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Metaphor is typically seen in relevance theory as a pragmatic phenomenon that emerges from people's striving to optimally communicate with others. Cognitive linguistics, on the other hand, has traditionally viewed metaphor as a cognitive phenomenon with verbal metaphor mostly being a surface realization of underlying conceptual metaphors. Deirdre Wilson (Intercultural Pragmatics 8: 177–196, 2011) advances earlier discussions on the similarities and differences between these two major approaches to metaphor. She suggests that conceptual metaphors may arise from verbal metaphors, and that relevance theory is especially well-suited for explaining people's context-sensitive interpretations of linguistic metaphors because of specialized inferential processes that are linked to people's communicative efforts. We describe some of the issues related to the connections between metaphoric cognition and communication, and claim that these are far more tightly coupled than is now perhaps accepted by either relevance theory or cognitive linguistics.
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