Infectious diseases are like sleeping monsters:


culturally adapted metaphor
corpus study
metáfora adaptada culturalmente
estudio de corpus

How to Cite

Hidalgo Downing, L., & Kraljevich Mujic, B. (2009). Infectious diseases are like sleeping monsters:: Conventional and culturally adapted new metaphors in a corpus of abstracts on immunology. Ibérica, (17), 61–82. Retrieved from


Abstract In this paper we examine the role played by metaphor in a corpus of sixty abstracts on immunology from Scientific American. We focus on the distinction between conventional metaphors and culturally adapted new metaphors and discuss the role played by metaphor choice in the communicative purposes of the abstracts and their register features. We argue that one of the main strategies used to attract the reader�s attention is the combination of highly conventionalized metaphors, which occur more frequently in the corpus, together with what we call �culturally adapted new metaphors�, which display different degrees of creativity and are less frequent in the corpus. Conventional metaphors typically reinforce the world view shared by the scientific community and introduce basic ideas on the subject of immunology. Culturally adapted new metaphors include a cline from slightly new perspectives of conventional models, to highly creative uses of metaphor. Culturally adapted new metaphors appeal primarily to a general readership and not to the scientific community, as they tap human emotions and mythic constructions. These play a crucial role in the abstracts, as they contribute to persuasive and didactic communicative functions in the text.

Copyright (c) 2009 Laura Hidalgo Downing, Blanca Kraljevich Mujic

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


Download data is not yet available.