Edited by Alexandra Bagasheva, Bozhil Hristov and Nelly Tincheva
[Figurative Thought and Language 17] 2022
► pp. 123–148
Evaluating competing metaphor theories against each other implies the need for theory-independent criteria of comparison. We propose translation validity, the closeness in which theoretical constructs and operationalizations match one another, to be such a criterion. Applying this to Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT) and Deliberate Metaphor Theory (DMT) we note that the translation validity of CMT is low, given that its main constructs (“domain”, “cross-domain mappings”) lack clear operationalizations. DMT fares better with a procedure for distinguishing between deliberate and non-deliberate metaphor, but we argue that it needs improvements in clarifying and justifying its operationalizations. After summarizing the Motivation & Sedimentation Model (MSM) of metaphor, we discuss its translation validity in relation to two different studies, one on metaphors for anxiety and stress in psychotherapy discourse, and the other on pictorial and verbo-pictorial metaphors. We argue that while the operationalizations in these studies differ, they both show considerable correspondence to the constructs, and thus a high degree of translation validity. Some weaknesses nevertheless show up under scrutiny, suggesting ways to improve both the level of translation validity and the higher of level construct validity (mapping from phenomena to constructs) of the model. In this process we anticipate a degree of convergence between the DMT and MSM approaches.