Metaphor and the Communicative Mind

Journal of Cognitive Semiotics, No. 1-2, Vol. 5, 2013, pp. 37-72.

36 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2014 Last revised: 15 Jul 2014

Date Written: February 1, 2011


On the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of the first cognitive-semantic theory of metaphor – Metaphors We Live By (1980) – this paper presents a communication-oriented perspective on the practice of metaphor analysis. Through discussion of contemporary metaphor theories, it identifies a number of unresolved issues. Among these are the notions of domains, mental spaces and binding, the unidirectionality hypothesis, the emergence problem, the significance of pragmatic context, and the philosophical status of representations. The theories discussed are conceptual metaphor theory, conceptual integration theory, the neural theory of language, the attribution model of metaphor, semiotic integration theory, and relevancetheoretic approaches to metaphor including the hybrid theory of metaphor. Comparing analyses and explanatory frameworks, the paper offers a theoretical and methodological critique of these approaches – as food for thought and fuel for prospective future research projects in cognitive linguistics and beyond.

Keywords: domains, emergence, force dynamics, mental spaces, metaphorical meaning, pragmatics, semantic framing

Suggested Citation

Brandt, Line, Metaphor and the Communicative Mind (February 1, 2011). Journal of Cognitive Semiotics, No. 1-2, Vol. 5, 2013, pp. 37-72.. Available at SSRN: or

Line Brandt (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics