Research program 2015-2020
In our research program we investigate how metaphor works in discourse. We distinguish between five themes:
- Deliberate metaphor (theme coordinator: Gerard Steen) — when, how, and with which functions and effects is metaphor used deliberately as metaphor, drawing people’s attention to the source domain as a basis for comparison?
- Metaphor and multimodality (theme coordinator: Marianna Bolognesi) — when, how and with which functions and effects is metaphor used in other codes and modalities than language, such as gestures, visuals, sounds, and music? How does multimodal metaphor compare with verbal metaphor?
- Variation in metaphor (theme coordinator: Tina Krennmayr) — when, how and with which functions and effects does metaphor use vary between text, context and code categories of discourse?
- Figurative framing (theme coordinator: Christian Burgers) — when, how and with which functions and effects are metaphor and other figures such as irony and hyperbole used for framing particular messages from a figurative perspective?
- Metaphor and argumentation (theme coordinator: Jean Wagemans) — when, how and with which functions and effects are metaphors used to suggest patterns of reasoning and argumentation by nonliteral comparison?
In answering these questions we start out from a framework in which language use enables discourse. For language use, we examine the validity of a three-dimensional model of language use, comprising metaphor in language (or some other code), thought, and communication. For discourse, we examine the validity of a genre-driven model for people’s use of text-in-code-in-context. The way metaphor works in discourse is explained by processes of language use, of discourse, as well as their interaction.
It is our aim to produce research that contributes to the description, explanation and application of the configuration of these processes. To this end, we conduct theoretical, methodological, empirical and applied research with a wide range of disciplines, methods, and techniques.