Publication details [#5059]

Gibbs, Raymond W., Jr. and Jody Bogdonovich. 1999. Mental imagery in interpreting poetic metaphor. Metaphor and Symbol 14 (1) : 37–44. 8 pp.
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Article in journal
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We report the findings from three studies examining the role of mental imagery in interpreting poetic metaphor, specifically image metaphors that express mappings of concrete perceptual images from source domains to dissimilar target domains. The first study showed that ordinary readers interpret image metaphors by mapping concrete mental images across domains, but not by mapping more general knowledge across domains. The second and third studies demonstrated more precisely how people's detailed imagistic knowledge about different concepts underlies their understanding of image metaphors. These studies most generally illustrate the importance of concrete mental images in the interpretation of poetic metaphor and suggest how metaphor theories must be amended to account for the prominence of imagery in metaphor use. (Raymond Gibbs)