image of Metaphor Talk

Metaphor Talk

CERES-Palais, Raum "Ruhrpott" (4.13)

Guest Lecture by Catalina Iricinschi

"Metaphor and the Human Mind: Cognitive Frameworks for Figurative Language in Religion"

Studies in linguistics and language processing have consistently approached metaphor as somewhat of an exception to the ‘mainstream’ literal language. Far from being a fringe linguistic phenomenon, metaphors are ubiquitous in all human languages. Descriptions of existing formal and functional theories of language – grammars – are used here to highlight three dimensions that are fundamental to metaphoric language: the status of semantics within the grammar, the psychological reality of the proposed grammar, and the ability of the grammar to incorporate contextual information. As context-dependent meaning mappings, metaphors may indeed lie outside the scope of certain formal grammar theories.

However, empirical evidence from cognitive psychology indicates that metaphor comprehension is not significantly different from the processing of literal expressions, with one notable exception: metaphors of religious phenomena. As research data indicate, conceptual mappings elicited by religious metaphors result in cognitively dissonant processes, most likely due to the absence of perceivable referents.

Beteiligte Personen

Foto von Maren Jordan M.A.

Maren Jordan M.A.


Universitätsstr. 90a
44789  Bochum
Büro 3.08
+49 234 32-21982
Foto von Dr. Tim Karis

Dr. Tim Karis


Universitätsstr. 90a
44789  Bochum
Büro 3.10
+49 234 32-25492