LINGUIST List 26.3847

Mon Aug 31 2015

Confs: General Ling, Semantics, Socioling, Text/Corpus Ling, Translation/Italy

Editor for this issue: Erin Arnold <>

Date: 31-Aug-2015
From: Wei-lun Lu <>
Subject: Use of Parallel Texts as an Approach to Metaphor Variation across Languages and Cultures
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Use of Parallel Texts as an Approach to Metaphor Variation across Languages and Cultures

Date: 21-Jul-2016 - 22-Jul-2016
Location: Prato, Italy
Contact: Wei-lun Lu
Contact Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics; Semantics; Sociolinguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics; Translation

Meeting Description:

We propose a theme session at The First International Conference of Cultural Linguistics (21-22 July 2016, Prato, Tuscany, Italy) that addresses the usefulness of parallel texts in studying metaphor variation across languages and cultures. This session is expected to help define cultural linguistics as a multi-disciplinary field by attracting scholars in contrastive linguistics, cognitive linguistics, linguistic typology, corpus linguistics, stylistics, translation, and literary studies. In addition, by proposing the session, we hope to introduce a new but useful research methodology to cultural linguistics.

The role of cultural context has been extensively recognized in metaphor studies. Different languages and cultures provide their users with different socio-cultural environments, with which the speakers understand, conceptualize and interact with the world around them. Accordingly, the metaphor (or the source concept) that different languages and cultures may utilize in talking about the same event is bound to vary.

Past research on the variation of metaphor has been methodologically based on use of introspection, mono-lingual corpora and experimental methods. However, as language production is heavily influenced by all sorts of context, there has been no way of studying the interaction of culture and metaphor by controlling for the same linguistic, physical and social context, while keeping the language production contextualized. In view of this problem, we believe that use of parallel texts (translations) constitute an efficient methodological opportunity for studying metaphor across languages and cultures in a contextualized way— If we see the author and the translator(s) as sensible text producers, then by keeping the same most other contextual factors, including linguistic, physical, social context, production mode and genre, researchers are allowed to empirically study the role played by the cultural context in metaphor use in stretches of discourse where all text producers try to get across highly similar (if not identical) messages. However, use of parallel texts (or translation) in studying metaphor has not received much attention, with only few exceptions (Rojo and Ibarretxe-Antuñano 2013; Tabakowska 1993; Chapter 7 in Kövecses 2005).

Therefore, the theme session is proposed to systematically take advantage of the methodology in cultural linguistics, in order to test what can be done with parallel texts in metaphor studies across languages and cultures.

We invite proposals of roughly 300 words (excluding references) for theme session presentations. If interested, please send your proposal to Dr. Wei-lun Lu (weilunlu AT gmail DOT com) by 9 October. Notification of selection will be communicated by 15 October. In your submission, please kindly also provide your name and affiliation.

For more information of the main conference, visit

Organizers (in alphabetic order)
Iraide Ibarretxe-Antuñano (University of Zaragoza, Spain)
Zoltán Kövecses (Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)
Wei-lun Lu (Masaryk University, Czech Republic)

Page Updated: 31-Aug-2015