JoLIE 10:2/2017


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Sylwia Filipczuk-Rosińska

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.





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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:



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