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Published on Tuesday, January 15, 2019


The Linguistics Research Center (CEL - EA 1663) will host a Conference in English on "Metaphor and Manipulation" at University Jean Moulin (Lyon 3), on Friday, May 17th 2019.



Since Metaphors We Live By by Lakoff and Johnson was published [1980], studies adopting a cognitive approach to metaphor have proliferated and it is now generally acknowledged that metaphors have a cognitive function; they not only structure our language and discourse, but also our thought system, as they allow us to conceptualize a target domain thanks to a source domain. Cognitive linguistics, however, was frequently criticized for not considering the ornamental and rhetorical functions of metaphor. Other approaches were thus developed to take these functions into account, including Critical Metaphor Theory (Charteris-Black [2004]), which largely relies on Critical Discourse Analysis. Nevertheless, Charteris-Black based his studies on large corpora of political, religious, or journalistic texts and found that metaphor, because of its cognitive and affective appeal, remained the ultimate rhetorical tool in some genres. He reckoned that lexicalized metaphors in those texts not only allow us to persuade readers or co-speakers or to convey an ideology, but also to manipulate the reader or the co-speaker by remaining unnoticed, as “the subliminal potential of metaphor is central to the performance of leadership” (Charteris Black [2005: 2]). Yet, in Conceptual Metaphor Theory, metaphor largely relies on the principle of highlighting-hiding (Kövecses [2002: 80]); in other words, using one particular source domain allows the speaker to conceptualize one target domain in a particular way, that is to say to highlight some characteristics and to hide others. Metaphor thus allows speakers to manipulate the information by presenting it in a very specific way, as changing the source domain allows the way in which the information is presented to be changed. Consequently, it seems that metaphor allows speakers to manipulate the co-speaker(s) and the reader(s) by influencing their perception of a given reality. Therefore, wouldn’t it be possible to postulate that all metaphors have both cognitive and manipulative functions? Is this last function limited to a certain type of discourse? Following Charteris-Black’s work on the persuasive function of metaphor (“Metaphor can be manipulative but is more commonly persuasive”, Charteris-Black [2005: 44]), this conference will essentially focus on the manipulative aspects of metaphor – whether or not in combination with other rhetorical strategies, linguistic or non-linguistic devices, myths, etc. Presentations should focus on contemporary English and on contemporary societal topics. A corpus study will be much appreciated; corpora may be written or oral and different genres are welcome (all kinds of discourses, journalistic texts, TV series, films, forums, etc.). Presentations may tackle the following topics (but not exclusively):

  • What are the main differences between persuasion and manipulation?
  • Does the use of metaphors necessarily entail a form of manipulation?
  • How does a metaphor become a potential manipulative device?
  • How does a given metaphor conceal a speaker’s intention and become manipulative?
  • Does the degree of lexicalization and the degree of metaphoricity of a metaphor have an impact on its persuasive force and, by extension, on its manipulative capacity and effectiveness?
  • What are the roles of intention, linguistic choice and context in manipulative discourse?
  • Are some source domains more frequent and/or more efficient in manipulating co-speakers?
  • Is positive or negative evaluation more frequent and productive in the case of manipulative metaphors?
  • Does the rhetorical function of metaphor represent a danger? If so, some affirm that metaphors should be avoided (Sontag [1979]), whereas cognitive linguists maintain that it is impossible given how pervasive and ubiquitous they are.
  • What are the links and limits between the rhetorical, the persuasive, and the manipulative functions of metaphors?
  • How are metaphors and emotions related in the context of manipulation?
  • What is the relationship between euphemistic metaphor and manipulation?
  • Are multimodal metaphors particularly efficient for manipulation? If so, in what ways?

How to submit 

Submissions should be sent to Denis Jamet (denis.jamet@univ-lyon3.fr) & Adeline Terry (adeline.terry@univ-lyon3.fr) by November 30th 2018. Evaluation committee’s decision notified to authors: January 15th 2019. An abstract of the presentation (between 250 and 300 words) will be requested before the conference is held in order to establish a detailed schedule.Submissions (in French or in English) should include a title, an abstract (500 words, references excluded), 5 key-words, as well as a brief introduction of the author. The theoretical framework, methodology and corpus should be clearly mentioned.All submissions will be anonymously peer-reviewed.Language under scrutiny: EnglishLanguage of the conference: EnglishLanguage of the publication: EnglishLength of each presentation: 30-minute talk, 15-minute discussionPublication: Presentations selected by the editorial committee after the conference may be published in ELAD-SILDA, the journal hosted by the Center for Linguistic Studies. In this case, authors will be sent guidelines indicating which typographic norms to follow.

Organizational Committee

  • Germain IVANOFF-TRINADTZATY, University of Lyon (Jean Moulin Lyon 3)
  • Denis JAMET, University of Lyon (Jean Moulin Lyon 3) & University of Arizona
  • Adeline TERRY, University of Lyon (Jean Moulin Lyon 3)

Scientific Committee 

  • Eliecer CRESPO FERNÁNDEZ (University of Castilla – La Mancha, Madrid, Spain)
  • Simon DEVYLDER (Lund University, Sweden)
  • Rémi DIGONNET (Université de Lyon, Jean Monnet – Saint-Etienne, France)
  • Denis JAMET (Université de Lyon, Jean Moulin Lyon 3, France & University of Arizona, USA)
  • Zoltán KÖVECSES (Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary)
  • Jean-Rémi LAPAIRE (Université Bordeaux Montaigne, France)
  • Catherine RESCHE (Université Paris 2 – Panthéon Assas, France)
  • Adeline TERRY (Université de Lyon, Jean Moulin Lyon 3, France)
  • Richard TRIM (Université de Toulon, France)

Keynote speakers

Prof. Jonathan Charteris-BlackUniversity of the West of England - Bristol (England)

Prof. Herbert ColstonUniversity of Alberta (Canada)

Selected Bibliography

BATKO Andrzej, 2017, The Art of Persuasion: The Language of Influence and Manipulation, independently published.

BOIX Christian, 2007, Argumentation, manipulation, persuasion, Paris : L’Harmattan.

BRANUM Jens & CHARTERIS-BLACK, 2015, “The Edward Snowden affair: A corpus study of the British press”, Discourse & Communication 9(2): 199-220.

CHARTERIS-BLACK Jonathan, 2004, Corpus Approaches to Critical Metaphor Analysis, Basingstoke & New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

CHARTERIS-BLACK Jonathan, 2005 [2011], Politicians and rhetoric: the persuasive power of metaphor, Basingstoke & New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

CHARTERIS-BLACK Jonathan, 2006, “Britain as a container: immigration metaphors in the 2005 election campaign”, Discourse & Society, Vol. 17, No. 5 (September 2006), Sage Publications, Ltd.

CHARTERIS-BLACK Jonathan, 2012, Forensic deliberations on ‘purposeful metaphor’, Metaphor and the Social World 2:1: 1-21.

CHARTERIS-BLACK Jonathan, 2014, Analysing Political Speeches: Rhetoric, Discourse and Metaphor, Basingstoke & New York: Palgrave-MacMillan.

CHARTERIS-BLACK Jonathan, 2017, Fire Metaphors: Discourses of Awe and Authority, London: Bloomsbury Publishing.

CHILTON Paul, 2004, Analysing Political Discourse. Theory and Practice, London: Routledge.

CRESPO FERNANDEZ Eliecer, 2006, “Metaphor in the euphemistic manipulation of the taboo of sex”, Babel-afial 15, 27-42.

GIBBS Raymond W., 1994 [1999], The Poetics of Mind: Figurative Thought, Language, and Understanding, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

GIBBS Raymond W. & STEEN Gerard J., 1997, Metaphor in Cognitive Linguistics, Selected Papers from the Fifth International Cognitive Linguistics Conference, Amsterdam.

GOATLY Andrew, 1997, The Language of Metaphors, London and New York, Routledge.

GOATLY Andrew, 2007, Washing the Brain. Metaphor and Hidden Ideology, Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

JAMET Denis, 2010, “Euphemisms for Death: Reinventing Reality through Words”, in SORLIN Sandrine (ed.), Inventive Linguistics, Presses Universitaires du Languedoc et de la Méditerranée, Collection “Traverses”.

KÖVECSES Zoltán, 2006, Language, Mind and Culture, Oxford University Press.KÖVECSES Zoltán, 2002, Metaphor. A Practical Introduction, Oxford – New York, Oxford University Press.

LAKOFF George & JOHNSON Mark, 1980, Metaphors We Live By, The University of Chicago Press.

LAMBELET Amélie, 2010, Discours idéologique et manipulation des représentations cognitives : Analyse pragmatique de la communication non-coopérative, Éditions Universitaires Européennes.

MIO Jeffery Scott, 1997, “Metaphor and Politics”, Metaphor and symbol 12(2), Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.: 113-133.

ORTONY Andrew, 1979, Metaphor and Thought, Cambridge University Press.

PRAGGLEJAZ GROUP, 2007, “MIP: a method for identifying metaphorically used words in discourse”, Metaphor and Symbol 22(1): 1-39.

PRELIPCEANU Cristina-Maria, 2013, “Advertising and Language Manipulation”, Diversité et identité culturelle en Europe, X (2), București: Editura Muzeul Literaturii Române: 247-254.

SAUSSURE Louis de & SCHULZ Peter (Eds.), 2005, Manipulation and Ideologies in the Twentieth Century: Discourse, language, mind, John Benjamins Publishing Company.

SEMINO Elena, 2008, Metaphor in Discourse, Cambridge University press.

SEMINO Elena et DEMJEN Zsofia (Eds.), 2017, The Routledge Handbook of Metaphor and Language, London: Routledge.

SORLIN Sandrine, 2016, Language and Manipulation in House of Cards: A Pragma-Stylistic Perspective, Palgrave MacMillan.

STEEN Gerard, 2011, “The contemporary theory of metaphor – now new and improved!”, Review of Cognitive Linguistics 9:1, John Benjamins Publishing Company: 26 64.

VAN DIJK T. A., 1998, Ideology. A multidisciplinary approach, London: SAGE. 


  • Friday, November 30, 2018


  • metaphor, manipulation, linguistics, politics, global warming, brexit


  • Denis Jamet
    courriel : lexis [at] univ-lyon3 [dot] fr

Information source

  • Denis Jamet
    courriel : lexis [at] univ-lyon3 [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Metaphor and Manipulation », Study days, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, January 15, 2019, https://doi.org/10.58079/11q0

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