Three Types of Metaphoric Utterances That Can Synthesize Theories of Metaphor

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This article argues that there are three types of metaphoric utterances that can be defined by (a) the contextual stability of the utterance’s interpretation and (b) the presence or absence of a conceptual source–target mapping. Evidence for these three types of metaphoric utterances comes from introspective evidence about metaphor-in-language, from a survey-based study of metaphoricity, from a computational model of metaphoricity, and from a meta-study of the examples used in published metaphor research. These three types of metaphoric utterances are used to narrow the scope of existing theories of metaphor and thus to synthesize them, showing that competing theories describe and are concerned with different types of metaphoric utterances.


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