Reconstructing online metaphor processing and its optimal principles
Keywords:metaphor, online processing, meaning processing, discourse comprehension, reconstruction, optimal principles
Based on the review of previous research, this article, taking Conceptual Blending Theory and the Schema Theory as theoretical rationale, attempts to reconstruct the procedure of online metaphor processing in discourse comprehension and to tease out the factors influencing the metaphor processing. This is followed by the reporting of an experiment in which 36 Chinese university students participate. The results from data analysis show that this reconstruction is feasible. It is proposed that there are six optimal principles involved in online metaphor processing in discourse comprehension: the principle of economy, the principle of recursion, the principle of the target domain, the principle of the source domain, the principle of the context and the principle of the culture of the mother tongue.
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