Metaphor and talk

Cameron, Lynne (2008). Metaphor and talk. In: Gibbs, Raymond ed. The Cambridge Handbook of Metaphor and Thought. Cambridge Handbooks in Psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 197–211.



This chapter reviews features of metaphor use that have been found in a range of types of spoken discourse. The first major section focuses on the ‘shape’ of metaphor in talk: its density and distribution, form and systematicity, conventionality and signalling. The second section describes how people use metaphor in processes of human social interaction: how metaphor carries attitudes and values, how metaphor is used in the management of talk and in the negotiation of ideas and understandings. The third section considers the connection between metaphor in talk and conceptual metaphor. Methodological issues in researching metaphor in talk are discussed in each section, with some concluding thoughts on a future research agenda.

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