during the past three decades, but requires its researchers to carry out continuous methodological reflection as well. For that reason, from time to time certain methodological questions are highlighted, whose careful examination is essential from the point of view of data collection or from that of evaluating the hypotheses of the theory (Gibbs 2006; Steen 1999, 2007; Stefanowitsch & Gries 2006; Kövecses 2011). The following collection of studies I have written over the last ten years is concerned with some of the basic questions of methodology and data structure in the cognitive research of metaphor.

The following methodological phenomena and the questions related to them deserve special attention within cognitive metaphor research (Kertész, Rákosi & Csatár 2012):

However, the importance of these phenomena is not restricted to the field of the cognitive research of metaphor, since research into the methodological foundations of theories in contemporary theoretical linguistics has proliferated in a general sense (Schütze 1996;...

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