Interpreting Metaphors in a New Semantic Theory of Concept

  • Yi Mao
  • Beihai Zhou
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4384)


We present a formalism of metaphor that is based on a newly developed semantic interpretation of concept in the line of Montague’s type theory, and exposit the role that metaphoric expressions play in linking two concepts together. We argue that metaphors have to be understood intensionally. We show that a metaphoric expression states the inclusion relation between the intensions of two concepts in a certain context. A formal intensional semantics that defines the truth condition of metaphor is established. This semantics accounts for a number of important features of metaphors such as intensionality, nonreversibility, partial systematicity and context-sensitivity.


Truth Condition Semantic Theory Literal Meaning Inclusion Relation Polysemous Word 
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Copyright information

© Springer Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yi Mao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Beihai Zhou
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Center for Logic, Language and Cognition Peking University 
  2. 2.Gemalto Inc.U.S.A.
  3. 3.Department of Philosophy, Peking UniversityChina

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