Article published in:Metaphor in Specialist Discourse
Edited by J. Berenike Herrmann and Tony Berber Sardinha
[Metaphor in Language, Cognition, and Communication 4] 2015
► pp. 215–242
Dynamical systems metaphors
In order to explore the role that ‘dynamical systems theory’ plays as an overarching conceptual source domain in the genre of educational scientific texts covering six distinct subject areas (cognitive psychology, linguistics, transportation studies, social psychology, evolutionary biology and business management), I examined the lower-level metaphors underlying this complex source domain. Corpus analyses of professional education literature revealed underlying metaphors of force dynamics, movement, object manipulation, and personification. Novel metaphors or novel extensions of conventional metaphors were few. Findings document a proliferation of extensions and elaborations of conventional metaphor groupings. The identified conceptual metaphors were linked by (a) lexical co-occurrences and (b) metaphoric implications not lexically expressed. Figurative context appears to aid the learner’s understanding, although some metaphors and combinations confound explanations of key aspects of dynamical systems. Suggestions are made that could enhance the overall pedagogical usefulness of the metaphors found.
Published online: 16 December 2015
Cited by 2 other publications
Beger, Anke & Thomas H. Smith
Smith, Thomas H.
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