What is it about?

This book, co-edited by Charles Forceville and Eduardo Urios-Aparisi, is the first to provide discussions of multimodal metaphors in a range of different media and genres. It builds on the idea that metaphors are first of all a feature of THINKING, not of language, by showcasing a range of papers analysing metaphors that are not, or not purely, verbal in nature. Genres addressed are advertising, political cartoons, co-speech gesturing, comics, music, logos, and winespeak.

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Why is it important?

In Metaphors We Live By (1980) Lakoff and Johnson pioneered the idea that metaphors are a pivotal instrument of cognition, but most of their followers have focused exclusively on verbal manifestations of so-called "conceptual metaphors." This volume shows how metaphors can occur in visuals and other non-verbal modes -- as well as in combinations of these modes. Thereby the volume contributes to conceptual metaphor theory as well as to visual and multimodal studies.


I have worked on visual and multimodal metaphors since the late 1980s, and provided the definition for multimodal metaphor, namely a metaphor whose two crucial components (its "target" and "source" domains) are completely or predominantly presented in DIFFERENT modes.

Dr Charles Forceville
Universiteit van Amsterdam

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This page is a summary of: Multimodal Metaphor, January 2009, De Gruyter, DOI: 10.1515/9783110215366.
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