Interpreting Metaphor


in Metaphor

Published in print January 1990 | ISBN: 9780198242468
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680472 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Library of Logic and Philosophy

Interpreting Metaphor

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This chapter explores the nature and structure of that second-order meaning which results from a particular mapping of first-order meaning and which yields metaphor. The second-order meaning of metaphor results from the double semantic content carried by metaphor. The very first step in interpreting metaphor requires recognition that the background assumptions presumed by the context of an utterance are in conflict with such a first-order interpretation. The next step basically involves the context that frames the vehicle term. Metaphorical interpretation then is conceived as a particular function of the literal and conventional interpretation. Thus, metaphorical use of language is often more valued than literal use as it is considered to be an upgraded version that makes language more interesting.

Keywords: second-order meaning; first-order meaning; metaphor; semantic content; assumptions; interpretation; metaphorical operator; context

Chapter.  15644 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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