Relevance Theory and metaphor

Belén Soria


In this article we show the evolution of the view of metaphor in relevance theory and challenge its deflationary account of metaphor, defended from its inception, as loosening in a continuum. In current relevance theory, loose uses not only convey implicatures but also explicatures in which ad hoc concepts appear (CARSTON, 2002, 2010a; SPERBER; WILSON, 2008). These, in the case of metaphor, cause the emergent property issue which, according to them, is solved taking into account that a loose use may be included in a loose use (WILSON; CARSTON, 2008). In addition, the most creative cases have to be explained considering an interpretation route different from ad hoc concept construction (CARSTON, 2010b). These moves generate new problems and thus we argue that metaphorical interpretation can be better explained resorting to metaphorical ad hoc concepts that result from a partial mapping from one conceptual domain into another (ROMERO; SORIA, 2005).


Relevance Theory; Metaphor; Ad Hoc Concept; Metaphorical Mechanism; Analogy; Pragmatic Derivation

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Ling. disc. Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina, Santa Catarina, ISSN 1982-4017

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