Published In

Metaphor and Symbol

Document Type


Publication Date



Metaphor, Relevance (Philosophy), Simulation -- Philosophy, Cognition and language, Language and logic


Recent writings have done much to develop and extend Relevance Theory as an account of metaphors and other "loose" language use. However, it is argued in this essay that Relevance Theory still leaves important gaps in its explanation and does not adequately address the "circularity" issue that has been raised. It is proposed that Perceptual Simulation Theory usefully extends Relevance Theory by providing a detailed cognitive mechanism for the "broadening" and "narrowing" specified by Relevance Theory. Extending Relevance Theory to include the cognitive mechanisms posited by Perceptual Simulation Theory also extends the reach of Relevance theory and enhances its ability to explain previously un-attended examples of metaphor, including metaphorical stories, strings of interacting metaphors, and humorous and playful distortions of metaphors.


Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Metaphor and Symbol. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Metaphor and Symbol, Vol. 24, Issue 4, 2009.



Persistent Identifier

Included in

Communication Commons