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Motion-emotion metaphors in Estonian: A cross-linguistic comparison with Finnish, English and Swedish


  • Liina Paju

Summary, in English

The present thesis investigates motion-emotion metaphors in Estonian and compares them cross-linguistically with Finnish, English and Swedish. Motion-emotion metaphors (e.g. I fell into depression) are expression types that denote affective responses, which imply conspicuous bodily changes, using motion verbs and other linguistic expressions that typically express actual motion. Metaphor has been a topic characterized by much disagreement and there are many, often conflicting, explanations to the nature of it. The thesis aims to investigate what exactly motivates metaphorical expressions with a focus on motion-emotion metaphors. The crosslinguistic comparison of the languages revealed that there was interaction of several factors that motivate such expressions. Metaphor is not a simple construction on a single level that can be based solely on bodily experience, on culture, or on language. The study showed that metaphors emerge from the contextual level and that they are motivated by universal, genealogical, cultural and areal factors on the historical level where the conventional expressions reside. The different factors form a synthesis where, according to the findings of the present study, genealogical closeness between the languages is an important factor that contributes to the presence of conventional metaphorical expressions in a given language.







Examensarbete för masterexamen (Två år)


  • Languages and Literatures


  • Conceptual metaphor
  • discourse metaphor
  • emotion
  • genealogy
  • integral linguistics
  • motion
  • non-actual motion
  • synthesis


  • Jordan Zlatev (Docent)