Publication details [#59824]

Cuenca, Maria Josep. 2015. Beyond compare. Similes in interaction. Review of Cognitive Linguistics 13 (1) : 140–166.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


This paper deals with the formal properties and discourse features of “A és com B” (“A is like B”) similes in Catalan. In contrast with most previous approaches, the examples are naturally-occurring and the whole text has been analyzed so that their context, and not only the similes, is considered. The analysis of similes in interaction puts forward that: (i) a simile is a three-slot comparative construction, including a target and a source belonging to different conceptual domains, and an optional but frequent and highly significant elaboration; (ii) a simile is a figurative comparison between a source and a target (grammatically expressed by noun phrases or clauses) generally considered completely distinct or non-comparable; (iii) similes are powerful mechanisms to catch the addressee’s attention and put in a nutshell someone’s opinion, and (iv) they tend to have a prominent text status and are often found as headlines.