Journal of Computer Science and Technology

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 308–319

Computational Mechanisms for Metaphor in Languages: A Survey


DOI: 10.1007/s11390-007-9038-2

Cite this article as:
Zhou, CL., Yang, Y. & Huang, XX. J Comput Sci Technol (2007) 22: 308. doi:10.1007/s11390-007-9038-2


Metaphor computation has attracted more and more attention because metaphor, to some extent, is the focus of mind and language mechanism. However, it encounters problems not only due to the rich expressive power of natural language but also due to cognitive nature of human being. Therefore machine-understanding of metaphor is now becoming a bottle-neck in natural language processing and machine translation. This paper first suggests how a metaphor is understood and then presents a survey of current computational approaches, in terms of their linguistic historical roots, underlying foundations, methods and techniques currently used, advantages, limitations, and future trends. A comparison between metaphors in English and Chinese languages is also introduced because compared with development in English language Chinese metaphor computation is just at its starting stage. So a separate summarization of current progress made in Chinese metaphor computation is presented. As a conclusion, a few suggestions are proposed for further research on metaphor computation especially on Chinese metaphor computation.


metaphor understanding natural language processing Chinese language computational model logic 

Supplementary material

11390_2007_9038_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (65 kb)
Supplementary material - Chinese Abstract (PDF 65.1 KB)

Copyright information

© Science Press, Beijing, China and Springer Science + Business Media, LLC, USA 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Artificial IntelligenceXiamen UniversityXiamenChina
  2. 2.College of Computer ScienceZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  3. 3.School of HumanityZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina

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