Evaluating the Career of Metaphor and Categorization Models of Metaphor Processing: An Eye-Tracking Study
Campbell, Spencer J.
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The Categorization and Career of Metaphor models of metaphor processing were examined using an eye-tracking methodology. Participants read short passages that provided either a strong or weak contexts that supported the figurative meaning of familiar or unfamiliar metaphors. Results demonstrated that familiar metaphors were read faster than unfamiliar metaphors, and metaphors in strongly supportive contexts were read faster than metaphors in weak contexts. This led to familiar metaphors in strong contexts being easiest to process, familiar metaphors in weak contexts being second easiest to process, unfamiliar metaphors in strong contexts being slightly more difficulty to process, and unfamiliar metaphors in weak contexts being most difficult to process. This pattern was consistently shown in fixation durations, fixation counts, and regression patterns. Interestingly there was little evidence for an interaction between familiarity and context strength, suggesting these variables independently influence processing difficulty. Furthermore, more processing time was given to the vehicle of the metaphors than to other words. Although the results are not completely consistent with the Categorization model or the Career of Metaphor model, the results seem most consistent with the Categorization model.