Metaphor Map of English

Anderson, W. , Hough, C. , Kay, C., Bramwell, E., Aitken, B., Hamilton, R. and Alexander, M. (2015) Metaphor Map of English. [Website]

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Abstract

The Metaphor Map of English, together with the Metaphor Map of Old English, comprises a two-part compendium of metaphorical links in language and thought throughout the history of English, the only one of the world's languages for which such a compendium is available. Together, the Metaphor Maps form the main output of a 3-year project funded by the AHRC, which used the electronic database underlying the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary in order to undertake a comprehensive investigation of metaphor in the English language for over a millennium. Both the methodology and the presentation of the research are highly innovative. The data-driven approach involved electronic analysis of the data to identify all occurrences of identical word forms in different semantic categories, followed by manual analysis of the word forms in each pair of categories (165,000 pairs in total) in order to differentiate metaphor from other linguistic phenomena such as polysemy that is not created by metaphor and homonymy. In total, over 4 million word senses and accompanying pieces of data such as usage dates were analysed manually, and in order to ensure that the research was fully rigorous, all analysis was carried out twice, from both sides of each category pair, and then further checked twice by members of the project team working independently. The presentation of the research is equally original, since the Metaphor Maps are fully interactive, allowing users to search and access the research findings in a range of different ways, as well as linking directly to the Historical Thesaurus. The significance of the output lies not only in the identification of over 14,000 metaphorical connections between semantic categories, together with tens of thousands of individual words instantiating these connections, but also in the transformation of the research field from selective and often subjective studies to a fully comprehensive and empirical approach.

Item Type:Website
Status:Published
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kay, Professor Christian and Alexander, Professor Marc and Hough, Professor Carole and Aitken, Mr Brian and Bramwell, Dr Ellen and Hamilton, Miss Rachael and Anderson, Professor Wendy
Authors: Anderson, W., Hough, C., Kay, C., Bramwell, E., Aitken, B., Hamilton, R., and Alexander, M.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
Copyright Holders:University of Glasgow
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
547001Mapping Metaphor with the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English DictionaryWendy AndersonArts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)AH/I02266X/1CRIT - ENGLISH LANGUAGE