Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik
In this talk I explore the relationship between creative metaphor, emotion and evaluation. I begin by considering what is meant by creative metaphor, and discuss why emotional experiences are likely to drive the production of creative metaphor. I then draw on findings from a number of studies that I have conducted alone and with others, which have explored the different ways in which creative metaphor, emotion and evaluation interact. More specifically, I ask: To what extent and in what ways does the need to express emotion and/or evaluation drive the production of creative metaphor? Our studies have investigated the ways in which people make use of creative metaphor when making emotionally-charged positive and negative evaluations of stressful situations, and when offering positive and negative evaluations of films. We have also explored the ways in which emotion, empathy and creativity come together in synaesthetes’ and non-synaesthetes’ evaluations sensory experiences. Through my discussion of these studies, I will explore the relationship between metaphor, creativity emotion and evaluation, and consider the respective roles played by the polarity and intensity of emotion in shaping the ways in which people make creative use of metaphor. I will also discuss the difference between ‘creative metaphor’ per se and the creative use of metaphor. I will then turn my attention to the reception of creative metaphor and present findings from a study that investigated people’s responses to different kinds of creative metaphor. I will close with a brief discussion of why these findings matter from both a theoretical and an applied perspective.
Professor Jeannette Littlemore (University of Birmingham)
Jeannette Littlemore is a Professor of Applied Linguistics in the Department of English Language and Linguistics at the University of Birmingham. Her research focuses on figurative language and explores the facilitative and debilitative role played by metaphor and metonymy in language education and in cross-linguistic communication. She is interested in the ways in which emotional experiences drive the use of creative figurative language.
Her monographs include: Unpacking Creativity: The Power of Figurative Communication in Advertising, (with Paula Pérez-Sobrino and Samantha Ford, Cambridge University Press, 2021), Metaphors in the Mind: Sources of Variation in Embodied Metaphor (Cambridge University Press, 2019), and others.
Alexander Onysko (alexander [dot] onysko [at] aau [dot] at)