Publication details [#10270]

Steen, Gerard J. 1992. Literary and nonliterary aspects of metaphor. Poetics Today 13 (4) : 687–704. 18 pp.


The structure-mapping theory of metaphor proposed by Dedre Gentner (e.g., "Structure-mapping: A theoretical framework for analogy," 'Cognitive Science', 1983, 7, 3, 155-170) is reformulated in light of recent advances in the theory of literary discourse. Three levels of analysis are distinguished: (1) At the linguistic level, resemblance is used for the identification of nonliterary meanings in rhetorical figures including metaphor, analogy, simile, and extended comparison. (2) Domain comparison at the cognitive level is based on analogical reasoning and facilitates cognitive functions of metaphor, i.e., richness and evocativeness. (3) At the social level, analysis of the communicative context yields a description of metaphor in terms of discourse conventions. Cognitive and discourse views of irregular mapping in literary metaphor are explored, and Gentner's treatment of the functions of metaphor is critiqued from a discourse perspective. (Copyright 1993, Sociological Abstracts, Inc., all rights reserved.) (J. Hitchcock in LLBA 1993, vol. 27, n. 3)