Publication details [#13719]

Mandler, Jean M. and Cristóbal Pagán Cánovas. 2014. On defining image schemas. Language and Cognition 6 (4) : 510–532. 23 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Cambridge University Press


This paper offers a new perspective on the notion of ‘image schemas’ in metaphorical language. While psychological and cognitive linguistic literatures have considered different types of cognitive structure under the same umbrella term of ‘image schemas’, the paper proposes a differentiation among SPATIAL PRIMITIVES, IMAGE SCHEMAS and SCHEMATIC INTEGRATIONS, which concern meaning construction at all ages. Such notions correspond, respectively, to the first building blocks developed in infancy, to spatial stories built from them and to concepts which, using the first two, include non-spatial elements (e.g., force and emotion). The paper argues that preverbal conceptualisation is needed to completely understand ‘image schemas’, starting with imageable spatial information.