Abstracts - Cognitive Explorations into Metaphor and Metonymy


University of Koblenz-Landau, digital, May 27 - 28 2021




Phenomenal metaphors:

What they are and how to identify them

Sergei Kuzeev


Phenomenal metaphors, or “phenomemes”, are metaphoric structures that figure prominently in qualitative descriptions of sensory experiences, i.e. when talking about “what things feel like” subjectively for a speaker. They are not only related to some of the pressing problems in the cognitive science (mechanisms of conscious thought, ineffability of sensory ideation, “mind-reading”, etc.), but, also, constitute a narrative dimension of their own in fictional discourses. In this presentation, I explain where the concept of phenomemes comes from and speak about the challenges of identifying them in literary texts both through corpus-based research and stylistic analysis (based on “The Handmaid’s Tale” by M. Atwood).



Examining the personification of smells in three different corpora:

A genre-specific comparison

Ádám Galac


In my PhD research, I investigate the linguistic means of conceptualizing olfactory perception in English, German, French, Spanish, and Hungarian, with the aim of exploring the cultural model(s) of smell in the corresponding cultures and in Western culture in general, and also in the hope of contributing to the understanding of human olfaction and olfactory cognition, a field that currently draws the attention of an increasing number of researchers (cf. Majid, 2020). My data sources consist of three types of corpora: the general-purpose TenTen corpus family, an own collection of perfume and wine descriptions, and a parallel translation corpus of Patrick Süskind’s olfactory novel Perfume. So far, I have primarily concentrated on the examination of figurative language with smell as the target domain, and found that besides the generic-level conceptual metaphors discussed by Kövecses (2019), there are a number of other, more specific mappings used to conceptualize olfactory experiences or qualities. In my presentation, I will focus on one of these mappings, personification, with special attention to the genre-specific differences regarding its presence, typology (cf. Dorst, 2011), and motivation.



Dorst, A. G. (2011). Personification in discourse: Linguistic forms, conceptual structures and communicative functions. Language and Literature, 20(2), 113–135.

Kövecses, Z. (2019). Perception and metaphor. The case of smell. In L. J. Speed, C. O'Meara, L. San Roque & A. Majid (Eds.), Perception Metaphors (pp. 327–346). John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Majid, A. (2020). Human olfaction at the intersection of language, culture, and biology. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 25(2), 111–123.



More than a plain colour:

Metaphors of red in Hungarian

Anna Sobczak


According to Berlin and Kay’s study on universal colour terms (1969: 35) Hungarian is a unique language since it possesses “ten basic categories exclusive of red and two basic terms for red.” The two colour terms – piros and vörös – have been occupying scholars for decades and it was only in 2014 when their status as basic colour terms was finally resolved by Benczes and Tóth-Czifra who reached the conclusion that vörös – as an older colour term that had more time to undergo lexicalisation – „is no longer a BCT [basic colour term] of Hungarian and this status has now been overtaken by piros” (Benczes and Tóth-Czifra 2019). Moreover, a number of publications pointed to differences in terms of entities and concepts that are associated with piros and vörös (see e.g. Kiss and Forbes 2001, Sobczak 2017 or questionnaire based results, or Benczes and Tóth-Czifra 2014, 2019 for corpus based findings). Importantly, the figurative senses related to the two colour terms are not the same (see Benczes and Tóth-Czifra 2014, Sobczak 2017). The present research aims at exploring concepts and metaphors related to piros and vörös. The linguistic data was collected through an online questionnaire that was filled out by a relatively diverse group of 50 native speakers of Hungarian with different age, sex, educational background, profession, and dwelling place.


Benczes, R. & Tóth-Czifra, E. (2014). The Hungarian colour terms piros and vörös. Acta Linguistica Hungarica, 61(2), 123–152.

Benczes, R. & Tóth-Czifra, E. (2019). Rethinking the category of “basic color term”: Evidence from Hungarian lexicalization patterns. In Rafaelli, I., Katunar, D. & Kerovec, B. (eds.), Lexicalization patterns in color naming. A cross-linguistic perspective (pp. 23–43). Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Kiss, G. & Forbes, I. (2001). Piros, vörös – red, rot, rouge. In T. Gecső (ed.), Kontrasztív szemantikai kutatások (pp. 190–199). Budapest: Tinta Könyvkiadó.

Sobczak, A. (2017). A piros és a vörös jelentése egy kérdőíves viszgálat fényében. In I. Koutny (ed.), A hungarológia ma: nyelvészet, kultúra és oktatás (pp. 151–159). Poznań: Wydawnictwo Rys.



Applying Cognitive Linguistics to teaching English as a Second Language

Judit Erdei


The possibilities of applying Cognitive Linguistics to pedagogical processes, more specifically to second language teaching and textbook writing are yet to be thoroughly explored. Every language is based on a different conceptualization of the world, and such differences lead to problems in Second Language Acquisition. If adopted to the methodology of second language pedagogy, Cognitive Linguistics could provide a helpful and efficient means of diagnosing such problems and elaborating new methods with which to resolve them. The current study seeks to present Hungarian learners of ESL with explanations of the English language taken from the lexical and syntactic to the cognitive level in order to promote conceptual change and thus facilitate language acquisition. Accordingly, English and corresponding Hungarian abstract expressions, such as the ones reflecting the concept of time, were analyzed and significant differences between the conceptual structures of the two languages highlighted. Although numerous similarities were discovered, the conceptualization of the two languages diverged on several occasions. A possible application of this research could be to make learners conscious of the cognitive processes underlying linguistic differences and to present abstract expressions similarly to concrete phrases, for instance by visualization. Moreover, we incite the adoption of a cognitive approach to the organization of material, for example by teaching abstract concepts after the concrete concepts they are based on.



Platonic, non-platonic and Sufi love:

Metaphors in mystic poetry

Mohammad Ali Khali


Metaphors are ubiquitous conceptual devices in everyday life. The usage of metaphors in writing, culture, arts and music comes as no surprise. To be able to express the complexity of abstract ideas and emotions in poetry, poets resort to metaphors. This study aims to explore and identify the love metaphors that can be found in Sufi (Islamic mystic) poetry. The purpose is to analyze the way love is conceptualized from a spiritual perspective in Sufi poetry and the depth of emotions conveyed taking into consideration the religious context in which it was written. The corpus consists of Ibn Al-Farid’s, Al Hallaj’s and Ibn Arabi’s poems, all of whom were Arab Sufi poets. The excerpts were analyzed systematically to obtain the source domains used to conceptualize love in these poems. The source domains of love metaphors in Sufi poetry were identified, as well as the different mappings that led to the subsequent conceptualizations. The results show that love is rather conceptualized in a deep, layered and intricate way in Sufi poetry. In conclusion, it was found that love metaphors in Sufi poetry are intertwined with religious experience when the source domains and mappings were examined.



Terms of endearment in English:

Metaphors of affection and tenderness in the

Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary Online

Julia Landmann


Love is as old as humanity itself. Therefore, it is not surprising that over the centuries, a great variety of words and expressions have been coined that are related to this subject. The Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary (henceforth referred to as the HTOED) is a rich resource for those who intend to study this field from a linguistic point of view. The present analysis sets out to examine an essential domain which is related to the field of love. It is based on a comprehensive analysis of 203 terms of endearment currently included in the HTOED. Specific importance is attached to metaphors of affection and tenderness which can be identified among the words under scrutiny.



Courage is beautiful:

Positive conceptualizations of the pandemic is war metaphor

in two television commercials

Rácz Balázs


Metaphors can appear in several modes of expression, such as image, sound and text and if these sub-modes interact, one is facing a multimodal metaphor. The commercials that are subjects of this research utilize metaphors extensively. Advertisements tend to mirror current events to reach more people and convey positive messages in hardships. The pandemic is war metaphor, which is in the focus of the present investigation, is the most commonly used metaphor in pandemic discourse (Wick and Bolognesi, 2018). The research focuses on this metaphor and aims to investigate its positive conceptualizations in television commercials. The creative use of the war metaphor is analysed with the help of Conceptual Metaphor Theory (Lakoff and Johnson, 1980) and Conceptual Integration Theory (Turner and Fauconnier, 1994). The preliminary results of the research show that commercials form and reframe concepts with the use of different sub-modes and hide certain elements of the source domain while highlighting others. In conclusion, positive conceptualizations of the pandemic is war metaphor are used to convey inspiring messages in the time of pandemic. These findings go against the idea behind the #ReframeCovid linguistic initiative that collects non-war related metaphors to encourage people in difficult times. 



Multi-modal metaphors and metonymies in creative advertisements

Tamta Tebidze


Conceptualizing advertisements is a creative process not only for the producer but also for the receiving public. This is in great deal due to their metaphorical nature. According to the cognitive linguistic view, metaphors are conceptual devices and are therefore manifested in different modalities such as visual images or language. This paper aims to identify the visual or multi-modal metaphors and metonymies in creative advertisements and to find out how these conceptual mechanisms help to convey the intended ideas. In order to have a better understanding of how the advertisements are perceived by the public, interviews were conducted, and analyzed with the help of Conceptual Metaphor Theory. According to the results, the conceptualization of the advertisements in focus is affected by the sociocultural background of the conceptualizer, including factors such as age, educational background and job experience.



How Corona changed the Linguistic Landscape

Neele-Frederike Mundt


The Corona virus has the world in its grip; the global pandemic has temporarily changed how we engage and interact with people around us. The Corona virus gave rise to a wide range of signs we may find in the Linguistic Landscape (LL): from reminders to ‘please, keep your distance’ to graffiti and stickers, stipulating a (socio)political opinion. In this respect, the LL has become the battleground for Corona-related issues, which draws on the localisation of these messages, for instance, by using the local dialect. Furthermore, elements from popular films and literature are recontextualised in a Corona-specific context to communicate opinions, comments and concerns over the societal and economic impact resulting from government restrictions. This presentation will set out to explore the field of LL studies, methodological as well as empirical implications of Linguistic Landscape Research during a time where guidelines to ‘social distance’ and ‘self-quarantine’ next to travel restrictions have been put in place. 


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