Metaphor, meaning, and interpretation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper concerns the status of metaphorical meaning (and not the mechanics of how it is determined). Contra Black and Beardsley, the propositional content of metaphorical meaning must be distinguished from its nonpropositional content. Contra Davidson, nonliteral metaphorical meaning does exist, and contra Searle, it is not equivalent to speaker meaning. Metaphorical meaning is better seen as the value of one of a variety of interpretation operators mediating between literal meaning and speaker meaning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-709
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Dec 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence


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