Metaphor Festival ’18: Registration is open!

We are pleased to announce that online registation and payment for the Metaphor Festival ’18 are now open. Please visit the registration page and follow the instructions.

The deadline for registration and payment for participants whose abstract has been accepted is June 30, 2018. The deadline for registration and payment for all other participants is August 25, 2018.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Amsterdam! If there are any issues or if you have any questions, feel free to contact us!

Metaphor Festival ’18: Update

Less than 4 months to go until the Metaphor Festival 2018!

Reviews are completed and all speakers whose abstract has been accepted for a presentation at the Metaphor Festival have now received a confirmation email. We are confident that these presentations will make the 2018 Festival a great success!

We are busy working on the academic and social program, and will get back to you with more information soon. Registration will open soon as well. Check our website for updates and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for regular updates!




Deadline extended & keynotes update: Metaphor Festival 2018

The next Metaphor Festival will take place in Amsterdam from 30 August through 1 September 2018, and we have some exciting updates for you!

This year’s keynote speakers are prof. Raymond Gibbs (University of California, Santa Cruz), and prof. Margot van Mulken (Radboud University Nijmegen).

The deadline for submitting your abstracts has been extended until 1 April. The Call for Paper can be found here. Do’nt forget to submit your abstract online!

Hoe metaforen ons denken bepalen [How metaphors determine our thinking, ed.]

[Article in Dutch]

In de Correspondent verscheen onlangs een artikel over de mens als oplaadbare batterij, geschreven door Lynn Berger. Ze sprak hierover Gerard Steen.

“Opladen, bijtanken en energie opdoen, we zijn er maar druk mee. De meest surreële variant is misschien wel van Ikea, die een slapende baby toefluistert: ‘Laad, kindje, laad.’ De wetenschap leert dat zulke metaforen doorwerken in ons denken, onze beleving, en onze emoties.”

Lees hier verder.

2 PhD positions available

We currently have vacancies for two PhD positions within the Metaphor Lab Amsterdam, on the topic of contemporary political satire. These vacancies are funded through an NWO/VIDI grant awarded to Christian Burgers. The successful candidates will be based in the Department of Communication Science at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

You can find the text of the vacancies at:


Interested candidates can apply between 8 March 2018 and 30 April 2018.

First keynote at Metaphor Festival 2018: Ray Gibbs

The organizing committee of Metaphor Festival 2018 is thrilled to announce that Prof. Raymond Gibbs will be one of our two keynotes! We are excited to see what interesting discussions this may lead to… Stay tuned for the announcement of our second keynote!

Our deadline has been extended until the 1st of April, so this is your chance so submit your abstract (here) while you still can!

Metaphor, hyperbole, and irony: Uses in isolation and in combination in written discourse

Christian Burgers, Kiki Y. Renardel de Lavalette and Gerard J. Steen published their paper on ‘Metaphor, hyperbole, and irony: Uses in isolation and in combination in written discourse’ in Journal of Pragmatics. You can download the paper for free from (link valid until 13 April 2018).


While classical theories on rhetoric cluster figurative devices like metaphor, hyperbole, and irony under the encompassing category of tropes, current theories and research typically focus on one of the tropes in isolation. To determine how these different tropes are used in combinations, we conducted a large-scale corpus analysis of Dutch printed news discourse (54,851 words). For metaphor and hyperbole, we find that typical combinations are found in nouns and adjectives, showing that such combinations differ from the use of either trope in isolation. For hyperbole and irony, we find a relation between the two tropes in that ironic clauses contain more hyperbole than non-ironic clauses. In contrast, for metaphor and irony, we find no empirical evidence that the use of metaphors differs between ironic and non-ironic clauses. Analysis of clauses containing the three tropes of metaphor, hyperbole and irony shows that these may not always reflect novel and creative word use. Instead, various cases seem to contain conventional uses of metaphor and hyperbole.

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