DOI: 10.14704/nq.2019.17.1.1919

Suppression in Metaphor Comprehension: A Perspective From Distributed Models of Conceptual Representation

Omid Khatin-Zadeh, Hassan Banaruee, Babak Yazdani-Fazlabadi


This article looks at the process of suppression in metaphor comprehension from the perspective of distributed models of conceptual representation. The aim is to present a picture of what happens during the process of suppression in metaphor comprehension. It is suggested that the process of suppression could take place differently depending on whether vehicle of metaphor is a living or nonliving thing. This difference is the result of differences between the nature of correlations among features in living and nonliving things. Then, a comparison is made between the ways that living and nonliving things function in the vehicle position of metaphors. It is proposed that the three factors of visual features, functional features, and strength of correlation among distinctive features of vehicle play a role in this regard. It is proposed that a visual-oriented mode of processing becomes dominant when a living thing is used in the vehicle position of metaphor. For those metaphors which use a nonliving thing in the vehicle position, functional features of vehicle play a key role in the understanding of metaphor. Finally, the strength of correlation among distinctive features in nonliving things is a key factor for those metaphors that use a nonliving thing in the vehicle position. In these metaphors, the set of distinctive features is the defining set of metaphorical class.


Suppression, Metaphor comprehension, Distributed models, Distinctive features

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