Publication details [#7693]

Martinich, Aloysius P. 1984. A theory for metaphor. Journal of Literary Semantics 13 (1) : 35–56. 22 pp.
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An adequate treatment of metaphor needs to be part of some general theory of language use. H. P. Grice's theory of conversation is used to explain metaphor. On this view, to utter a standard metaphor is not to say something but to make-as-if-to-say something blatantly false, and in this way conversationally imply what the speaker means by uttering the metaphor. Three principles control the audience's interpretation of the metaphor: metaphors are typically true, involve salient properties of objects, and are relevant to the conversation. Some metaphors are nonstandard, and the theory must be modified to accommodate them. (A. P. Martinich)