Metaphor and the Social World

The journal Metaphor and the Social World aims to provide a forum for researchers to share with each other, and with potential research users, work that explores aspects of metaphor and the social world. The term “social world” signals the importance given to context (of metaphor use), to connections (e.g. across social, cognitive and discourse dimensions of metaphor use), and to communication (between individuals or across social groups). The journal is not restricted to a single disciplinary or theoretical framework but welcomes papers based in a range of theoretical approaches to metaphor, including discourse and cognitive linguistic approaches, provided that the theory adequately supports the empirical work. Metaphor may be dealt with as either a matter of language or of thought, or of both; what matters is that consideration is given to the social and discourse contexts in which metaphor is found. Furthermore, “metaphor” is broadly interpreted and articles are welcomed on metonymy and other types of figurative language. A further aim is to encourage the development of high-quality research methodology using metaphor as an investigative tool, and for investigating the nature of metaphor use, for example multi-modal discourse analytic or corpus linguistic approaches to metaphor data. The journal publishes various types of articles, including reports of empirical studies, key articles accompanied by short responses, reviews and meta-analyses with commentaries. The Forum section publishes short responses to papers or current issues.
MSW invites submissions.
Please consult the Guidelines elsewhere on this page for instructions
or contact the editors: a.g.dorst at, susan.nacey at and dennis.tay at
ISSN 2210-4070 | E-ISSN 2210-4097
Sample issue: MSW 7:2
Aletta G. Dorst | Leiden University
Susan Nacey | Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences
Dennis Tay | The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Editorial Assistant
Molly Xie Pan | Fudan University
Founding Editors
Lynne Cameron | The Open University
Graham Low | University of York
Review Editor
David O’Reilly | University of York
Editorial Board
Kathleen Ahrens | The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
John Barnden | University of Birmingham, UK
Tony Berber Sardinha | Pontifical University of São Paulo
Rosario Caballero | Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha
Jonathan Charteris-Black | University of the West of England
Alice Deignan | University of Leeds
Raymond W. Gibbs, Jr. | University of California, Santa Cruz
Veronika Koller | Lancaster University
Jeannette Littlemore | University of Birmingham
Fiona MacArthur | Universidad de Extremadura
Andreas Musolff | University of East Anglia
David Ritchie | Portland State University
Elena Semino | Lancaster University
Gerard J. Steen | University of Amsterdam
Xu Wen | Southwest University, Beibei, Chongqing
Subscription Info
Current issue: 10:2, available as of November 2020
Next issue: 11:1, expected September 2021, published online on 8 September 2021
Next issue: 11:2, expected November 2021

General information about our electronic journals.

Subscription rates

All prices for print + online include postage/handling.

Online-only Print + online
Volume 12 (2022): 2 issues; ca. 350 pp. EUR 183.00 EUR 211.00
Volume 11 (2021): 2 issues; ca. 350 pp. EUR 183.00 EUR 211.00

Individuals may apply for a special subscription rate of EUR 70.00 (online‑only: EUR 65.00)
Private subscriptions are for personal use only, and must be pre-paid and ordered directly from the publisher.

Available back-volumes

Online-only Print + online
Complete backset
(Vols. 1‒10; 2011‒2020)
20 issues;
3,050 pp.
EUR 1,583.00 EUR 1,747.00
Volume 10 (2020) 2 issues; 350 pp. EUR 183.00 EUR 211.00
Volume 9 (2019) 2 issues; 300 pp. EUR 165.00 EUR 191.00
Volume 8 (2018) 2 issues; 300 pp. EUR 160.00 EUR 185.00
Volume 7 (2017) 2 issues; 300 pp. EUR 155.00 EUR 180.00
Volume 6 (2016) 2 issues; 300 pp. EUR 155.00 EUR 175.00
Volume 5 (2015) 2 issues; 300 pp. EUR 155.00 EUR 170.00
Volume 4 (2014) 2 issues; 300 pp. EUR 155.00 EUR 165.00
Volume 3 (2013) 2 issues; 300 pp. EUR 155.00 EUR 160.00
Volumes 1‒2 (2011‒2012) 2 issues; avg. 300 pp. EUR 150.00 each EUR 155.00 each

Volume 11 (2021)

Volume 10 (2020)

Volume 9 (2019)

Volume 8 (2018)

Volume 7 (2017)

Volume 6 (2016)

Volume 5 (2015)

Volume 4 (2014)

Volume 3 (2013)

Volume 2 (2012)

Volume 1 (2011)


Guidelines for Contributors

1. Manuscripts submitted to Metaphor and the Social World (henceforth MSW) must be written in clear, concise, grammatical English. Language and formatting should conform to the guidelines of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.), except where indicated below.

2. All articles published in MSW are peer reviewed. Manuscripts should be submitted electronically through the journal’s online submission and manuscript tracking site. The file format should be Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx), or .rtf. The journal uses double blind refereeing. Please make sure that the files you attach do not reveal your identity (as part of the text, the references or in the document properties)!

Authors of Articles and Research Reports should write a short Bionote (up to 100 words) giving a full list of authors and their affiliations, the e-mail, telephone number, and postal address of the Corresponding Author, to whom all correspondence will be sent. It will be excluded for Reviewers.

Please consult the Short Guide to EM for Authors before you submit your paper.

3. Each submission should include the following, submitted as separate files:

a. A brief letter to the editors introducing the study and its significance for MSW, and indicating that the research was conducted using appropriate ethical guidelines, if human participants were involved.

b. The article. The total length, including abstract, notes and references, should not normally exceed 7,000 words. The abstract itself should not be longer than 200 words.

c. Tables

d. Figures

e. List of tables and figures

f. Bionote

4. Manuscripts are received on the understanding that they are original pieces of work and not under simultaneous consideration by any other publication. Submission of an article implies the transfer of copyright from the author(s) to the publisher upon acceptance.

Authors are expected to observe copyright laws in articles submitted to MSW when quoting or reproducing material; it is the author’s responsibility to obtain permission to reproduce illustrations, tables, etc. from other publications.

For citing extracts from articles or books, the journal follows STM (International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers) Permissions Guidelines (2009): 400 words maximum from a chapter/paper and 800 words maximum from a book. In every case full sources/references should be given.

Papers accepted for MSW may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without the written consent of the publisher. Permission for the author to use the article elsewhere will be granted by the publisher provided full acknowledgement is given to MSW as the source.

Authors may place revised pre-typeset versions of accepted papers on their websites. Typeset versions may not be uploaded.

5. All submissions will be screened first by the Editors. Those papers considered to be potentially appropriate for the Journal will be sent out for external review. Where submissions are not considered to be appropriate, submitted files will be deleted and the Corresponding Author will be informed that the submission has been declined.

6. Upon acceptance, the Corresponding Author will be asked to submit the revised final electronic version in MS Word (.doc, or .docx).

7. Authors will receive electronic proofs sent by email for final corrections. These must be returned by the dates determined by the publication schedule. Authors will receive one copy of the journal upon publication.



The article manuscript should be organised using the following headings and sequence:

Text. Please include the title on p.1, but not the author(s) name(s). Notes should be formatted as footnotes (see below).

Author note/acknowledgement (Omit on initial submission, but place between Text and References in the final revised version)



Send as separate files:

Tables (each on a separate page, with caption)

Figures (each on a separate page)

List of figure and table captions

General formatting

All pages should be numbered in sequence, starting with the title page. Figure, table and caption pages should not be numbered.

A running head (i.e. a short version of the title) not exceeding 50 characters (including punctuation and spaces) should appear on all pages, including the title page. It should be in capital letters and placed on the right edge of the header.

The entire manuscript should be double spaced. Text should be in 12-point Times Roman font and be left-aligned (not justified).

Pages should be A4 with all margins at 3cm. The first line of paragraphs should be indented at 5 spaces (0.5cm). Do not indent the first line of a section (ie. after a heading). Endnote numbers should be flush with the left margin.

Headings and subheadings

The text should be divided into numbered subheadings. Please use Arabic numbers and a maximum of three hierarchical levels, as in:

1.  Introduction

1.1  The problem

1.1.1 Background to the problem

Headings should be placed flush with the left margin. If a fourth level is needed, this should be in italics and not numbered.

Headings for Abstract, Notes, References, and Appendices should be in bolded capitals and positioned flush with the left margin.

Formatting language data and metaphors

Where possible, linguistic examples should be referenced to the relevant turn/intonation group/line of the corpus/text. (e.g., “In We already know this (l.34), Jan coughs twice.”)

Invented examples should be differentiated from attested examples by putting invented examples in single inverted commas. (e.g., “The author (p.22) cites ‘We need to get the wheels back on our relationship’, but a corpus search found no examples of this.”

Words or expressions cited as examples in the text (grammatically part of the text sentence) should be given in italics (e.g., “This applies to the word red”; or “In I know it’s true (l.267), the word know was stressed”).

Metaphor vehicles which are identified within discourse should be underlined (e.g., “In turn 22, The truth only dawned on me later, ...”). In exceptional cases, underlining may mark phrases illustrating points in the text; where this happens, a comment or note must be added stating that underlining is marking relevance not metaphoricity.

Conceptual metaphors should be in small capitals (e.g., TIME IS MONEY)

Systematic metaphors derived from a dataset, but not presented as conceptual metaphors, should be in small italic capitals (e.g., “The vehicle groupings suggested that John was treating SOCIETY AS A FUNFAIR”).

Concordance lines should be in Courier typeface; the key word may be bolded. Where a set of concordance lines is given, these should be centrally aligned.

Abbreviations and acronyms

Abbreviations should follow APA format (e.g., i.e., et al.)

Acronyms should be given in full at first mention, with the acronym in brackets afterwards (e.g., “In the European Union (EU) …”)


These should follow APA format, using double inverted commas. Quotations longer than 3 lines should be indented, with one (double) line space above and below. Indented quotations do not need inverted commas. Quotations from interviews or similar sources should have a reference indexing the speaker (e.g., “... it was true (Person 345, F, Int. 4)”).

Names of books or journals

Where these appear in the main text, they should have double inverted commas, not italics (e.g., “The corpus drew on “The Times” and “The Guardian”; Juliet, in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” says …”)


Authors are asked to use as few notes as possible and wherever feasible to make points in the main text. However, one note should be used to summarise conventions in the paper for reporting metaphors (e.g. “Vehicle terms are underlined…”).

Notes should take the form of sequentially numbered footnotes. Each note should have a superscript number at the end of the relevant text sentence in the text. The number of each note should be flush with the left margin and superscript; the text of the note should be not be indented.


Final and in-text references should follow APA format.



Görlach, M. (2003). English words abroad. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Spear, N. E., & Miller, R. R. (Eds.). (1981). Information processing in animals: Memory mechanisms. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Article (in book):

Adams, C. A., & Dickinson, A. (1981). Actions and habits: Variation in associative representation during instrumental learning. In N. E. Spear & R. R. Miller (Eds.), Information processing in animals: Memory mechanisms (pp. 143−186). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Article (in journal):

Claes, J., & Ortiz López, L. A. (2011). Restricciones pragmáticas y sociales en la expresión de futuridad en el español de Puerto Rico [Pragmatic and social restrictions in the expression of the future in Puerto Rican Spanish]. Spanish in Context, 8, 50−72.

Rayson, P., Leech, G. N., & Hodges, M. (1997). Social differentiation in the use of English vocabulary: Some analyses of the conversational component of the British National Corpus. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 2(1), 120−132.

To aid anonymous reviewing, when the article is submitted, references in the text to the author’s own publications should be (Author 1, Author 2, etc.) and no author references should be included in the Reference list. Full details should be added on to the final revised manuscript after acceptance.

Tables and figures

Tables and figures should follow APA formatting and be numbered consecutively as separate series. Authors should write TABLE 1 ABOUT HERE in capitals, with a blank line above and below, to indicate desired position in the text. All tables and figures should be referred to in the actual text.

Captions for figures and tables should be similarly formatted, as follows:

Table 1.  Respondents, age by sex                                             (above the table)

Figure 1.  Connections between action metaphors                      (below the figure)

Line drawings and photographs should be submitted in reproducible form. Photographs should be formatted as jpegs.


Metaphor and the Social World offers online submission. Manuscripts should be submitted electronically through the journal’s online submission and manuscript tracking site.

Please consult the guidelines and the Short Guide to EM for Authors before you submit your paper.

If you are not able to submit online, or for any other editorial correspondence, please contact the editors: a.g.dorst at, susan.nacey at and dennis.tay at


Main BIC Subject

CF: Linguistics

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General