The 'handles' and 'sides' of metaphor

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


This article explores from a semiotic perspective the structural features of the 'poetic logic' that lies behind metonymy and metaphor. More specifically, it treats metonymy and metaphor not as 'abnormal' uses of language but as the results of the same indexical and iconic ways of thinking that we see elsewhere in our lives. The paper also brings to bear on the topic of metaphor some important insights from the late Chinese scholar Qian Zhong-shu, whose 'two handles and several sides' theory of metaphor seems to complement contemporary Western 'metaphorology' very well.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-134
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2007


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