A HUMAN RELATIONSHIP IS A PLANT –
A CROSS-CULTURAL ANALYSIS OF THE METAPHOR IN ENGLISH AND POLISH
Polish Air Force Academy, Dęblin, Poland
The paper focuses on the conceptual structural metaphor A HUMAN RELATIONSHIP IS A PLANT. The main objective of the conducted research was to compare a selected sample of elaborations of the metaphor between the English and Polish language. Consequently, a research procedure developed by the authoress was adopted. Firstly, a set of ontological correspondences between the source domain of PLANTS and the target domain of HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS was established. Secondly, a limited list of lexemes equivalent between English and Polish was compiled and examples were found in respective language corpora. Thirdly, elaborations of the metaphor in question were formulated. They included both positive meanings such as for instance: THE INITIAL STAGE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF A RELATIONSHIP IS THE GROWTH OF A PLANT, TO MAINTAIN A RELATIONSHIP IS TO CULTIVATE A PLANT, THE OPTIMAL STAGE OF A RELATIONSHIP IS THE FLOWERING OF A PLANT and negative as follows: THE DISINTEGRATION OF A RELATIONSHIP IS THE WITHERING OF A PLANT. Finally, a comparison to point similarities and differences between the Polish and English language was performed, the initial assumption being that the experiential basis for the metaphor for speakers of both languages bears significant resemblance.
Key words: Source domain; Target domain; Mapping; Great Chain of Being; Elaboration.
Aristotle. (1984). The Poetics (I. Bywater, Trans.). New York: Modern Library. (Original work published 335 BC).
Barcelona, A. (2002). Guidelines for the application of the theories of metaphor and metonymy to textual examples. In T. Komendziński (Ed.), Metaphor. A multidisciplinary approach (pp. 143-175). Toruń: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Mikołaja Kopernika.
BYU-BNC: British National Corpus. Oxford University Press. Retrieved May 20, 2016, from http://corpus.byu.edu/bnc
Deignan, A. (2005). Metaphor and corpus linguistics (Vol.6). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
The Great Chain of Being. (1998). Encyclopaedia Britannica.com. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. Retrieved May 20, 2016, from www.britannica.com/topic/Great-Chain-of-Being
Filipczuk-Rosińska, S. (2016). The Comparison of A HUMAN BEING IS A PLANT Metaphor between the English and Polish Language. World Journal of Social Science, 3(1), 15-21. Retrieved May 20, 2016, from http://www.sciedupress.com/journal/index.php/wjss/article/view/8758
Fillmore, Ch. (1976). Frame semantics and the nature of language. Berkeley: University of California.
Hobbes, T. (1962). Leviathan. In J. Plamenatz (Ed.), Leviathan (pp. 29-30). London: Fontana Books. (Original work published 1651)
Kövecses, Z. (2000). Metaphor and emotion: language, culture, and body in human feeling. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kövecses, Z. (2002). Metaphor. A practical introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Krzeszowski, T.P. (1997). Angels and devils in hell: elements of axiology in semantics. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Energeia.
Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (1980a). Metaphors we live by. Chicago: University Press of Chicago.
Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (1980b). The Metaphorical Structure of the Human Conceptual System. Cognitive Science, 4, 195-208. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1207/s15516709cog0402_4
Lakoff, G., & Turner, M. (1989). More than cool reason: a field guide to poetic metaphor. Chicago: University Press of Chicago.
Lakoff, G. (1992). The Contemporary theory of metaphor. Retrieved May 20, 2016, from http://terpconnect.umd.edu/~israel/lakoff ConTheorMetaphor.pdf
Narodowy Korpus Języka Polskiego PWN. (2008-2012). Retrieved May 20, 2016, from nkjp.pl/poliqarp/nkjp300
Nietzsche, F. (1873). Truth and Falsity in an Ultramoral Sense. In H. Adams (Ed.), Critical theory since Plato (pp. 634-639), (A.M. Mugge, Trans.). Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers.
Ricoeur, P. (1987). The rule of metaphor (R. Czerny, Trans.). Toronto: University of Toronto Press. (Original work published 1978)
Rosch, E.H. (1977). Human Categorization. In N. Warren (Ed.), Studies in cross-cultural psychology. New York: Academic Press.
Searle, J. (1979). Expression and meaning: studies in the theory of speech acts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
How to cite this article: Filipczuk-Rosińska, S. (2017). A HUMAN RELATIONSHIP IS A PLANT – a cross-cultural analysis of the metaphor in English and Polish. Journal of Linguistic and Intercultural Education – JoLIE, 10(2), 35-46. DOI:
For details on subscription, go to: