Publication details [#656]

Deignan, Alice. 2011. Deliberateness is not unique to metaphor: A response to Gibbs. Metaphor and the Social World 1 (1) : 57–60. 4 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Amsterdam: John Benjamins


The author provides counterarguments to Gibb’s criticism on the notion of “deliberateness” in metaphor research. According to Gibbs, deliberate and conventional metaphors share the same ruling parameters, and therefore do not deserve to be regarded as different phenomena. Whereas the author does not challenge Gibb’s conclusions (because they have been formulated from the cognitive sciences), she however argues that recent corpus-linguistic research can lend analytical support in favor the existence of deliberate vs conventional metaphors. For instance, the author provides examples to show that “deliberateness” is a phenomenon spread across different linguistic genres (poetic and scientific texts) and registers (spoken and written). Furthermore, recent findings in corpus-based research on metaphor evidence that deliberateness affects both to figurative and literal language. Interestingly enough, metaphorical language appears to be less deliberate than literal since metaphors usually are manifested in longer strings of fixed words.