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Reconsidering 'image metaphor' in the light of perceptual simulation theory

El Refaie, Elisabeth 2015. Reconsidering 'image metaphor' in the light of perceptual simulation theory. Metaphor and Symbol 30 (1) , pp. 63-76. 10.1080/10926488.2014.948799

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“Image metaphor” is defined in conceptual metaphor theory (CMT) as a mapping of visual structure from one entity onto another based on the mental images they evoke. It is considered an exceptional, one-off phenomenon that is most commonly found in literary discourses. However, according to perceptual simulation theory, all language, both literal and metaphorical, is understood partially by simulating in our minds what it would be like to actually perceive the things that are being described. These findings call into question the original distinction between image metaphors and the more prototypical correlation metaphors that have always been the focus of CMT. As I will argue in this article, there are nevertheless important differences regarding the detail, vividness and complexity of the mental imagery invited by these two types of metaphor. Since it is hard to consider visualization in the abstract, examples of pictorial equivalents of image metaphors will be used to support my argumentation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Additional Information: PDF uploaded in accordance with publisher's policy at [accessed 28/10/14].
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
ISSN: 1092-6488
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 2 May 2014
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2021 11:12

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