Metaphor identification in a terminological dictionary


cognitive semantics
conceptual metaphor
primary metaphor
terminological dictionary
semántica cognitiva
metáfora conceptual
metáfora primaria
diccionario terminológico

How to Cite

(2009). Metaphor identification in a terminological dictionary. Ibérica, (17), 157–174. Retrieved from


Abstract This paper aims at demonstrating that metaphor is not simply a literary device, but an integral part of everyday language. The Theory of Conceptual Metaphor suggests that our conceptual system is fundamentally metaphorical. Concepts arise from our everyday interaction with the world and semantic structure reflects the conceptual structure. Metaphor, therefore, is pervasive in everyday life, not just in language but in thought and action. Based on these assumptions, we analyzed a terminological dictionary on environmental law in order to find metaphorically used lexical items. Then, for every such item we tried to determine its most literal meaning in another context. In order to do so, we applied the method for identifying metaphor developed by the Pragglejaz Group (2007). The results confirm the pervasiveness of metaphor and indicate how polysemy is motivated. Moreover, there seems to be no clear boundaries between literal and figurative language.

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