Metaphorically opposed

A conceptual metaphor theory-based approach to the classification of antonymy pairs


  • Gustav Styrbjørn Johannessen Aarhus University


Antonymy, Conceptual metaphor theory, Cognitive semantics, Theoretical linguistics


Theories of antonymy have traditionally been based on semantics, with some studies offering a cognitive approach as an alternative. However, neither approach has been able to account for the use of antonyms in discourse. This theoretical paper suggests a new cognitive approach based on the framework of cognitive metaphor theory, which could potentially account for discourse observations. The paper suggests methods to investigate the cognitive reality of this claim, and discusses its implications for human cognition.

Author Biography

Gustav Styrbjørn Johannessen, Aarhus University

Gustav Styrbjørn Johannessen er nylig bachelor og snarlig kandidatstuderende på Lingvistik. Han har erfaring med formidling af lingvistik fra bl.a. Linguistic Mythbusters og Det Rullende Universitet, og er administrator for Facebook-gruppen ‘Linguistics Book Club’. Til september vil man kunne høre ham fortælle om sproglige myter og misforståelser ved sprogfestivalen Sprogense.


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How to Cite

Johannessen, G. S. . (2021). Metaphorically opposed : A conceptual metaphor theory-based approach to the classification of antonymy pairs. Journal of Language Works - Sprogvidenskabeligt Studentertidsskrift, 6(1), 22–29. Retrieved from