Metaphor in conversation
Anna Albertha Kaal !
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ISBN 978-90-8891-376-1 Copyright © 2012: Anna Kaal. All rights reserved.
Metaphor in conversation
ACADEMISCH PROEFSCHRIFT ter verkrijging van de graad Doctor aan de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, op gezag van de rector magnificus prof.dr. L.M. Bouter, in het openbaar te verdedigen ten overstaan van de promotiecommissie van de faculteit der Letteren op woensdag 29 februari 2012 om 13.45 uur in de aula van de universiteit, De Boelelaan 1105
door Anna Albertha Kaal geboren te Amsterdam
prof.dr. G.J. Steen dr. A.J. Cienki !
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'Begin at the beginning,’ the King said, very gravely, ‘and go on till you come to the end: then stop' (Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland, Chapter XII)
When I started my PhD journey in September 2005, I had no idea – NO IDEA about the exciting, frustrating, confronting and invaluable big learning experience it would entail. Beginning the beginning, with the carefree excitement at the start of a new adventure, was relatively easy. Going on and exploring metaphor-land with my fellow travellers led to fascinating, often hilarious, discussions and visits to wonderful places and inspiring people around the world. At times we had to climb hills and steep mountains (both as a team and individually), but even though I sometimes imagined what it would be like to travel by a different road, quitting was never an option. It was all the more difficult to realize the end had come and to actually stop. My computer contains so many files created over the past twelve months that were supposed to mark the finish of my thesis: from ‘the_thesis_almost_complete’, ‘the_thesis_complete’, ‘the_thesis_complete_final_ stage’, the_thesis_complete_final_stage_1’ to a new folder called ‘for real’ that contains files with similar names. Luckily, my fellow PhDs set an example last year by closing their travel books and by showing me that ‘yes, we can!’. Moreover, travelling is, of course, much less fun by yourself….. This thesis on Metaphor in Conversation was written as part of a five-year research project entitled ‘Metaphor in discourse: linguistic forms, conceptual structures and cognitive representations’ carried out at VU University Amsterdam between September 2005 and 2010 and was sponsored by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) (‘Vici’ grant 277-30-001). It would not have been written without the faith and wise council offered by friends, family members and colleagues, to whom I would like to express my sincere thanks. First of all, I am indebted to my supervisor Gerard Steen for having the guts and conviction to propose the big corpus-linguistic group project that became the ‘Metaphor in Discourse’ programme. I admire your perseverance and unstoppable energy for creating new research possibilities, even when times are less fortunate. Your passion for doing research is contagious, as is your ability to combine it with sheer fun. Thank you for introducing the idea of a PhD to me, for bringing me on board your team and for your invaluable advice during both my student and PhD career. It was completely worth it. Secondly, I cannot imagine what life as a PhD would have been like without my fellow WILDE-ladies Lettie Dorst and Tryntje Pasma. Our student days were priceless and I am forever grateful that we got to extend our VU-time together a little longer. Over the past couple of years I have learnt a lot from you
and I greatly admire the ways in which you approach your work. We are so different, but at the same time we share so many beliefs; during our chats I could put things in perspective, unbu