Publication details [#14157]

Lin, Tiffany Ying-Yu and Wen-Yu Chiang. 2016. Concrete images and abstract metaphorical extensions in the encounter between language and music: Hsu Chih-Mo's poem “Serendipity”. Journal of Pragmatics 94 : 15–28. 14 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language


This study provides a detailed metaphor-based and musical analysis of the transposition of verbal metaphors in the classic Mandarin Chinese poem ‘‘Serendipity’’ into multimodal metaphors in four musical versions. The qualitative analysis rests on the in-depth musical knowledge of the authors and show that verbal metaphors in poetry function as cues for composers to prompt various kinds of musical techniques to reinterpret them into verbal-musical multimodal metaphors. Different compositional patterns and musical techniques are used to render musically verbal metaphors, such as increasing/decreasing dynamics, high/low keys, etc. The study successfully provides a preliminary yet interesting account of multimodal verbal-musical metaphors.