Publication details [#17824]

Tseng, Ming-Yu and Shih-Wen Chuang. 2022. Metaphor and creativity in the act of making her heart flutter: Toward a cognitive-emotive perspective. Journal of Pragmatics 191 : 194–210.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language


This study analyzes Chinese liáo-mèi dialogues, in which the suitor attempts to make the heart of his target lover flutter. The language used in such dialogues tends to be highly metaphorical and creative in nature. This paper first reviews studies of metaphorical creativity, and then proposes a cognitive-emotive perspective from which this topic can be examined. Based on twenty liáo-mèi examples, this study shows that the act of causing a stir in one's heart is performed using multiple layers of meaning making: namely, cognitive mechanisms (e.g., image schemas, primary metaphors, and complex conceptual metaphors), connections between the utterances in the unfolding verbal interaction (i.e., co-text), emotive meaning (e.g., admiration, affection), and a sociocultural lens which assists in understanding and filtering out inappropriate speech and actions. The emotive meaning of metaphorical creativity in liáo-mèi dialogues is closely connected with the image-schematic and metaphorical dynamics of the discourse.