Review Essay: Conceptualizing Metaphors versus Embodying the Language

Research output: Contribution to journalScientific review

10 Scopus citations


The paper presents a review of Kövecses's book Metaphor in Culture: Universality and Variation (2005) advancing a more general critique to the cognitive linguistic view of metaphor. Kövecses addresses a pending problem for the cognitive linguistic approach, namely the observed variation both cross-culturally and within cultures in the use of metaphors. If, as predicted by cognitive linguistics, metaphorical expressions are bodily motivated, conceptual metaphors should be universals. Variation is also a problem for this theory. I argue that the problem reflects the incapacity of the theory to integrate bodily and social meanings. To solve this dilemma, three tenets of cognitive linguistics should be changed: the necessity to hypothesize conceptual structures between body and meaning; the framing of metaphor as a logical device rather than a psychological process; and the omission of the phenomenological experience when using metaphors. I conclude with a brief sketch of how a metaphor theory should work when changing those tenets. © 2007, Sage Publications. All rights reserved.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)474-487
Number of pages14
JournalCulture & Psychology
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes

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