On the role of perceptual features in metaphor comprehension

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In this chapter we present three studies that were conducted to investigate therole of perceptual features in metaphor comprehension. Results suggest thatpriming verbal metaphors with explicit perceptual images facilitates comprehension.Moreover, stimulating the source concept facilitates metaphorcomprehension more effectively than stimulating the target concept. Finally,on analysing the semantic associations between the source, target, and metaphorfeatures, we found that when both the source and the target are primedwith their respective images, relatively more perceptual features of the sourceare related to the metaphor’s features; as opposed to the no-priming conditionwhen relatively more conceptual features of the source are related to the metaphor’sfeatures. Based on the results of these studies, a perception-based modelof metaphor processing is proposed.


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