Metaphors: sources for intercultural misunderstanding?

Musolff, Andreas (2014) Metaphors: sources for intercultural misunderstanding? International Journal of Language and Culture, 1 (1). 42–59. ISSN 2214-3165

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)


Over the last two decades, questions of languages’ cultural specificity, diversity, and of linguistic universalism versus relativism, have increasingly been applied to the study of metaphor in analyses that take data from a wide range of languages into account. After reviewing existing research on cross-cultural metaphor variation, this paper focuses on the phenomenon of ‘false-friend metaphors,’ i.e., seemingly identical mappings which reveal hidden culture-specific differences when used in intercultural communication and in contrastive analysis. Examples of this phenomenon are drawn (1) from interpretations tasks concerning the metaphor THE STATE IS A (HUMAN) BODY, and (2) from cross-cultural research on the concept of SOCIAL FACE. In conclusion, a preliminary categorization of types of metaphor-induced intercultural misunderstanding is proposed.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: metaphor,intercultural communication,culture,false friends,miscommunication
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Language and Communication Studies
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Migration Research Network
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2014 14:42
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 09:37
DOI: 10.1075/ijolc.1.1.03mus

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item