10. Mapping principles for conceptual metaphors
Issues surrounding novel metaphor comprehension are not well understood. In order to address this problem, this paper proposes the Conceptual Mapping Model, which puts forward the idea that examining the linguistic mappings found in a particular source-target domain pairing allows hypotheses to be formulated regarding the underlying reason for this conceptual pairing. These hypotheses are formulated as Mapping Principles and allow for predictions regarding novel metaphor usage to be made. Four experimental studies on native Mandarin Chinese speakers demonstrate that novel metaphors that follow Mapping Principles receive significantly lower acceptability and interpretability ratings than conventional metaphors, as well as longer listening times when making these judgments. In addition, novel metaphors that do not follow Mapping Principles receive significantly lower acceptability and interpretability ratings than novel metaphors that do follow Mapping Principles, as well as longer listening times. In sum, the Conceptual Mapping Model proposes that a contrastive linguistic analysis of conventional conceptual metaphors can increase our understanding as to why conceptual domains are linked, which in turn will facilitate our ability to predict and model how conceptual metaphors are processed in both conventional and novel usages.