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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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3 Principles of integrating psycolinguistic experiments in metaphor research


← 70 | 71 → 3 Principles of integrating psycolinguistic experiments in metaphor research*

3.1 Introduction

Besides linguistic analyses psycholinguistic research has always played an important role in cognitive metaphor research. The majority of psycholinguistic studies can be assigned to three major trends: (i) the structural alignment theory of Gentner and his colleagues (Bowdle & Gentner 2005, Gentner & Wolff 1997, Gentner & Bowdle 2001, 2008, Gentner et al. 2001), (ii) the property attribution theory developed by Glucksberg and his colleagues (Glucksberg 2001, 2003), and (iii) (the) conceptual metaphor theory which has a profound influence on cognitive metaphor research even today (Gibbs 2006). Initially (cf. Lakoff & Johnson 1980, Lakoff 1993) this latter line of research– which is also the subject matter of this paper – concentrated almost exclusively on the analyses of linguistic data. It was only in the nineties of the last century (cf. Gibbs 1994) that it began to take vivid interest in psycholinguistic investigations.

This development has remained uninterrupted ever since. At the very beginning of the conceptual metaphor theory – in the eighties and nineties of the last century – psycholinguistic experiments relating to metaphors were interesting with respect to how the methodology of psycholinguistic experiments and the results of the experiments can be applied in the criticism of the mental reality (Gibbs 1994, 1999)1 of pragmatist assumptions (Loewenberg 1975, Searle 1979), ← 71 | 72 → which were formerly considered the standard view. Since the second part of the nineties, however, the advocates of conceptual metaphor...

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