Publication details [#4045]

Deppert, Alex. 2003. Die Wahl der Metaphern: Kontextbedingte Bedeutungsverschiebung bei Metaphern mit unterschiedlichem Lexikalisierungsgrad. Investigações 5/2003. URL


We examine the influence of the conventionality of stimulus words - metaphors like 'Vulkanausbruch' ("volcanic eruption") for a new love relation - on the relation between these expressions and other test expressions as judged by the participants of our experiment. The test expressions relate either to the metaphorical or to the literal meaning of the stimulus words. If the participants read a text that uses the stimulus word in its metaphorical sense before judging, this strengthens the relation between the stimulus words and the test expressions that fit this metaphorical context (like within the Vulkanausbruch - example Leidenschaft - "passion"). However, this result does not depend on the conventionality of the metaphors and also appears with very new and unusual metaphors. These findings reduce the importance of metaphor "groups" which are seen as a major influence on thought and action by Lakoff (1987). This is an encouragement for using language unconventionally. (Alex Deppert)