Is Evoking Negative Meanings the Unique Feature of Adjective Metaphors? :Through the Comparison with Nominal Metaphors and Predicative Metaphors


Previous metaphor studies have paid much attention to nominal and predicative metaphors and little attention has been given to adjective metaphors. Although some studies have focused on adjective metaphors, they have only examined how the acceptability of adjective metaphors can be explained by the pairing of adjective modifier’s and head noun’s modalities and little attention has been given to meanings evoked by adjective metaphors. Sakamoto & Utsumi (2009) showed that adjective metaphors, especially those modified by color adjectives, tend to evoke negative meanings. Thus, our study examines whether evoking negative meanings is the unique feature of adjective metaphors through the comparison with nominal and predicative metaphors for the Japanese language. Our psychological experiments revealed that meanings of metaphors are basically affected by meanings of vehicles. However, when a vehicle itself has the neutral meaning, negative meanings are evoked more frequently for adjective metaphors among the other types of metaphors.

Back to Table of Contents