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Cognitive approaches to metaphors of power

The Finnish Cognitive Linguistic Association (FiCLA) and the Finnish graduate school in Language Studies Langnet will organize a symposium "Cognitive approaches to metaphors of power" on 12-13 October 2006 at the University of Helsinki, Finland. The plenary speakers include

  • Zoltán Kövecses (Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest):
    Metaphor and ideology: the case of WOMEN and MEN in English slang

  • Riikka Kuusisto (University of Helsinki):
    Fairy Tales and Tragedies: Western Major Power Metaphors of War

  • Elena Semino (Lancaster University):
    Conventionality, creativity and intertextuality in political metaphors

  • Gerard Steen (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam):
    Conceptualizing cognition: W h i c h cognitive approach to metaphors of power?


The programme of the seminar is now available.

See also information on the dinner and the menu in Finnish.

Aim and themes

The aim of this symposium is to focus on a theme which despite its centrality has not yet been discussed in FiCLA symposiums, i.e. metaphor, especially with respect to political and ideological language, and to bring together both advanced and postgraduate researchers in the fields of cognitive metaphor theory and critical discourse analysis. Suggested themes for discussion include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Mind and language in the context of power: the functions of metaphor in it (semantic interaction, analogies, substituting one metaphor for another); conscious creativity in metaphor uses as against less conscious uses; source domains for political metaphors; metaphors and values (do non-metaphorical values exist?); is it possible to define a finite set of acceptable ideological metaphors? how are these metaphors (mentally) motivated and how are they understood?; emotions, paradoxes, incongruencies; semantic models and their interpretations, constructions

  • Ideology: its language and conventions, ideological representations, intentions, and metaphors; the power of ideological language (how do metaphors spread and how do they influence our lives?, how do they create identities?); the relationship of ideological metaphors to everyday metaphors and metaphors of science, their identification; beliefs, how ideological metaphors relate to the "real world", their possibly hypothetical nature, their social and psychological reception

  • Is it possible to neutrally analyze and evaluate metaphors (of power)?


The registration fee is 30 euros (15 euros for postgraduate students, free for undergratuate students and members of FiCLA). It includes participation in the symposium and all that is served during coffee breaks. Lunches and dinners are not included. A symposium dinner will be organized on Thursday 12 October.

Please send your payment to the FiCLA account before 6 October 2006.

Account number Sampo 800012-70761654
IBAN FI2380001270761654

Any further questions or enquiries concerning the symposium should be directed to Jaakko Leino (jaleino at Questions concerning the registration fee and payment should be directed to Anni Jääskeläinen (anni.m.jaaskelainen at

More information

More information can also be found on the Internet: