Research meeting: Rocio Cuberos Vicente

Event Date: May 1, 2018
Event Time: 9AM to 11AM

Arising metalinguistic awareness: on the specific nature of deliberate metaphors in L1 & L2 production

Intentional use of figurative language—and cross-domain mapping from target to source domain— is a communicative choice on the part of language users. Speakers-writers of a language can display metalinguistic awareness about the way language structures are used (Steen, 2015), and this is especially true in the case of metaphors. Metalinguistic awareness refers both to the possibility of using language in an abstract way (Roehr, 2008), and to the creative and unique language use (Malakoff, 1999). Hence, the use of deliberate metaphors (DMs) as figurative rhetorical devices that language users may employ with the purpose of activating metaphorical reasoning in the receivers’ minds indirectly demonstrates awareness about language. Firstly, I will present an overview of my thesis –lexical correlates of text quality in native and non-native Spanish– in order to contextualize this talk, and then we will start by discussing the relation between figurative language and metalinguistic awareness as part of later language development. Likewise, taking into account the universality and creativity of metaphor, we will explore the results of a study on the occurrence of developmental patterns in the use of deliberate metaphors by native and non-native speakers of Spanish in spoken and written narrative and expository discourse.


Malakoff, M. (1999). Translation skill and metalinguistic awareness in bilinguals.

Journal of Language Processing, 144-166.

Roehr, K. (2008). Metalinguistic knowledge and language ability in university-level L2

learners. Applied Linguistics, 29(2), 173-199.

Steen, G. (2015). Developing, testing and interpreting Deliberate Metaphor Theory.

Journal of Pragmatics, 90, 67-72.

Metaphor Lab • April 29, 2018

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