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Metaphor use in TED Talks: Implications for EFL

  • The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea
  • Abbr : 사회언어학
  • 2014, 22(2), pp.65-90
  • Publisher : The Sociolinguistic Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > Linguistics

Josephine Lee 1

1University of Hawaii at Manoa

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study examines the use of metaphor in TED talks with respect to its density, distribution, and functions. Adopting a cognitively-informed discourse framework of metaphor studies, the present paper quantifies and explicates the extent to which metaphors are mapped across the different disciplines of Art/Humanities, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, and Technology. Also analyzed is the distribution of metaphor across word classes as well as the discursive functions that they work to achieve. The findings indicate that TED Talks are dense with metaphoric lexical units regardless of the type of scholarly discipline. When considering the distribution across word classes, however, diverging patterns in the metaphoric use of nouns, verbs, adjectives, prepositions, and determiners create a dividing line among certain disciplines as in Humanities/Art and Technology. The functions of these metaphors are also described in terms of representational, interpersonal, and textual use. Potential implications for EFL teaching as derived from the analysis are discussed at the end.

Citation status

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