This paper outlines and discusses the main findings and the main open issues related to the analysis of figurative language (in particular, metaphor and metonymy) used within the genre of advertising and social campaigns. The issues hereby addressed include: the interaction of linguistic and pictorial elements within these polisemiotic texts and their role in constructing metaphors; the problems related to theoretical models that tackle a single level of analysis, neglecting the ability of these images to evoke multiple layers of abstraction; the role played by metonymy in crossing such layers; the perceived complexity within these constructions; and finally, the identification of a specific type of metaphors, in which different senses are crossed, stimulating the viewer to construct a synesthetic metaphor. Within this complex scenario, it is hereby argued that a cross-disciplinary approach, informed by semiotic as well as by cognitive theories, is arguably more successful in explaining exhaustively the structure and functioning of metaphor in these images.


Author Biography

Marianna Bolognesi, Universita' di Bologna

marianna bolognesi • Ricercatrice postdoc presso l’Università di Oxford, si occupa principalmente di linguaggio figurato nella comunicazione visiva e verbale, per cui ha anche vinto una prestigiosa borsa Europea Marie Curie (2015-2017). Bolognesi impiega metodi quantitativi di analisi sperimentale che comprendono analisi e annotazione manuale di corpora, modeling computazionale automatizzato basato su co-occorrenze di parole in contesto, indagini comportamentali e psicolinguistiche. Coordinatrice dell’area di ricerca Metaphor e Multimodality presso il Metaphor Lab Amsterdam, e Principal Investigator presso Metaphor Geeks, Siena. Curriculum dettagliato ed aggiornato dell’autore:


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