EVALUATING THE “DYNAMICS” OF A METAPHOR CLUSTER THROUGH THE RELEVANT DIMENSIONS OF INDIVIDUAL METAPHORICAL EXPRESSIONS
Keywords:metaphor cluster, contextual aptness, metaphoricity, familiarity, WordSmith
The paper aims to explore the dynamics of a metaphor cluster by assessing the levels of metaphoricity, familiarity, contextual aptness, and importance for text comprehension for each of the individual metaphorical expressions from the cluster. The cluster was comprised of 3 conflict, 3 journey, and 4 containment metaphors. The research was conducted in two stages which
involved (i) a quantitative analysis of a small specialized corpus, and (ii) a questionnaire-based study in which participants rated each of the target items along the four relevant dimensions on 6-point Likert scales. Quantitative corpus analysis showed the highest frequency for journey, containment, and conflict metaphors, and this tendency was preserved in clusters. One-way repeated measures ANOVA showed significant effects for all four dimensions (p<.0005), while subsequent pairwise comparisons revealed significant differences between all items (p<.05), the only exception being ratings of contextual aptness between
journey and conflict metaphors (p=.381). A multiple linear regression model (metaphoricity, familiarity, importance for comprehension) was used to predict the variance in ratings of contextual aptness. The model was significant for all three groups of metaphors (p<.0005), accounting for 39.5% of variance in contextual aptness for conflict metaphors, 33.7% for journey etaphors, and 25% for containment metaphors. The obtained results reveal a high degree of dynamics in the analyzed cluster.
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