Article published in:MetaNet
Edited by Miriam R.L. Petruck
[Constructions and Frames 8:2] 2016
► pp. 141–165
Integrating constructional semantics and conceptual metaphor
Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT) aims to represent the conceptual structure of metaphors rather than the structure of metaphoric language. The theory does not explain which aspects of metaphoric language evoke which conceptual structures, for example. However, other theories within cognitive linguistics may be better suited to this task. These theories, once integrated, should make building a unified model of both the conceptual and linguistic aspects of metaphor possible. First, constructional approaches to syntax provide an explanation of how particular constructional slots are associated with different functions in evoking metaphor. Cognitive Grammar is especially effective in this regard. Second, Frame Semantics helps explain how the words or phrases that fill the relevant constructional slots evoke the source and target domains of metaphor. Though these theories do not yet integrate seamlessly, their combination already offers explanatory benefits, such as allowing generalizations across metaphoric and non-metaphoric language, and identifying the words that play a role in evoking metaphors, for example.
Keywords: Construction Grammar, Conceptual Metaphor Theory, Invariance Principle, Frame Semantics, Cognitive Grammar
Published online: 06 April 2017
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