Cognitive linguistics and metaphor research: past successes, skeptical questions, future challenges

Raymond W. Gibbs Jr.


An important reason for the tremendous interest in methaphor over the past 20 years stems from cognitive linguistic research. Cognitive linguistics embrase the idea that metaphor is merely a part of language, but reflects a fundamental part of the way people think, reason, and imagine. A large number of empirical studies in cognitive linguistics have, in different ways, supported this claim. My aim this paper is to describe the empirical foundations for cognitive linguistic work on metaphor, acknowledge various skeptical reactions to this work, and respond to some of these questions/criticisms. I also outline several challenges that cognitive linguists should try to address in future work on metaphor ion language, thought, and culture.


cognitive linguistics; metaphor research; metaphor in language; metaphor in thought; metaphor in culture

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Revista Delta-Documentação e Estudos em Linguística Teórica e Aplicada ISSN 1678-460X