Publication details [#4680]

Forceville, Charles. 2005. When is something a pictorial metaphor? [Lecture 2 in eight-lecture Course on pictorial and multimodal metaphor, in progress]. URL
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"The essence of metaphor is understanding and experiencing one kind of thing in terms of another" (Lakoff and Johnson 1980: 5). Lakoff and Johnson's description is an attractive one, since it suggests that what people do with metaphor is no less important than what it is. Moreover it allows for non-verbal manifestations of this trope. A crucial element in the cognitivist approach to metaphor fathered by Lakoff and Johnson (and anticipated in the collection by Ortony 1979) is that metaphor is primarily a matter of thinking, and only derivatively a matter of language. But while much fine work has been done by Lakoff and Johnson and their followers, the vast majority of studies still only discusses verbal manifestations of metaphor (see Kövecses 2002). In this series of eight lectures, the focus will be on appearances of metaphor that are not, or not exclusively, verbal. The emphasis will be on visual manifestations of metaphor, but since pictures, in whatever form, are more often than not accompanied by words, many "pictorial" metaphors are in fact hybrids involving language. Moreover, once the discussion shifts to moving images (films, videoclips, commercials), a third channel of information must often be taken into consideration: the aural, a heading under which both (non-verbal) sound and music will be considered. In effect, therefore, this course gradually broadens from verbal, via pictorial, to multimodal metaphor. (Charles Forceville)