Watch Gerard Steen’s keynote speech at the International Conference on Metaphor and Discourse online

You can now watch Gerard Steen’s keynote speech at the International Conference on Metaphor and Discourse (3 – 4 December 2015, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón de la Plana, Spain) online here!

Britta Brugman wins Wilhelmina Drucker Student Talent Award

Britta Brugman has won the Wilhelmina Drucker Student Talent Award! The Wilhelmina Drucker Award is a new initiative to promote female talent within the Faculty of Social Sciences of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

The Wilhelmina Drucker Student Talent Award is the award for talented female master students. Other awards were the Wilhelmina Drucker PhD-Talent Award and the Wilhelmina Drucker Early Career Award.

Britta Brugman nominated for VU University master thesis prize

Britta Brugman is nominated for the VU University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Johannes van der Zouwen master thesis prize, with her thesis.

Frames form an important part of every public debate. Therefore, framing is one of the most important theories within communication sciences. However, communication scientists frequently disagree about how to study frames. They focus on both generic and unique frames. Britta connects these studies by coming up with a completely new solution: clustering unique and generic frames under a different variable. She based her study on the Theory of Moral Reasoning of cognitive linguist George Lakoff, who argues that framing in political communication is based on metaphorical thinking.

The 15th of January 2016, 15.00-17.00, one of the nominees will be awarded the thesis prize in the Agora room in the main building of VU University.

Have a look at the VU website for more information about the other nominees.

Gudrun Reijnierse wins prize for best presentation at NAP symposium

20 November 2015, Gudrun Reijnierse has won the prize for best presentation at ACLC’s NAP symposium.

The NAP-dag is a day on which junior researchers predominately from the Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC) present their work.

She presented “How viruses and beasts affect our opinions (or not): The role of extendedness in metaphorical framing”.

Metaphor Workshop Review Belgrade


Written by Goran Petrović, PhD candidate

Perhaps the best way to begin with this review would be to state that Professor Steen’s metaphor workshop was both friendly and professional, to the delight of everyone who had the opportunity to attend it. I am very pleased to have been part of it, for, as I will shortly explain, the workshop did open new perspectives on what it means to be a metaphor scholar.

Before I commence describing how I experienced the above-said event, I believe I ought to mention that I was one of the youngest participants and therefore probably one of the least proficient metaphor scholars in the group. So, in order to avoid making any blunders, I chose to be a passive listener at an early stage of the workshop. As the workshop unfolded, I was gradually becoming “bolder” and more willing to engage in the already well-developed interaction between Professor Steen and all attendees.

As for the obtained benefits from the five sessions of this three-day workshop, I am glad to say that they were multiple. These include as follows: a) a clear insight into the three-dimensional model for metaphor (metaphor in thought, metaphor in language, and metaphor in communication), b) the best description of the MIP that I had encountered up to that point, c) a good distinction between the MIP and the more comprehensive MIPVU (the latter being completely novel for me), d) a detailed analysis of the Tipping Point Metaphor, e) an elaboration on the distinction among direct, indirect and implicit metaphors, f) marvellous explanations on how deliberate metaphors are distinguished from non-deliberate ones, g) an overview of the theory-constitutive vs. exegetical nature of novel, deliberate metaphors.

From the point of view of acquired competences, I think I will remember this workshop for the following four things I have learnt: 1) When it comes to metaphor identification, the best thing one can do is consult an authoritative dictionary. Too much reliance on your own intuition, the intuition of native speakers, or the history of English words may easily turn out to be misleading. By the way, placing all your trust in the dictionary figures as a sort of shortcut for determining the metaphorical (or non-metaphorical) nature of a linguistic expression because it effectively saves us from the vanity of being too self-confident about our scholarly aptitude. 2) Whenever you are in doubt whether a linguistic item is metaphorical or not, you should feel free to resort to the five-step metaphor identification method, which, being as mathematically logical as it is, assumes the role of counterbalancing our insufficiently refined intuitions. 3) Unlike non-deliberate metaphors, deliberate metaphors are used as perspective changers, meaning that the latter are usually employed with a clearly perceivable intention to make the language recipient view the notions manifested by means of such metaphors in ways previously unknown. 4) Deliberate metaphors seem to be endowed with a life-cycle, from being novel, to becoming commonly used, to eventually losing all their vitality.

A 3D Model for Metaphor in Discourse by Professor Gerard Steen

This is a translation of a Chinese article on a lecture by Gerard Steen

Source: The School of Foreign Languages at South China University of Technology
Date: March the 23rd, 2015

On the afternoon of March the 19th, Professor Gerard Steen, the internationally renowned expert in stylistics from the University of Amsterdam, gave a wonderful lecture on A 3D Model for Metaphor in Discourse in the School of Foreign Languages at South China University of Technology. The staff, including Prof. Wu Jianguo, Prof. Li Yingyuan, Associate Prof. Deng Renhua, and all the postgraduates took part in the lecture. It was chaired by Prof. Qian Shuneng, the vice president of The Translators Association of Guangdong Province, and Dean of the School of Foreign Languages.

Professor Gerard Steen first introduced the concept of metaphor and the Metaphor Corpus founded by his team in the past ten years. His detailed and comprehensive illustration helped all the audience familiar with the history of metaphor studies, that is, the 3D Model for Metaphor.

Then, Professor Gerard Steen explained to the audience the differences of the metaphors between the Chinese and English versions of the sunset by Zheng Xiaoqiong (a famous poet, born in Sichuan, China, in 1980), for their deeper understanding of metaphors. His humor and ingenuity for cultural integration attracted all the teachers and students into the world of metaphors. Meanwhile, Professor Gerard Steen presented the different functions of the texts with and without metaphors and pointed out the prospects of the research. Finally, Professor Gerard Steen claimed that he was open for discussion on any issue and he wanted to share ideas with others.

Gerard Steen, Professor of Speech Communication, Argumentation and Rhetoric at the Department of Dutch at the University of Amsterdam, the founding director of the Metaphor Lab Amsterdam, an expertise centre for interdisciplinary metaphor studies across the humanities and the cognitive and social sciences. His main research interest is metaphor in discourse.

Written by Gao Yu and Li Yudan

Picture 1: Qian Shuneng, Dean of the School of Foreign Languages
Picture 2: Professor Gerard Steen
Picture 3: Xu Ying, one member of the staff
Picture 4: the audience

Zhen Pan visiting scholar at the Metaphor Lab Amsterdam

Next week, Zhen Pan will arrive in Amsterdam to visit the Metaphor Lab for a couple of months as a visiting scholar.

Zhen Pan, is an English associate professor in School of Foreign Studies, Jiangsu Normal University, China. He has graduated from East China Normal University (ECNU, in Shanghai) with a Ph. D. degree with a dissertation concerning the transmission of traditional Chinese emotions in 2011. He is also a director of Jiangsu Academic Society of Translators and Interpreters, China Cognitive Linguistics Association and China Association for Comparative Studies of English and Chinese.

His academic interest is cognitive linguistics. And  his research now focuses on emotional constructions and their cognitive mechanism like metaphotonymy. It is a fact that different emotional constructions, with the connotation of profound emotional culture, can be used to express definite human emotions. Therefore, his research begins with the analysis of the language of natural emotions (like happiness, anger, sadness and so on) both in Chinese and English, carries out the comprehensive and in-depth study on the various emotional constructions together with their traditional cultures, and compares and contrasts the Chinese and western transmissions of emotions together with their cognitive and national cultural motives. His research aims at the deeper understanding of the cognitive mechanism in emotional languages and the comprehensive construction of emotional culture systems.

On Tuesday 17 November, he will present his work during a research meeting.

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