Volume 15, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1877-9751
  • E-ISSN: 1877-976X
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Since Aristotle, scholars have regarded similes and metaphors as equivalent figures of speech sharing very similar comprehension, interpretation and usage patterns. By analysing the use of similes in real discourse, the aim of this study is to show that these two analogical figures reflect different cognitive processes, as well as different discursive functions, using as a framework cognitive models. To this end, this work presents, first, the main differentiating features of the two figures existing in the literature. And, second, it analyses 100 natural-occurring similes in English opinion discourse (news, interviews and commentary sections) in order to explain the conceptual-semantic and formal-syntactic factors which explain why similes and metaphors are not interchangeable in the discourse type under study; that is, why metaphors can usually be transformed into similes by adding , whereas the opposite process seems to depend on specific conditions of structure, use and interpretation.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): opinion discourse; similes vs. metaphors; socio-cognitive approach
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