Metaphor in communication: The distribution of potentially deliberate metaphor across register and word class

W. Gudrun Reijnierse, Christian Burgers, T. Krennmayr, G.J. Steen

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

There is renewed interest in the special role that metaphor can have in its communicative status as metaphor between language users. This paper investigates the occurrence of such deliberate metaphors in comparison with non-deliberate metaphors. To this end, a corpus of 24,762 metaphors was analysed for the presence of potentially deliberate (versus non-deliberate) metaphor use across registers and word classes. Results show that 4.36 percent of metaphors in the corpus are identified as potentially deliberate metaphors. News and fiction contain significantly more potentially deliberate metaphors, while academic texts and conversations exhibit significantly fewer potentially deliberate metaphors than expected. Moreover, nouns and adjectives are used relatively more frequently as potentially deliberate metaphors, while adverbs, verbs and prepositions are used relatively less frequently as potentially deliberate metaphors. These results can be explained by referring to the overall communicative properties of the registers concerned, as well as to the role of the different word classes in those registers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-326
JournalCorpora
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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metaphor
communication
Word Class
Communication
conversation
news
language

Keywords

  • Deliberate Metaphor Theory
  • deliberate metaphor
  • metaphor identification
  • metaphor
  • Metaphor
  • register
  • word class

Cite this

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title = "Metaphor in communication: The distribution of potentially deliberate metaphor across register and word class",
abstract = "There is renewed interest in the special role that metaphor can have in its communicative status as metaphor between language users. This paper investigates the occurrence of such deliberate metaphors in comparison with non-deliberate metaphors. To this end, a corpus of 24,762 metaphors was analysed for the presence of potentially deliberate (versus non-deliberate) metaphor use across registers and word classes. Results show that 4.36 percent of metaphors in the corpus are identified as potentially deliberate metaphors. News and fiction contain significantly more potentially deliberate metaphors, while academic texts and conversations exhibit significantly fewer potentially deliberate metaphors than expected. Moreover, nouns and adjectives are used relatively more frequently as potentially deliberate metaphors, while adverbs, verbs and prepositions are used relatively less frequently as potentially deliberate metaphors. These results can be explained by referring to the overall communicative properties of the registers concerned, as well as to the role of the different word classes in those registers.",
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Metaphor in communication: The distribution of potentially deliberate metaphor across register and word class. / Reijnierse, W. Gudrun; Burgers, Christian; Krennmayr, T.; Steen, G.J.

In: Corpora, Vol. 14, No. 3, 2019, p. 301-326.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

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AU - Burgers, Christian

AU - Krennmayr, T.

AU - Steen, G.J.

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AB - There is renewed interest in the special role that metaphor can have in its communicative status as metaphor between language users. This paper investigates the occurrence of such deliberate metaphors in comparison with non-deliberate metaphors. To this end, a corpus of 24,762 metaphors was analysed for the presence of potentially deliberate (versus non-deliberate) metaphor use across registers and word classes. Results show that 4.36 percent of metaphors in the corpus are identified as potentially deliberate metaphors. News and fiction contain significantly more potentially deliberate metaphors, while academic texts and conversations exhibit significantly fewer potentially deliberate metaphors than expected. Moreover, nouns and adjectives are used relatively more frequently as potentially deliberate metaphors, while adverbs, verbs and prepositions are used relatively less frequently as potentially deliberate metaphors. These results can be explained by referring to the overall communicative properties of the registers concerned, as well as to the role of the different word classes in those registers.

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