Metaphor Processing
(2,694 words)

1. Overview

Conceptual metaphors establish a relationship between two concepts, X and Y, which activates a figurative meaning of Y that is different from its literal meaning. For example, in (1) below, although the word gēnjī 根基 literally means ‘base/foundation’, here it refers metaphorically to ‘basis’. Thus, the metaphor has created a relationship between the concepts of IDEAS and BUILDINGS, in that an idea may (or may not) have a valid basis, just as a building may or may not have a strong foundation.




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Cite this page
Kathleen AHRENS, “Metaphor Processing”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 17 March 2018 <>
First published online: 2015

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