A psycholinguistics analysis of the metaphor “difficulties are weights”

Ana Cristina Pelosi Silva de Macedo


Partial findings of an on-going research concerned with obtaining a deeper understanding of the mental scenes construed for the DIFFICULTIES ARE BURDENS metaphor are presented. In order to do so, two experiments were run with forty participants, students of the University of California, at Santa Cruz, U. S. A. and Universidade Federal do Ceara, Brazil, involving a word-choice task and a description task, respectively. Both experiments were aimed at obtaining a better knowledge of people´s intuitions as regards their perceptions of weight. Analyses results suggest that, contrary to primary metaphor hypothesis, socio-cultural factors do play a role in the composition of scenes people have internalized for the metaphor´s source domain.


Primary metaphor; Domains correlation; Physical experience; Social-cultural context.

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

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