Publication details [#5108]

Gineste, Marie-Dominique, Bipin Indurkhya and Véronique Scart-Lhomme. 2000. Emergence of features in metaphor comprehension. Metaphor and Symbol 15 (3) : 117–135. 19 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language


The interaction theory of metaphor holds that a metaphor can cause emergence of features that are not associated with the topic or vehicle of the metaphor. We present 2 studies on emergent features. In the 1st study, using a production task, we found that over 60% of the features produced during metaphor processing are emergent features. We also found that giving explicit instructions to the participants to use imagery does not have any significant impact on the number of emergent features. In the 2nd experiment, we used response time as an indicator of the activation levels of emergent features. The emergent features require a longer response time than topic-only and vehicle-only features, when tested with topic or vehicle primes. When tested with the full metaphor as the prime, the topic-only and vehicle-only features gave long response times. But the emergent features did not change their duration from one prime condition to another. We suggest these results are consistent with the interaction theory of metaphor. (Marie-Dominique Gineste, Bipin Indurkhya, and Veronique Scart)