Applied Metaphor Research

How do metaphors shape how we reason about important societal issues, such as immigration, climate change, poverty and cancer? With Teenie Matlock and the Interactive Cognition Lab at the University of California, Merced Cognitive and Information Sciences Program, I am investigating these issues using corpus linguistic and computational linguistic techniques in metaphor research. See my publications page for some of the work resulting from this research.

Metaphor in Computational and Corpus Linguistics

I have contributed to the MetaNet Metaphor Repository and Identification project for many years, and have published several papers about its applications.

A press release detailing the project objectives can be found here.

The public website for this project is available here, and a public version of the MetaNet Wiki is available here.

A special issue on MetaNet is now out on the Constructions and Frames journal website, with contributions by me and my team members. This issue details the main architecture and results of the MetaNet project.


Construction Grammar and Frame Semantics

I am interested in usage-based accounts of grammar that take frame semantics as a central starting point for motivating basic patterns in grammar.

My dissertation, Metaphor in the Grammar of Argument Realization, explores the interaction between conceptual metaphor and grammar, e.g., how we get meaning out of a sentence like “He’s driving me crazy.”

My dissertation also puts forth models for how various grammatical constructions can be analyzed in ways that are compatible with computational linguistic strategies for detecting metaphoric language in texts.

Additionally, I have several papers on Construction Grammar, grammaticalization, and and the inter-dependency between grammatical constructions and conceptual frames. I am also interested in the role of context (genre, discourse) in the usage of grammatical constructions, and in semantic shift over time. My publications tab provides links to papers I have written exploring these topics.

My languages of research have been – Romance languages, especially Romanian, French, and Spanish; Japanese and English. I have also done work on Kannada (Dravidian, India), and Sereer-Saloum (Niger-Congo).