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Emergentist Metaphorical Creativity: Towards a Model of Analysing Metaphorical Creativity in Interactive Talk

Authors: Afef Badri


Metaphorical creativity does not constitute a static property of discourse. It is an interactive dynamic process created online. There has been a lack of research concerning online produced metaphorical creativity. This paper intends to account for metaphorical creativity in online talk-in-interaction as a dynamic process that emerges as discourse unfolds. It brings together insights from the emergentist approach to the study of metaphor in verbal interactions and insights from conceptual blending approach as a model for analysing online metaphorical constructions to propose a model for studying metaphorical creativity in interactive talk. The model is based on three focal points. First, metaphorical creativity is a dynamic emergent and open-to-change process that evolves in real time as interlocutors constantly blend and re-blend previous metaphorical contributions. Second, it is not a product of isolated individual minds but a joint achievement that is co-constructed and co-elaborated by interlocutors. The third and most important point is that the emergent process of metaphorical creativity is tightly shaped by contextual variables surrounding talk-in-interaction. It is grounded in the framework of interpretation of interlocutors. It is constrained by preceding contributions in a way that creates textual cohesion of the verbal exchange and it is also a goal-oriented process predefined by the communicative intention of each participant in a way that reveals the ideological coherence/incoherence of the entire conversation.

Keywords: Communicative intention, conceptual blending, contextual variables, the emergentist approach, ideological coherence, metaphorical creativity, textual cohesion

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