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Cognitive Linguistics

Editor-in-Chief: Newman, John

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Metaphor and convention

*Affiliation: Department of Scandinavian Languages, Stockholm University

Citation Information: Cognitive Linguistics. Volume 18, Issue 1, Pages 47–89, ISSN (Online) 1613-3641, ISSN (Print) 0936-5907, DOI: 10.1515/COG.2007.003, March 2007

Publication History

Published Online:


This article argues that lexical metaphors should be seen as graded: they differ in their conventionalized ability to activate concepts from the source domain. Such differences in metaphorical strength are analyzed, along with other (graded) dimensions of conventionality. Co-occurrence patterns for conventionalized metaphors from the WEIGHT domain in Swedish are investigated in some detail, making use of extensive corpus data. The results indicate large differences in metaphorical strength. This provides implications for the relation between conceptual and lexical levels of metaphor, which are found to be more dialectic than usually assumed, especially within Conceptual Metaphor Theory.

Keywords: lexical metaphor; conceptual metaphor; conventionality; lexical semantics; corpus linguistics; collocation; metaphorical strength

Citing Articles

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Ramin Golshaie and Arsalan Golfam
Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 2014
Thora Tenbrink
Journal of Pragmatics, 2011, Volume 43, Number 3, Page 691

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