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Verbo-pictorial metaphor in French advertising


In the last thirty years the development of the Cognitive Metaphor Theory (e.g. Lakoff, 1987, 2006; Lakoff and Johnson, 1999) has led to vast research into metaphor. The study of linguistic metaphor was followed by a body of work into pictorial metaphor (Forceville, 1994, 1996) and multimodal metaphor (Forceville, 2007, 2008, 2009). In the present contribution we explore the use of verbo-pictorial metaphors in advertising through a corpus of French print ads. Starting from the claim that adverts serve a persuasive purpose, it will be argued that multimodal metaphor contributes to that purpose. The paper addresses three issues: a) how multimodal metaphors are manifested in the French advertisements; b) how image and text interact in a concrete type of multimodal metaphor in French print advertisements, namely verbo-pictorial metaphor; c) how verbo-pictorial metaphor performs a pragmatic function in advertising.

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Address for correspondence: Sección departamental de Filología Inglesa I, Facultad de Económicas y Empresariales, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Campus de Somosaguas, 28223 Madrid, Spain e-mail:
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