- Identifying metaphors in language
- Book title
- Routledge handbook metaphor and language
- Pages (from-to)
- London: Routledge
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
In the summer of 2000, an international group of ten metaphor scholars came together in Amsterdam for a three-day expert meeting sponsored by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) in order to discuss whether it was even possible to develop a reliable method for metaphor identification in language. At that time many linguists were not interested in the methods and techniques needed for metaphor identification, while others doubted whether one tool for all could even be developed. The expert meeting was triggered by heated discussions of this issue in the late 1990s (see Steen, 2002), indicating an intimidating number of issues. The participants of the Amsterdam meeting represented a wide range of disciplines, ranging from cognitive linguistics (Cienki, Grady and Kövecses) through stylistics (Crisp and Semino) and corpus linguistics (Deignan) to applied linguistics (Cameron and Low), psycholinguistics (Gibbs) and discourse analysis (Steen). Each of these disciplines lacked an instrument for the identification of metaphors in language. Without such an instrument, researchers were forced to rely on their own intuitions. Practice had shown that these intuitions varied wildly between disciplines, theoretical perspectives, goals of research, and individual experience. The question for the meeting was whether all of these differences could be reconciled on one common ground: if linguists can and must agree on what counts as a subject or object in grammar, why would they not make the same attempt for metaphor in semantics?
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