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A metaphor is a
figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce a rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of persuasion, which along with grammar an ...
that, for
rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of persuasion, which along with grammar and logic (or dialectic – see Martianus Capella), is one of the Trivium, three ancient arts of discourse. Rhetoric aims to study the techniques writers or ...
al effect, directly refers to one thing by mentioning another. It may provide (or obscure) clarity or identify hidden similarities between two different ideas. Metaphors are often compared with other types of figurative language, such as
antithesis Antithesis ( Greek for "setting opposite", from "against" and "placing") is used in writing or speech either as a proposition that contrasts with or reverses some previously mentioned proposition, or when two opposites are introduced together f ...
,
hyperbole Hyperbole (, ) (adjective form hyperbolic, ) is the use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device In rhetoric, a rhetorical device, persuasive device, or stylistic device is a ''technique'' that an author or speaker uses to convey to the listener or ...
,
metonymy Metonymy () is a figure of speech in which a thing or concept is referred to by the name of something closely associated with that thing or concept. Etymology The words ''metonymy'' and ''metonym'' come from the Greek , , "a change of name", f ...
, and
simile A simile () is a figure of speech that directly ''compares'' two things. Similes differ from other metaphors by highlighting the similarities between two things using comparison words such as "like", "as", "so", or " than", while other metaphors ...
. One of the most commonly cited examples of a metaphor in English literature comes from the "
All the world's a stage "All the world's a stage" is the phrase that begins a monologue from William Shakespeare's pastoral comedy ''As You Like It'', spoken by the Jaques (As You Like It), melancholy Jaques in Act II Scene VII Line 139. The speech compares the world to ...
" monologue from ''
As You Like It ''As You Like It'' is a pastoral Shakespearean comedy, comedy by William Shakespeare believed to have been written in 1599 and first published in the First Folio in 1623. The play's first performance is uncertain, though a performance at Wilton ...
'':
All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances ... :—
William Shakespeare William Shakespeare (bapt. 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and one of the world's greatest dramatists. He is often called England' ...

William Shakespeare
, ''
As You Like It ''As You Like It'' is a pastoral Shakespearean comedy, comedy by William Shakespeare believed to have been written in 1599 and first published in the First Folio in 1623. The play's first performance is uncertain, though a performance at Wilton ...
'', 2/7
This quotation expresses a metaphor because the world is not literally a stage, and most humans are not literally actors and actresses playing roles. By asserting that the world is a stage, Shakespeare uses points of comparison between the world and a stage to convey an understanding about the mechanics of the world and the behavior of the people within it. According to the linguist
Anatoly Liberman Anatoly Liberman (russian: Анато́лий Си́монович Либерма́н; born 10 March 1937) is a linguist, medievalist, etymologist, poet, translator of poetry (mainly from and into Russian), and literary critic. Liberman is a prof ...
, "the use of metaphors is relatively late in the modern European languages; it is, in principle, a post-Renaissance phenomenon". In contrast, in the ancient Hebrew
psalms The Book of Psalms ( or ; he, תְּהִלִּים, , lit. "praises"), commonly referred to simply as Psalms, the Psalter or "the Psalms", is the first book of the ''Ketuvim'' ("Writings"), the third section of the Tanakh, and a book of the Ch ...

psalms
(around 1000 B.C.), one finds already vivid and poetic examples of metaphor such as, "The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold” and “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” At the other extreme, some recent linguistic theories view all language in essence as metaphorical. The word metaphor itself is a metaphor, coming from a Greek term meaning "transference (of ownership)". The user of a metaphor alters the reference of the word, "carrying" it from one semantic "realm" to another. The new meaning of the word might be derived from an analogy between the two semantic realms, but also from other reasons such as the distortion of the semantic realm - for example in sarcasm.


Etymology

The English word ''metaphor'' derives from the 16th-century
Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the Latin spok ...
word ''métaphore'', which comes from the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the ...

Latin
''metaphora'', "carrying over", and in turn from the
Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2018; Athens is ...
μεταφορά (''metaphorá''), "transference (of ownership)", from μεταφέρω (''metapherō''), "to carry over", "to transfer" and that from μετά (''meta''), "behind", "along with", "across" + φέρω (''pherō''), "to bear", "to carry".


Parts of a metaphor

''The Philosophy of Rhetoric'' (1937) by
rhetorician Rhetoric () is the art of persuasion, which along with grammar In linguistics, the grammar (from Ancient Greek ''grammatikḗ'') of a natural language is its set of structure, structural constraints on speakers' or writers' composi ...
I. A. Richards describes a metaphor as having two parts: the tenor and the vehicle. The tenor is the subject to which attributes are ascribed. The vehicle is the object whose attributes are borrowed. In the previous example, "the world" is compared to a stage, describing it with the attributes of "the stage"; "the world" is the tenor, and "a stage" is the vehicle; "men and women" is the secondary tenor, and "players" is the secondary vehicle. Other writers employ the general terms 'ground' and 'figure' to denote the tenor and the vehicle.
Cognitive linguistics Cognitive linguistics is an interdisciplinary branch of linguistics, combining knowledge and research from cognitive science, cognitive psychology, neuropsychology, social psychology, cognitive anthropology and linguistics. Models and theoretical ...
uses the terms 'target' and 'source', respectively. Psychologist
Julian Jaynes Julian Jaynes (February 27, 1920 – November 21, 1997) was an American researcher in psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscious mind, unconsciou ...
coined the terms 'metaphrand' and 'metaphier', plus two new concepts, 'paraphrand' and 'paraphier'. 'Metaphrand' is equivalent to the metaphor-theory terms 'tenor', 'target', and 'ground'. 'Metaphier' is equivalent to the metaphor-theory terms 'vehicle', 'figure', and 'source'. In a simple metaphor, an obvious attribute of the metaphier exactly characterizes the metaphrand (e.g. the ship plowed the seas). With an inexact metaphor, however, a metaphier might have associated attributes or nuances – its paraphiers – that enrich the metaphor because they "project back" to the metaphrand, potentially creating new ideas – the paraphrands – associated thereafter with the metaphrand or even leading to a new metaphor. For example, in the metaphor "Pat is a tornado", the metaphrand is "Pat", the metaphier is "tornado". As metaphier, "tornado" carries paraphiers such as power, storm and wind, counterclockwise motion, and danger, threat, destruction, etc. The metaphoric meaning of "tornado" is inexact: one might understand that 'Pat is powerfully destructive' through the paraphrand of physical and emotional destruction; another person might understand the metaphor as 'Pat can spin out of control'. In the latter case, the paraphier of 'spinning motion' has become the paraphrand 'psychological spin', suggesting an entirely new metaphor for emotional unpredictability, a possibly apt description for a human being hardly applicable to a tornado. Based on his analysis, Jaynes claims that metaphors not only enhance description, but "increase enormously our powers of perception...and our understanding of he world and literally create new objects".


As a type of comparison

Metaphors are most frequently compared with
simile A simile () is a figure of speech that directly ''compares'' two things. Similes differ from other metaphors by highlighting the similarities between two things using comparison words such as "like", "as", "so", or " than", while other metaphors ...
s. It is said, for instance, that a metaphor is 'a condensed analogy' or 'analogical fusion' or that they 'operate in a similar fashion' or are 'based on the same mental process' or yet that 'the basic processes of analogy are at work in metaphor'. It is also pointed out that 'a border between metaphor and analogy is fuzzy' and 'the difference between them might be described (metaphorically) as the distance between things being compared'. A metaphor asserts the objects in the comparison are identical on the point of comparison, while a simile merely asserts a similarity through use of words such as "like" or "as". For this reason a common-type metaphor is generally considered more forceful than a
simile A simile () is a figure of speech that directly ''compares'' two things. Similes differ from other metaphors by highlighting the similarities between two things using comparison words such as "like", "as", "so", or " than", while other metaphors ...
.The Oxford Companion to the English Language (1992) pp.653 The metaphor category contains these specialized types: *
Allegory As a Literature, literary device, an allegory is a narrative in which a character, place, or event is used to deliver a broader message about real-world issues and occurrences. Authors have used allegory throughout history in all forms of art to i ...
: An extended metaphor wherein a story illustrates an important attribute of the subject. *
Antithesis Antithesis ( Greek for "setting opposite", from "against" and "placing") is used in writing or speech either as a proposition that contrasts with or reverses some previously mentioned proposition, or when two opposites are introduced together f ...
: A rhetorical contrast of ideas by means of parallel arrangements of words, clauses, or sentences. *
Catachresis Catachresis (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 mi ...
: A mixed metaphor, sometimes used by design and sometimes by accident (a rhetorical fault). *
Hyperbole Hyperbole (, ) (adjective form hyperbolic, ) is the use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device In rhetoric, a rhetorical device, persuasive device, or stylistic device is a ''technique'' that an author or speaker uses to convey to the listener or ...
: Excessive exaggeration to illustrate a point. *
Parable A parable is a succinct, didactic story, in prose Prose is a form of written (or spoken) language that usually exhibits a natural speech, natural flow of speech and Syntax, grammatical structure—an exception is the narrative device stream ...
: An extended metaphor told as an anecdote to illustrate or teach a moral or spiritual lesson, such as in
Aesop's fables Aesop's Fables, or the Aesopica, is a collection of fables credited to Aesop, a Slavery in ancient Greece, slave and storyteller believed to have lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 564 BCE. Of diverse origins, the stories associated with his ...
or Jesus' teaching method as told in the
Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Greek ...

Bible
. *
Pun The pun, also known as paronomasia, is a form of word play that exploits multiple meanings of a term, or of similar-sounding words, for an intended humorous or rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of persuasion, which alon ...
: A verbal device by which multiple definitions of a word or its homophones are used to give a sentence multiple valid readings, typically to humorous effect. * Similitude: An extended simile or metaphor that has a picture part (''Bildhälfte''), a reality part (''Sachhälfte''), and a point of comparison ( ''teritium comparationis''). Similitudes are found in the
parables of Jesus A parable is a succinct, didactic story, in prose Prose is a form of written (or spoken) language that usually exhibits a natural speech, natural flow of speech and Syntax, grammatical structure—an exception is the narrative device stream ...
.


Metaphor vs metonymy

Metaphor is distinct from
metonymy Metonymy () is a figure of speech in which a thing or concept is referred to by the name of something closely associated with that thing or concept. Etymology The words ''metonymy'' and ''metonym'' come from the Greek , , "a change of name", f ...
, both constituting two fundamental modes of thought. Metaphor works by bringing together concepts from different conceptual domains, whereas metonymy uses one element from a given domain to refer to another closely related element. A metaphor creates new links between otherwise distinct conceptual domains, whereas a metonymy relies on pre-existent links within them. For example, in the phrase "lands belonging to the crown", the word "crown" is a metonymy because some monarchs do indeed wear a crown, physically. In other words, there is a pre-existent link between "crown" and "monarchy". On the other hand, when
Ghil'ad Zuckermann Ghil'ad Zuckermann ( he, גלעד צוקרמן, ; ) is an Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל; ar, إِسْرَائِيل), officially known as the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, '), is a country in W ...
argues that the Israeli language is a "phoenicuckoo cross with some magpie characteristics", he is using a metaphor. There is no physical link between a language and a bird. The reason the metaphors "phoenix" and "cuckoo" are used is that on the one hand hybridic "Israeli" is based on
Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites, Judeans and their ancestors. It is the o ...
, which, like a phoenix, rises from the ashes; and on the other hand, hybridic "Israeli" is based on
Yiddish Yiddish (, or , ''yidish'' or ''idish'', , ; , ''Yidish-Taytsh'', ) is a West Germanic language historically spoken by Ashkenazi Jews Ashkenazi Jews ( are a Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciatio ...

Yiddish
, which like a cuckoo, lays its egg in the nest of another bird, tricking it to believe that it is its own egg. Furthermore, the metaphor "magpie" is employed because, according to Zuckermann, hybridic "Israeli" displays the characteristics of a magpie, "stealing" from languages such as
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
and
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
.


Subtypes

A
dead metaphorA dead metaphor is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce a rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of pe ...
is a metaphor in which the sense of a transferred image has become absent. The phrases "to grasp a concept" and "to gather what you've understood" use physical action as a metaphor for understanding. The audience does not need to visualize the action; dead metaphors normally go unnoticed. Some distinguish between a dead metaphor and a
cliché A cliché ( or ) is an element of an artistic work, saying, or idea that has become overused to the point of losing its original meaning or effect, even to the point of being trite or irritating, especially when at some earlier time it was consid ...
. Others use "dead metaphor" to denote both. A mixed metaphor is a metaphor that leaps from one identification to a second inconsistent with the first, e.g.: This form is often used as a parody of metaphor itself: An extended metaphor, or conceit, sets up a principal subject with several subsidiary subjects or comparisons. In the above quote from ''As You Like It'', the world is first described as a stage and then the subsidiary subjects men and women are further described in the same context. An implicit metaphor has no specified tenor, although the vehicle is present. M. H. Abrams offers the following as an example of an implicit metaphor: "That reed was too frail to survive the storm of its sorrows". The reed is the vehicle for the implicit tenor, someone's death, and the "storm" is the vehicle for the person's "sorrows". Metaphor can serve as a device for persuading an audience of the user's argument or thesis, the so-called rhetorical metaphor.


In rhetoric and literature

Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit ...

Aristotle
writes in his work the ''Rhetoric'' that metaphors make learning pleasant: "To learn easily is naturally pleasant to all people, and words signify something, so whatever words create knowledge in us are the pleasantest." When discussing Aristotle's ''Rhetoric'', Jan Garret stated "metaphor most brings about learning; for when calls old age "stubble", he creates understanding and knowledge through the genus, since both old age and stubble are pecies of the genus ofthings that have lost their bloom." Metaphors, according to Aristotle, have "qualities of the exotic and the fascinating; but at the same time we recognize that strangers do not have the same rights as our fellow citizens". Educational psychologist Andrew Ortony gives more explicit detail: "Metaphors are necessary as a communicative device because they allow the transfer of coherent chunks of characteristics -- perceptual, cognitive, emotional and experiential -- from a vehicle which is known to a topic which is less so. In so doing they circumvent the problem of specifying one by one each of the often unnameable and innumerable characteristics; they avoid discretizing the perceived continuity of experience and are thus closer to experience and consequently more vivid and memorable."


As style in speech and writing

As a characteristic of speech and writing, metaphors can serve the poetic imagination. This allows
Sylvia Plath Sylvia Plath (; October 27, 1932 – February 11, 1963) was an American poet, novelist, and short-story writer. She is credited with advancing the genre of confessional poetry and is best known for two of her published collections, ''The C ...

Sylvia Plath
, in her poem "Cut", to compare the blood issuing from her cut thumb to the running of a million soldiers, " redcoats, every one"; and enabling
Robert Frost Robert Lee Frost (March26, 1874January29, 1963) was an American poet. His work was initially published in England before it was published in the United States. Known for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloqu ...

Robert Frost
, in "The Road Not Taken", to compare a life to a journey. Metaphors can be implied and extended throughout pieces of literature.


Larger applications

Sonja K. Foss characterizes metaphors as "nonliteral comparisons in which a word or phrase from one domain of experience is applied to another domain". She argues that since reality is mediated by the language we use to describe it, the metaphors we use shape the world and our interactions to it. The term metaphor is used to describe more basic or general aspects of experience and cognition: * A cognitive metaphor is the association of object to an experience outside the object's environment * A
conceptual metaphorIn cognitive linguistics Cognitive linguistics is an interdisciplinary branch of linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studyi ...
is an underlying association that is systematic in both language and thought * A root metaphor is the underlying worldview that shapes an individual's understanding of a situation * A nonlinguistic metaphor is an association between two nonlinguistic realms of experience * A visual metaphor uses an image to create the link between different ideas


Conceptual metaphors

Some theorists have suggested that metaphors are not merely stylistic, but that they are cognitively important as well. In ''
Metaphors We Live By ''Metaphors We Live By'' is a book by George Lakoff George Philip Lakoff (; born May 24, 1941) is an American cognitive linguist and philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, ...
'',
George Lakoff George Philip Lakoff (; born May 24, 1941) is an American cognitive linguist and philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philosophos, meaning ...

George Lakoff
and Mark Johnson argue that metaphors are pervasive in everyday life, not just in language, but also in thought and action. A common definition of metaphor can be described as a comparison that shows how two things that are not alike in most ways are similar in another important way. They explain how a metaphor is simply understanding and experiencing one kind of thing in terms of another, called a "conduit metaphor". A speaker can put ideas or objects into containers, and then send them along a conduit to a listener who removes the object from the container to make meaning of it. Thus, communication is something that ideas go into, and the container is separate from the ideas themselves. Lakoff and Johnson give several examples of daily metaphors in use, including "argument is war" and "time is money". Metaphors are widely used in context to describe personal meaning. The authors suggest that communication can be viewed as a machine: "Communication is not what one does with the machine, but is the machine itself." Experimental evidence shows that "priming" people with material from one area will influence how they perform tasks and interpret language in a metaphorically related area.


As a foundation of our conceptual system

Cognitive linguists emphasize that metaphors serve to facilitate the understanding of one conceptual domain—typically an abstraction such as "life", "theories" or "ideas"—through expressions that relate to another, more familiar conceptual domain—typically more concrete, such as "journey", "buildings" or "food".Zoltán Kövecses. (2002) Metaphor: a practical introduction.
Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press 200px, The Pitt Building in Cambridge, which used to be the headquarters of Cambridge University Press, and now serves as a conference centre for the Press. A university press is an academic ...

Oxford University Press
US. .
For example: we ''devour'' a book of ''raw'' facts, try to ''digest'' them, ''stew'' over them, let them ''simmer on the back-burner'', ''regurgitate'' them in discussions, and ''cook'' up explanations, hoping they do not seem ''half-baked''. Lakoff and Johnson greatly contributed to establishing the importance of conceptual metaphor as a framework for thinking in language, leading scholars to investigate the original ways in which writers used novel metaphors and question the fundamental frameworks of thinking in conceptual metaphors. From a sociological, cultural, or philosophical perspective, one asks to what extent
ideologies An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about the world is truth, true. In epistemology, philosophers use the term "belief" to refer to attitudes abo ...
maintain and impose conceptual patterns of thought by introducing, supporting, and adapting fundamental patterns of thinking metaphorically. To what extent does the ideology fashion and refashion the idea of the nation as a container with borders? How are enemies and outsiders represented? As diseases? As attackers? How are the metaphoric paths of fate, destiny, history, and progress represented? As the opening of an eternal monumental moment ( German fascism)? Or as the path to
communism Communism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the ...

communism
(in
Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries *Rossiyane (россияне), Russian language term ...
or
Czech Czech may refer to: * Anything from or related to the Czech Republic The Czech Republic (; cs, Česká republika ), also known by its short-form name, Czechia (; cz, Česko ), is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Au ...
for example)? Some cognitive scholars have attempted to take on board the idea that different languages have evolved radically different concepts and conceptual metaphors, while others hold to the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. German
philologist Philology is the study of language in oral and written historical sources; it is the intersection of textual criticism, literary criticism, history, and linguistics (with especially strong ties to etymology). Philology is more commonly defined as ...
Wilhelm von Humboldt Friedrich Wilhelm Christian Karl Ferdinand von Humboldt (, also , ; ; 22 June 1767 – 8 April 1835) was a Prussian philosopher, linguist, government functionary, diplomat, and founder of the Humboldt University of Berlin, which was named after h ...

Wilhelm von Humboldt
contributed significantly to this debate on the relationship between culture, language, and linguistic communities. Humboldt remains, however, relatively unknown in English-speaking nations. Andrew Goatly, in "Washing the Brain", takes on board the dual problem of conceptual metaphor as a framework implicit in the language as a system and the way individuals and ideologies negotiate conceptual metaphors. Neural biological research suggests some metaphors are innate, as demonstrated by reduced metaphorical understanding in psychopathy. James W. Underhill, in ''Creating Worldviews: Ideology, Metaphor & Language'' (Edinburgh UP), considers the way individual speech adopts and reinforces certain metaphoric paradigms. This involves a critique of both communist and fascist discourse. Underhill's studies are situated in Czech and German, which allows him to demonstrate the ways individuals are thinking both within and resisting the modes by which ideologies seek to appropriate key concepts such as "the people", "the state", "history", and "struggle". Though metaphors can be considered to be "in" language, Underhill's chapter on French, English and ethnolinguistics demonstrates that we cannot conceive of language or languages in anything other than metaphoric terms.


Nonlinguistic metaphors

Metaphors can map experience between two nonlinguistic realms.
Musicologist Musicology (from Greek 'μουσική' (mousikē) for 'music' and 'λογος' (logos) for 'domain of study') is the scholarly analysis and research-based study of music. Musicology departments traditionally belong to the humanities, although s ...
Leonard B. Meyer demonstrated how purely rhythmic and harmonic events can express human emotions. It is an open question whether
synesthesia Synesthesia or synaesthesia is a perceptual phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. People who report a lifelong history of such experi ...

synesthesia
experiences are a sensory version of metaphor, the "source" domain being the presented stimulus, such as a musical tone, and the target domain, being the experience in another modality, such as color. Art theorist Robert Vischer argued that when we look at a painting, we "feel ourselves into it" by imagining our body in the posture of a nonhuman or inanimate object in the painting. For example, the painting '' The Lonely Tree'' by
Caspar David Friedrich '' (1818). 94.8 × 74.8 cm, Kunsthalle Hamburg. This well-known and especially Romantic masterpiece was described by the historian John Lewis Gaddis as leaving a contradictory impression, "suggesting at once mastery over a landscape and th ...
shows a tree with contorted, barren limbs. Looking at the painting, we imagine our limbs in a similarly contorted and barren shape, evoking a feeling of strain and distress. Nonlinguistic metaphors may be the foundation of our experience of visual and musical art, as well as dance and other art forms.


In historical linguistics

In historical
onomasiologyOnomasiology (from el, ὀνομάζω ''onomāzο'' 'to name', which in turn is from ὄνομα ''onoma'' 'name') is a branch of linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspe ...
or in
historical linguistics Historical linguistics, also termed diachronic linguistics, is the scientific study of language change over time. Principal concerns of historical linguistics include: # to describe and account for observed changes in particular languages # to ...
, a metaphor is defined as a semantic change based on a similarity in form or function between the original concept and the target concept named by a word. For example, mouse: ''small, gray rodent with a long tail'' → ''small, gray computer device with a long cord''. Some recent linguistic theories view all language in essence as metaphorical.


Historical theories

Friedrich Nietzsche Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (; or ; 15 October 1844 – 25 August 1900) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philosophos, me ...

Friedrich Nietzsche
makes metaphor the conceptual center of his early theory of society in ''On Truth and Lies in the Non-Moral Sense''. Some sociologists have found his essay useful for thinking about metaphors used in society and for reflecting on their own use of metaphor. Sociologists of religion note the importance of metaphor in religious worldviews, and that it is impossible to think sociologically about religion without metaphor.


See also

*
Alliteration In literature Literature broadly is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry. In recent centuries, the definiti ...
* Camel's nose * Colemanballs *
Conceptual blendingIn Cognitive Linguistics Cognitive linguistics is an interdisciplinary branch of linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studyi ...
*
Description Description is the pattern of narrative development that aims to make vivid a place, object, character, or group. Description is one of four rhetorical modes Rhetorical modes (also known as modes of discourse) describe the variety, conventions, ...
* Experience model * Hypocatastasis *
Ideasthesia Ideasthesia (alternative spelling ideaesthesia) is a neuroscientific phenomenon in which activations of concepts (inducers) evoke perception-like sensory experiences (concurrents). The name comes from the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek inclu ...
* List of English-language metaphors *
Literal and figurative language Literal and figurative language is a distinction within some fields of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most ...
* Metaphor in philosophy *
Metonymy Metonymy () is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce a rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of pe ...
*
Misnomer A misnomer is a name that is incorrectly or unsuitably applied. Misnomers often arise because something was named long before its correct nature was known, or because an earlier form of something has been replaced by something to which the name no ...
*
Origin of language The origin of language (spoken and signed, as well as language related technological systems such as writing), its relationship with human evolution, and its consequences, have been a centuries-long subject of study for the human race. The topi ...
*
Origin of speech The origin of speech refers to the more general problem of the origin of language in the context of the physiological development of the human speech organs such as the tongue, lips and vocal organs used to produce phonological units in a ...
* Pataphor *
Personification Personification occurs when a thing or abstraction is represented as a person, in literature or art, as an anthropomorphic Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread speci ...
*
Reification (fallacy) Reification (also known as concretism, hypostatization, or the fallacy of misplaced concreteness) is a fallacy of ambiguity, when an abstraction (abstract belief or hypothetical wikt:construct, construct) is treated as if it were a concrete real ev ...
*
Sarcasm Sarcasm is the use of words usually used to either mock or annoy someone, or for humorous purposes. Sarcasm may employ ambivalence, although it is not necessarily ironic. Most noticeable in spoken word, sarcasm is mainly distinguished by the infl ...
*
Simile A simile () is a figure of speech that directly ''compares'' two things. Similes differ from other metaphors by highlighting the similarities between two things using comparison words such as "like", "as", "so", or " than", while other metaphors ...
*
Synecdoche A synecdoche ( , from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10. ...
*
Analogy Analogy (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million ...

Analogy
* ''
Tertium comparationis ''Tertium comparationis'' (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of ...
'' *
War as metaphor The use of war as metaphor is a longstanding literary and rhetorical trope. In political usage, war metaphor A metaphor is a figure of speech that, for rhetorical effect, directly refers to one thing by mentioning another. It may provide (o ...
* '' World Hypotheses''


Notes


References


Bibliography

* * Stefano Arduini (2007). (ed.) ''Metaphors'', Roma, Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura. *
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit ...

Aristotle
. ''Poetics''. Trans. I. Bywater. In ''The Complete Works of Aristotle: The Revised Oxford Translation''. (1984). 2 Vols. Ed.
Jonathan Barnes Jonathan Barnes, FBA (born 26 December 1942 in Wenlock, Shropshire) is an English scholar of Aristotelian and ancient philosophy. Education and career He was educated at the City of London School , established = , closed = , type = Pub ...
. Princeton, Princeton University Press. *
Max Black Max Black (24 February 1909 – 27 August 1988) was a British-American philosopher, who was a leading figure in analytic philosophy Analytic philosophy is a branch and tradition of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of gener ...
(1954). ''Metaphor'', Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 55, pp. 273–294. *
Max Black Max Black (24 February 1909 – 27 August 1988) was a British-American philosopher, who was a leading figure in analytic philosophy Analytic philosophy is a branch and tradition of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of gener ...
(1962). ''Models and metaphors: Studies in language and philosophy'', Ithaca:
Cornell University Press The Cornell University Press is a division of Cornell University Cornell University ( ) is a private, statutory, Ivy League and land-grant research university in Ithaca, New York. Founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson Whit ...
. *
Max Black Max Black (24 February 1909 – 27 August 1988) was a British-American philosopher, who was a leading figure in analytic philosophy Analytic philosophy is a branch and tradition of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of gener ...
(1979). ''More about Metaphor'', in A. Ortony (ed) Metaphor & Thought. * Clive Cazeaux (2007). ''Metaphor and Continental Philosophy: From
Kant Immanuel Kant (, ; ; 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philosophos, meaning 'love ...

Kant
to
Derrida Derrida is a surname shared by notable people listed below. * Bernard Derrida (born 1952), French theoretical physicist * Jacques Derrida Jacques Derrida (; ; born Jackie Élie Derrida; See also . July 15, 1930 – October 9, 2004), born in A ...
.'' New York: Routledge. * L. J. Cohen (1979). ''The Semantics of Metaphor'', in A. Ortony (ed), ''Metaphor & Thought'' * Donald Davidson. (1978). "What Metaphors Mean." Reprinted in ''Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation''. (1984), Oxford, Oxford University Press. *
Jacques Derrida Jacques Derrida (; ; born Jackie Élie Derrida; See also . July 15, 1930 – October 9, 2004), born in Algeria ) , image_map = Algeria (centered orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Algiers ...
(1982). "White Mythology: Metaphor in the Text of Philosophy." In ''Margins of Philosophy''. Trans. Alan Bass. Chicago, University of Chicago Press. * * * * Lakoff, G. & Johnson, M. ''Metaphors We Live By'' (IL: University of Chicago Press, 1980), Chapters 1–3. (pp. 3–13). * . * * * McKinnon, AM. (2012). 'Metaphors in and for the Sociology of Religion: Towards a Theory after Nietzsche'. Journal of Contemporary Religion, vol 27, no. 2, pp. 203–216

* David Punter (2007). ''Metaphor'', London, Routledge. *
Paul Ricoeur Paul may refer to: *Paul (name), a given name (includes a list of people with that name) *Paul (surname), a list of people People Christianity *Paul the Apostle (AD 5–67), also known as Saul of Tarsus or Saint Paul, early Christian missionar ...
(1975). ''The Rule of Metaphor: Multi-Disciplinary Studies in the Creation of Meaning in Language'', trans. Robert Czerny with Kathleen McLaughlin and John Costello, S. J., London: Routledge and Kegan Paul 1978. (Toronto:
University of Toronto Press The University of Toronto Press is a Canadian scholarly publisher and book distributor founded in 1901. See also * '' Dictionary of Canadian Biography'' * University of Toronto Press Publications * List of book distributors References Exter ...
1977) * I. A. Richards. (1936). ''The Philosophy of Rhetoric''. Oxford, Oxford University Press. *
John Searle John Rogers Searle (; born July 31, 1932) is an American philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philosophos, meaning 'lover of wisdom'. The ...
(1979). "Metaphor," in A. Ortony (ed.) ''Metaphor and Thought'', Cambridge University Press. * Underhill, James W., Creating Worldviews: Metaphor, Ideology & Language, Edinburgh UP, 2011. * * *


External links

*
''A short history of metaphor''



Top Ten Metaphors of 2008



Definition and Examples



List of ancient Greek words starting with ''μετα-''
on Perseus
Metaphor and Phenomenology
article in the ''
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy The ''Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy'' (''IEP'') is a scholarly online encyclopedia An online encyclopedia, also called an Internet encyclopedia, or a digital encyclopedia, is an encyclopedia An encyclopedia or encyclopaedia (Britis ...
''
Metaphors algebra
* {{Authority control Figures of speech Rhetorical techniques Tropes by type