Raymond W. Gibbs

Learn More
Glucksberg and Keysar (1990) have proposed a class-inclusion model of metaphor comprehension. This theory suggests that metaphors are not understood as implicit similes but are seen as class-inclusion statements in which the topic of a metaphor is assigned to a diagnostic, ad hoc category, whereas the metaphor's vehicle is a prototypical member of that(More)
This study investigated the role of semantic analyzability in children's understanding of idioms. Kindergartners and first, third, and fourth graders listened to idiomatic expressions either alone or at the end of short story contexts. Their task was to explain verbally the intended meanings of these phrases and then to choose their correct idiomatic(More)
This paper evaluates the psychological status of literal meaning. Mast linguistic and philosophical theories assume that sentences have well-specified literal meanings which represent the meaning of a sentence independent of context. Recent debate an this issue has centered an whether literal meaning can be equated with context-free meaning, or whether a(More)
Six experiments examined why some idioms can be syntactically changed and still retain their figurative meanings (e.g., John laid down the law can be passivized as The law was laid down by John), while other idioms cannot be syntactically altered without losing their figurative meanings (e.g., John kicked the bucket cannot be passivized into The bucket was(More)
We conducted three experiments to investigate the mental images associated with idiomatic phrases in English. Our hypothesis was that people should have strong conventional images for many idioms and that the regularity in people's knowledge of their images for idioms is due to the conceptual metaphors motivating the figurative meanings of idioms. In the(More)
A common way of referring to people is with figurative language. People can be referred to metaphorically, as in calling a terrible boxer "a creampuff," or metonymically, as in calling a naval admiral "the brass." The present studies investigated the anaphoric inferences that occur during comprehension of figurative referential descriptions. Subjects read(More)
We demonstrate in two experiments that real and imagined body movements appropriate to metaphorical phrases facilitate people's immediate comprehension of these phrases. Participants first learned to make different body movements given specific cues. In two reading time studies, people were faster to understand a metaphorical phrase, such as push the(More)