Metaphors and software-assisted cognitive stylistics

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This paper reports on an ongoing project on literary metaphor that applies analytical tools from cognitive linguistics (cl) to six English novellas and presents a case study. The project focuses on complex tropes, metaphors, coherence and cohesion in text units as well as text cues that involve the reader at a bodily level. Its hallmark is systematic and multi-level metaphor tagging and analysis with the qualitative coding software ATLAS.ti 5.2. My aim here is to raise three methodological points of increasing specificity. First, I explain the general benefits of a software-assisted qualitative analysis. Second, I present a flexible and powerful approach for metaphor coding (which is extendable to non-literary applications). Third, I illustrate the gains from applying the approach to literature at a descriptive level, then in a more integrative literary analysis, and finally with regard to a novella’s general trends in metaphor use.


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