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Understanding Figurative Language – From Metaphor to Idioms - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Understanding Figurative Language: From Metaphor to Idioms

Sam Glucksberg


The book presents a comprehensive account of how people understand metaphors and idioms in everyday discourse. Traditionally, figurative language has been considered to be derived from and more complex than literal language. The book presents an alternative view, arguing that figurative language makes use of the same kinds of linguistic and pragmatic operations that are used for literal language. A new theory of metaphor comprehension integrates linguistic, philosophical, and psychological perspectives to account for figurative language use. The theory's central tenet is that everyday conversa ... More

Keywords: categories, concepts, conceptual metaphor, dual-reference, linguistics, metaphorical categories, pragmatics, reference, Theory of Metaphor Comprehension

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2001 Print ISBN-13: 9780195111095
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195111095.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Sam Glucksberg, author
Princeton University