This chapter addresses the traditional pragmatic view that metaphors are understood as implicit comparisons, i.e., as similes. This position, as well as the salience imbalance proposal that differentiates between literal and metaphorical similarity, are critically examined and rejected. The chapter rejects comparison theories of any kind. Instead of understanding metaphor as implicit comparisons, it is argued that metaphors are understood directly as class-inclusion assertions that create new, relevant, and useful categories. Such categories function to characterize topics that are of interest in a discourse. The concept of dual reference is introduced to account for the ability of metaphors to be paraphrased as similes (and vice-versa), and the structure of metaphorical categories is described. How people perceive metaphoricity in both nominal and verbal metaphors is discussed, as well as the determinants of metaphorical aptness.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.