The Moon in narrative, metaphor and reason: A multilinguistic perspective

This project examined how people of different languages and cultures construct and represent their emotions, and ideas about time and place using conceptual metaphors in face-to-face interactions in bilingual settings. By focusing on conceptual metaphors as part of narratives and scientific explanations in spoken discourse, a full range of contextual dimensions (cognitive, linguistic, physical, affective, cultural, social) to metaphor manifestation in discourse was  explored (Cameron 2010). Thus, this project sought to answer the following research questions: What are the functions of metaphor in multilingual spaces? What metaphors are used to express emotions, time and place in different languages (English, Polish, Arabic and Mandarin)? Do these metaphors vary and if so, how, and what are the possible motivations for this variation?

The Moon was chosen as a lens for investigating emotions and perceptions of time and place by people from different cultures and languages (English, Polish, Mandarin and Arabic) as it has been a continuous source of inspiration, as shown by the many stories, religious practices and scientific explanations produced around the world to make sense of it. Findings from this research contribute to 1. our understanding of metaphor use in multilingual settings; 2. intercultural understandings of concepts of time, place and emotion.

Cameron L. (2010) The discourse dynamics framework for metaphor. In L. Cameron and R. Maslen (eds) Metaphor Analysis: Research Practice in Applied Linguistics, Social Sciences and the Humanities. London: Equinox, 77–96.

PI and Co-Is

PI: Dr Sally Zacharias (School of Education, University of Glasgow)

Start and End Date

September 2018 - 31 December 2019

Funder and Funding Amount

Project News

Findings from the project have been shared with scholars and practitioners at the following conference:

V INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON METAPHOR AND DISCOURSE: Metaphor across cultures and social spheres, Castellon, Spain (8-9.11.18)

Conferences/ public events:

The Creative Power of Metaphor, Oxford University (29-30 March 2019)

Glasgow Science Festival 2019: Stories and Science of the Moon: a multicultural and multilinguistic perspective (15-16 June).

PALA2019 Stylistics without boarders: 10-14 July 2019 University of Liverpool, UK.