Publication details [#3697]

Coulson, Seana and Teenie Matlock. 2001. Metaphor and the space structuring model. Metaphor and Symbol 16 (3-4) : 295–316. 22 pp.


We propose an account of metaphor comprehension based on conceptual blending theory. We review data from on-line processing measures that support predictions of conceptual blending theory and report results of an off-line feature listing study that assessed how different sorts of contexts alter the information activated by a given word. Participants generated features for words used in the null context, sentences that promoted a literal reading of the target word, sentences that promoted a metaphorical reading, and sentences that required literal mapping. In literal mapping, the literal sense of the word was used in a way that prompts the reader to blend it with structure from a different domain. Results revealed some overlap in the features generated in each of the 4 contexts, but that some proportion of the features listed for words in literal, literal-mapping, and metaphorical-sentence contexts were unique and context specific. (Seana Coulson and Teenie Matlock)