The Language of Metaphors  book cover
2nd Edition

The Language of Metaphors

ISBN 9780415586382
Published June 23, 2011 by Routledge
400 Pages

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Book Description

In this ambitious and wide-ranging book, Andrew Goatly looks at how we use metaphor to communicate meaning. Combining insights from functional linguistics and relevance theory, he provides a powerful model for understanding how metaphors work in real communicative situations, how we use them to communicate meaning and how we process them.

Drawing on substantial linguistic corpora including literary works by William Golding, TS Eliot, Ezra Pound, George Eliot and AS Byatt, articles from national newspapers and extracts from popular and advertising culture, this book:

  • examines the distinction between literal and metaphorical language
  • surveys the means by which metaphors are expressed in texts
  • locates the interpretation of metaphor in its social context
  • contains tasks and suggestions for further work

The second edition has been revised to include relevant examples, updated texts and new lexical data. It discusses recent developments in metaphor research by key figures such as Lynne Cameron, Jonathan Charteris-Black, Alice Deignan, Rachel Giora, Veronika Koller, Zoltan Kovecses, Andreas Musolff and Elena Semino.

The Language of Metaphors provides the ideal introduction to metaphors for all students and researchers with an interest in communication, language, literature and psychology.

Table of Contents

Introduction  1. Metaphorical and Literal language  2.Metaphor and the Dictionary- Root Analogies  3. Metaphor and the Dictionary- Word Class and Word Formation  4. How Different Kinds of Metaphors Work  5. Relevance Theory and the Functions of Metaphor  6. The Signalling of Metaphor  7. The Specification of Topics  8. The Specification of Grounds  9. The Interplay of Metaphors  10. Metaphor in a Social Context

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Andrew Goatly is a Professor of English at Lingnan University, Hong Kong. After graduating from Jesus College, Oxford and University College London, he taught in colleges and universities in the UK, Rwanda, Thailand, Austria and Singapore. He has published widely, including five books, in critical discourse/metaphor analysis, stylistics, semantics, pragmatics and humour.


'This is a very welcome second edition of Andrew Goatly’s classic work on metaphor in language. The book has been updated and enhanced throughout, while retaining the structure and argument that made the first edition widely influential and respected.' - Elena Semino, University of Lancaster, UK

‘The value of Goatly’s work is that in exposing the roots of metaphor in lexical semantics and cognition he does not kill the metaphor ‘plant’- but rather waters and nurtures it with insights from literary and linguistic scholarship, enabling the seeds sown in the first edition to blossom and flourish. The efflorescence of this new edition allows the reader to reap the benefit of the author’s knowledge about metaphor and taste the fruit of a rich harvest from his graft as a writer.’Jonathan Charteris-Black, University of the West of England, UK

'Provide[s] useful insights for the technical communicator.' - Donald R. Riccomini, Technical Communication

"...The Language of Metaphors is still a beautiful collection of data and an ambitious theoretical approach to metaphors." -   Wei-lun Lu, Masaryk Univesity, Pragmatics and Society

Praise for the First Edition 

'Anyone genuinely interested in metaphor - whether literature or philosophy student, cognitive scientist, linguist, poet, dictionary addict, or advertising copywriter - will find their brains tickled and stretched by the multiplicity of ideas integrated in this absorbing and valuable contribution ... This book is a gem' - Michael Toolan, School of English, University of Birmingham

'The study of the use of metaphors in the social context is highly interesting, especially for those working in social science.' - M.D.Garcia Gonzalez, Cadiz University

' ... covers areas usually neglected by recent investigations of metaphor. Lexical, syntactic, semantic, pragmatic, discourse and cognitive aspects are encompassed and literary and non-literary examples are drawn upon' - Vincent Herman, University of Nottingham

'Well organized with useful exercises and a concise summary for each chapter, this volume serves as a much-needed text and a rich general resource for those in the fields of linguistics, English-language education, philosophy, and cognitive psychology. Recommended.' - Choice