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Conceptual Metaphor Theory

Conceptual metaphor theory (CMT) posits that nonliteral language is a key element in human understanding and expression. CMT’s fundamental premise is that metaphor is not an adornment or a merely entertaining device of human expression and communication but reflects how an abstract and conceptual domain (e.g., love, life, war) is cognitively structured. Conventional expressions such as time is money or life is a journey, among many others, exemplify the correspondence between a source conceptual domain (e.g., time) and a target conceptual domain (e.g., money). These mappings reflect how conceptual metaphors are deeply rooted in linguistic expressions and allow for human experience to be coherently organized. At the heart of its innovative proposal, CMT argues that this mental structuring is actively informed by human physicality, moving ...

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