Do people infer the entailments of conceptual metaphors during verbal metaphor understanding?
One of the central claims of conceptual metaphor theory is that metaphorical mappings from source to target domains express a rich set of correspondences or entailments. We present the results of a psychological experiment that suggests people can recognize certain metaphorical inferences about a target domain as being appropriate when they read metaphorical statements. Moreover, when people read verbal metaphors about a target domain, they see other metaphorical entailments from different conceptual metaphors as being less appropriate. These data are reasonably consistent with certain claims of conceptual metaphor theory, yet more empirical studies are needed to examine the conditions under which people actually generate entailments motivated by underlying conceptual metaphors during ordinary language use.