Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Figurative Language


Part of Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics

  • Date Published: March 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107005952

£ 66.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Paperback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • This lively introduction to figurative language explains a broad range of concepts, including metaphor, metonymy, simile, and blending, and develops new tools for analyzing them. It coherently grounds the linguistic understanding of these concepts in basic cognitive mechanisms such as categorization, frames, mental spaces, and viewpoint; and it fits them into a consistent framework which is applied to cross-linguistic data and also to figurative structures in gesture and the visual arts. Comprehensive and practical, the book includes analyses of figurative uses of both word meanings and linguistic constructions. • Provides definitions of major concepts • Offers in-depth analyses of examples, exploring multiple levels of complexity • Surveys figurative structures in different discourse genres • Helps students to connect figurative usage with the conceptual underpinnings of language • Goes beyond English to explore cross-linguistic and cross-modal data

    • Focuses on the most useful topics for teaching students how figurative language structures the way we see the world
    • Complete with useful features for teaching: explanations of core concepts, in-depth analyses of examples, problems for students to work on, suggestions for further reading, and definitions of major concepts
    • Offers an in-depth analysis of the links across theoretical concepts, so students can gain an integrated view of the content and will not attempt to treat concepts as isolated entities
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'This book breaks new ground in the cognitive linguistic study of metaphor, simile and metonymy. A must read for anyone interested in figurative language, cognition and discourse.' Elena Semino, Lancaster University

    'Figurative Language is a marvelous book that will serve as both a very readable textbook for students and a source of research ideas for even expert figurative language scholars. The presentation of the complex cognitive linguistic literature on this topic is complete, well-organized, and illustrated with wonderful examples from literature, politics, science and religious discourse. I was most impressed by the way Dancygier and Sweetser blend together the diverse aspects of figuration into a more general framework that reveals deeper insights into the relations between language, thought, and culture.' Raymond W. Gibbs, Jr, University of California, Santa Cruz

    '… clearly has educational value for students, but the book's powerful explanatory framework also will be of interest to scholars in linguistics, cognition, and literature … thought provoking and insightful.' PsycCRITIQUES

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2014
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107005952
    • length: 260 pages
    • dimensions: 254 x 178 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.62kg
    • contains: 6 b/w illus. 8 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. The basics of metaphor
    3. Metaphoric structure: levels and relations
    4. Mental spaces and blending
    5. Metonymy
    6. Grammatical constructions and figurative meaning
    7. The cross-linguistic study of metaphor
    8. Figurative language in discourse
    9. Concluding remarks.

  • Authors

    Barbara Dancygier, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
    Barbara Dancygier is Professor in the Department of English at the University of British Columbia.

    Eve Sweetser, University of California, Berkeley
    Eve Sweetser is Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.