Gerard Steen

Gerard Steen
University of Amsterdam | UVA · Faculty of Humanities, Department of Dutch Studies

PhD

About

136
Publications
107,124
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4,514
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2015 - November 2020
University of Amsterdam
Position
  • Professor
October 2013 - December 2014
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Position
  • Professor of Language and Communication
September 2007 - September 2013
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (136)
Article
In this paper, we aim to explain how metaphors can be employed for clarificatory purposes in British parliamentary debates. These debates typically involve an exchange of arguments concerning complex issues, which more often than not may require clarification. In clarifying something complex, metaphors are often employed in which an unfamiliar and...
Chapter
This paper explores the relation between metaphor and Sensory Motor concepts in language use. Sensory Motor concepts in language use are defined as a number of semantic Velds distinguished by WMatrix, comprising Sensory lexis and Motor lexis, including words under ‘Sight’ and ‘Sound’ as well as ‘Moving, Coming, Going’ and ‘Pushing, Putting, Pulling...
Article
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The central metaphor in cognitive science is the computer metaphor of the brain. In previous work, we reconstructed the metaphor in a novel way, guided by the assumption that it functions as an explanatory hypothesis. We developed an argumentative pattern for justifying scientific explanations in which this metaphor functions as a standpoint suppor...
Article
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Expressions of resistance to violence metaphors for cancer provide important insights as to how these metaphors are perceived and which specific aspects of their use are deemed inapt or inappropriate by actual language users. The first objective of this paper is to examine different types of resistance standpoints that are expressed in critical res...
Article
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An important challenge for communication scientists is to characterize and understand hybrid genres. Satirical news is such a hybrid genre and comprises a blend of the genres of comedy, news, and political opinion. This theoretical article aims to contribute to this discussion by further specifying the concept of discursive mode. Discursive modes d...
Article
The use of violence metaphors for cancer has been widely criticised both in academic and non-academic contexts (see Harrington, 2012 ; Semino et al., 2015 ). Whereas previous research on violence metaphors for cancer has focused on the use and functions of these metaphors by and for different stakeholder groups, no studies to date have examined the...
Chapter
Taking Deliberate Metaphor Theory (Steen, 2015) as a starting point, this chapter investigates the way in which co-text influences the identification and analysis of potentially deliberate metaphor in discourse. While co-text plays a role in the identification and analysis of the linguistic and conceptual dimensions of metaphor, its role in the ide...
Article
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The computer metaphor of the brain is frequently criticized by scientists and philosophers outside the computational paradigm. Proponents of the metaphor may then seek to defend its explanatory merits, in which case the metaphor functions as a standpoint. Insofar as previous research in argumentation theory has treated metaphors either as presentat...
Article
There is renewed interest in the special role that metaphor can have in its communicative status as metaphor between language users. This paper investigates the occurrence of such deliberate metaphors in comparison with non-deliberate metaphors. To this end, a corpus of 24,762 metaphors was analysed for the presence of potentially deliberate (versu...
Chapter
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Recent studies of a behavioural kind (e.g., Glenberg and Kaschak 2002), neuroimaging kind (e.g., Kemmerer et al. 2008) and neurophysiological kind (e.g., Papeo et al. 2009) have shown that the sensorimotor system is involved in language understanding. Listening to the sentence “John grasps the glass” activates hand-related areas of the motor cortex...
Article
This paper examines how politicians employ metaphors to express starting points in British parliamentary debates. Because these metaphors are conceptual tools that may have presuppositions and entailments that are not in line with the ideas and values of all discussion parties, political opponents can resist them by advancing argumentative criticis...
Article
This paper studies metaphor use in British Public Bill Committee debates. It focuses on the way in which legislators frame their arguments in metaphorical terms under the form of figurative analogies. Because these figurative analogies can be misleading by oversimplifying the issue under discussion, resisting them by putting forward counter-argumen...
Article
This paper offers a systematic, bottom-up, investigation of the role of adjectives as metaphor signals in metaphorical domain constructions (MDCs) such as ‘budgetary anorexia’ and ‘economic crash’ within the framework of Deliberate Metaphor Theory (e.g., Steen, 2017). To this end, we analyse all MDCs in the VU Amsterdam Metaphor Corpus. Results of...
Preprint
Full-text available
There is renewed interest in the special role that metaphor can have in its communicative status as metaphor between language users. This paper investigates the occurrence of such deliberate metaphors in comparison with non-deliberate metaphors. To this end, a corpus of 24,762 metaphors was analysed for the presence of potentially deliberate (versu...
Article
Our ability to deal with abstract concepts is one of the most intriguing faculties of human cognition. Still, we know little about how such concepts are formed, processed, and represented in mind. For example, because abstract concepts do not designate referents that can be experienced through our body, the role of perceptual experiences in shaping...
Presentation
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The paper presents a study in pragmatics from the perspective of metaphor use in the field of health communication. Metaphor is dominant in dementia public discourse, and its implications are discussed especially from an ethical perspective as possibly hindering positive health behaviour (Alzheimer-Europe 2013). In a previous study, we analysed de...
Article
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This paper introduces the Deliberate Metaphor Identification Procedure (DMIP), a method for the systematic and reliable identification of potentially deliberate metaphor in language use. We take a semiotic approach to deliberate metaphor, and propose that, on a semiotic level, the distinction between potentially deliberate and non-deliberate metaph...
Article
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Research on visual metaphor has rapidly developed in the wake of verbal metaphor research, focusing on the development of taxonomies for visual metaphors and the analysis of the use of visual metaphor in specialized genres. In these studies visual metaphor identification seems to be quite straightforward. However, a reliable procedure for identifyi...
Article
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Over the past decade, scientists and journalists have prominently utilized the metaphor of a tipping point for drastic, irreversible and dangerous climate change. This paper shows how the tipping point metaphor became a multi-purpose bridge between science and the news media, describing how its meaning and use developed and diversified in interacti...
Article
While classical theories on rhetoric cluster figurative devices like metaphor, hyperbole, and irony under the encompassing category of tropes, current theories and research typically focus on one of the tropes in isolation. To determine how these different tropes are used in combinations, we conducted a large-scale corpus analysis of Dutch printed...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The discourse of dementia is heavily metaphorical, both at the level of society and of the individual, as the Alzheimer Europe’s 2013 report highlights. Moreover, as with cancer and AIDS, metaphor seems to drive the encompassing narrative of the illness, which in dementia seems polarized in two opposed variants. The “negative” narrative is based on...
Chapter
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We introduce a three-dimensional model for irony research, which is an extension of Steen’s (2008, 2011) three-dimensional model of metaphor and similarly argues that the study of irony requires three distinct dimensions: (1) language, (2) thought and (3) communication. Irony in language requires the study of irony’s linguistic structure. Irony in...
Article
Full-text available
Metaphors are often used to frame news. Different types of metaphor (conventional, novel) can affect issue viewpoint via different underlying mechanisms (cognitive and affective text perception). We conducted a single-factor (type of expression: conventional metaphor, novel metaphor, nonmetaphorical expression) between-subjects experiment with text...
Chapter
The VU Amsterdam Metaphor Corpus consists of manual annotations of metaphors in four different registers—news texts, fiction, academic texts, and conversations. The goal of building this corpus was to investigate which metaphors are used in which forms, in which discourse contexts, in which registers, and for which purposes. This chapter reports on...
Article
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Framing theory is one of the most important theories in communication. One of the key debates today is about the tendency of scholars to mostly study issue-specific frames instead of generic frames. As a new approach to this debate, we propose a recategorization of frames. Following the proposition that metaphor is an important reasoning device in...
Article
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Effects of metaphorical framing of political issues on opinion have been studied widely by two approaches: a critical-discourse approach (CDA) and a response-elicitation approach (REA). The current article reports a systematic literature review (N = 109) that examines whether these approaches report converging or diverging effects. We compared CDA...
Article
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This article considers co-creation as a new persuasive strategy in health campaigns. Co-creation enables target audience members to become active campaign producers. A recent Dutch anti-smoking campaign applied co-creation, inviting the target audience to complete the slogan “smoking is sóóó . . . ” with something outdated on social networking site...
Article
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In response to two recent publications about Deliberate Metaphor Theory (DMT) in this journal, I argue that DMT advances metaphor studies into a period with new and exciting research challenges and possibilities for application between various disciplines. I will first spell out my basic assumptions about eleven core concepts in all verbal metaphor...
Book
https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-Handbook-of-Pragmatics/Barron-Gu-Steen/p/book/9780415531412
Article
Full-text available
Framing is an important concept in communication, yet many framing studies set out to develop frames relevant to only one issue. We expand framing theory by introducing figurative framing. We posit that figurative language types like metaphor, hyperbole and irony are important in shaping public discourse, because these figures contain important lin...
Article
This article considers co-creation as a new persuasive strategy in health campaigns. Co-creation enables target audience members to become active campaign producers. A recent Dutch anti-smoking campaign applied co-creation, inviting the target audience to complete the slogan “smoking is sóóó . . . ” with something outdated on social networking site...
Article
Full-text available
This article introduces the Hyperbole Identification Procedure (HIP), a first systematic method for identifying linguistic hyperbole in discourse. We start by comparing existing definitions of linguistic hyperbole. Based on the commonalities shared by these definitions, we provide our operational definition of hyperbole as “an expression that is mo...
Chapter
This paper aims to explore the interaction between mixed metaphor and deliberateness in order to throw some new light on the nature of mixed metaphor. The basic claim is that the typical or strongest experience of mixed metaphor arises when two metaphors conflict that are both used deliberately as metaphors. It is likely that all other cases of con...
Article
Lakoff (2002 [1996], Moral politics. How liberals and conservative think. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press) presents the Theory of Moral Politics (TMR), as based in the roles of metaphor in moral thinking in American Politics. Two distinct methods of data analysis, one social-psychological and one cognitive-linguistic, have been employed to...
Article
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Based on the assumption that extended metaphor may constitute a case of deliberate metaphor and therefore has the potential to influence people’s opinions, this paper investigates whether extending a metaphorical frame in a text leads people to perceive policy measures that are in line with that frame as more effective for solving a crime problem t...
Article
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Rhetorical tropes like metaphors and irony are widely used in print advertising. Current advertising literature assumes that these different tropes (metaphor, irony) are persuasive when they are sufficiently novel and complex to increase advertising elaboration. However, we propose that, in some cases, tropes can also be persuasive when they presen...
Chapter
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The stylistic study of metaphor involves the idiosyncratic way metaphor is used in specific texts, by individual authors or, more broadly, sets of authors forming a school, generation or similar social groupings. Metaphor has been studied in individual texts such as Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, King Lear and Macbeth (D. C. Freeman 1993, 1995...
Article
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People who have suffered traumatic experiences struggle to speak out loud about those events and the resulting pain. At the same time, talking about the trauma and its consequences is a precondition for recovery. This paper adopts Conceptual Metaphor Theory (LAKOFF; JOHNSON, 1980) to investigate how and when trauma sufferers use metaphor as a helpf...
Article
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In this article, we offer a critical view of Thibodeau and Boroditsky who report an effect of metaphorical framing on readers' preference for political measures after exposure to a short text on the increase of crime in a fictitious town: when crime was metaphorically presented as a beast, readers became more enforcement-oriented than when crime wa...
Conference Paper
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Article
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Even though our language is pervaded by metaphor, we do not necessarily think metaphorically. Knowing whether people make conceptual connections between a source and a target domain, and if so under which conditions, is of theoretical as well as practical interest, for example in text design. This paper experimentally investigates under which condi...
Article
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Background The growing number of web-based psychological treatments, based on textual communication, generates a wealth of data that can contribute to knowledge of online and face-to-face treatments. We investigated whether clients׳ language use predicted treatment outcomes and adherence in Master Your Mood (MYM), an online group course for young a...
Article
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This article explores the mental operations people undertake when they encounter a visual metaphor. First, an integrated theoretical model of visual metaphor processing is proposed. The model is then empirically evaluated: in a think aloud task, six participants were presented with twelve pictures containing visual metaphor and asked to verbalize t...
Article
This paper offers an integrated typology for the classification of personifications in discourse, based on existing methods for linguistic metaphor identification such as MIP (Pragglejaz Group, 2007) and MIPVU (Steen et al., 2010). The psychological relevance of the proposed typology is explored in an empirical study that examines the recognition o...
Article
AllanKathryn, Metaphor and metonymy: A diachronic approach (Publications of the Philological Society 42). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2008. Pp. x + 255. ISBN 978-1-4051-9085-5. - Volume 15 Issue 3 - Gerard Steen
Article
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An evaluation of Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT) offered by Gibbs in this issue suggests a number of important opportunities for future research that may be based on interesting research findings produced over the past three decades in response to CMT. The present reply to Gibbs argues that the main question for discourse processing remains when m...
Article
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This paper outlines a multi-dimensional/multi-disciplinary framework for the study of metaphor. It expands on the cognitive linguistic approach to metaphor in language and thought by adding the dimension of communication, and it expands on the predominantly linguistic and psychological approaches by adding the discipline of social science. This cre...
Article
This paper discusses two problems in metaphor identification in knowledge management. It does so against the background of a sketch of the most important issues in linguistic metaphor research in relation to language, cognition and communication. This produces a background for the body of the paper, in which two issues are addressed: (1) What count...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines patterns of metaphor in usage. Four samples of text excerpts of on average 47,000 words each were taken from the British National Corpus and annotated for metaphor. The linguistic metaphor data were collected by five analysts on the basis of a highly explicit identification procedure that is a variant of the approach developed b...
Book
This book presents a complete method for the identification of metaphor in language at the level of word use. It is based on extensive methodological and empirical corpus-linguistic research in two languages, English and Dutch. The method is formulated as an explicit manual of instructions covering one chapter, the method being a development and re...
Article
This paper examines patterns of metaphor in usage. Four samples of text excerpts of on average 47,000 words each were taken from the British National Corpus and annotated for metaphor. The linguistic metaphor data were collected by five analysts on the basis of a highly explicit identification procedure that is a variant of the approach developed b...
Article
Metaphor has become an important area of investigation where fundamental and applied research on language and its use meet. This article presents metaphor as a rapidly developing area of study for applied linguists who are adding an interventionist dimension to the more fundamental research on metaphor pursued in linguistics, psycholinguistics, and...
Article
Full-text available
Contrary to what is assumed in Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT), the conceptual power of metaphor may not lie in its widespread unconscious use but in its more limited and targeted deliberate use, which may or may not give rise to conscious metaphorical cognition. Deliberate and conscious metaphorical thought is connected to the general functions o...
Chapter
The study of metaphor has been revolutionized by the Cognitive Linguistic approach advocated by Lakoff and Johnson (1980, 1999; for a good introduction, see Kövecses, 2002). They have shown how the structure of language is replete with metaphor, for instance in conventional expressions for talk about argument in terms of war (Lotte defended her the...
Article
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Current research findings on metaphor in language and thought may be interpreted as producing a paradox of metaphor; that is, most metaphor is not processed metaphorically by a cross-domain mapping involving some form of comparison. This paradox can be resolved by attending to one crucial aspect of metaphor in communication: the question whether me...
Article
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Book
Cognitive linguists have proposed that metaphor is not just a matter of language but of thought, and that metaphorical thought displays a high degree of conventionalization. In order to produce converging evidence for this theory of metaphor, a wide range of data is currently being studied with a large array of methods and techniques. Finding Metap...
Article
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This article presents an explicit method that can be reliably employed to identify metaphorically used words in discourse. Our aim is to provide metaphor scholars with a tool that may be flexibly applied to many research contexts. We present the “metaphor identification procedure” (MIP), followed by an example of how the procedure can be applied to...
Chapter
Gerard Steen is Senior Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He is associate editor of the journal Metaphor and Symbol and a member of the editorial boards of Journal of Pragmatics, Functions of Language, Annual Review of Cognitive Linguistics, and Language and Literature. He is also co-editor of the book...
Article
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This article presents some considerations into metaphor in language and thought– 'the topic and title of the first conference of its kind in Brazil'. The paper focuses on the discussions presented in the round table, which were mostly directed to the empirical research on metaphor in Applied Linguistics. This integrative and retrospective reflectio...
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To provide a context for the essays published here, this introduction to the special issue on metonymy highlights a number of aspects of the cognitive-linguistic discussion of metonymy of the past twenty-five years. It briefly sketches the development of metonymy studies in poetics, linguistics, and philosophy, emphasizing that the cognitive-lingui...
Article
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The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
Article
This paper presents an empirical study of metaphor recognition by means of an underlining task in a famous Bob Dylan song, “Hurricane”. The paper develops a three-dimensional approach to metaphor processing, in which metaphors are assumed to have linguistic, conceptual, and communicative functions for the construction of a mental representation of...
Article
A historical view of the empirical study of literature provides a platform for reflection on the past, present, and future of the enterprise. The development of the field is sketched with reference to a number of turning points in the eight conferences of the scholarly association for empirical poetics, IGEL. A shift is observed from a theory-drive...
Article
In this article I discuss the ways in which cognitive linguistics can contribute to literary study by showing how both writers and readers make use of implicit cognitive mapping strategies in creating and interpreting literary texts. My argument is based on the premise that the same cognitive processes occur to both produce and understand language....
Article
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This article aims to demonstrate the possibility of a stepwise procedure for metaphor identification. It is situated against the background of a more encompassing and complete five-step procedure for deriving conceptual metaphorical mappings from linguistic metaphors. The mainly cognitive linguistic assumptions of this overall approach are explicat...
Article
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Identifying metaphorically used words in the way we have proposed in the other articles in this special issue inevitably leads to the detection of recurring structural patterns of metaphor usage. It is the aim of the present article to explore these patterns in a systematic fashion and develop a taxomony of the propositional structure of metaphors....