1. Abstract Submission: 15 June 2010
2. Paper Submission: 31 August 2010
3. Peer Review: 15 October 2010
4. Re-submission: 15 December 2010
5. Publication: Beginning of 2011

Potential contributors are encouraged to contact any of the editors in advance of submission. Submitted publications should follow the style instructions for Cognitive Semiotics (

Address for electronic submissions: Editors’ addresses.


What is at stake in studying metaphors in 2010? What are the theoretical and analytical myths to still be avoided and what are the potentialities to further explore?

In 1979 Lakoff and Johnson published a book that – while relying on already existing and not fully acknowledged intellectual movements – revolutioned the field of literary, linguistic and more in general cognitive studies. According to this view (cf. in particular Lakoff and Johnson, 1980 and 1999, Gibbs (ed) 2008), metaphors have a central
role in the categorizing and structuring activities of human experience. Abstract domains of conceptualization inherit structures from more concrete ones, through the mediation of pre-linguistic structures (image-schemata): structural patterns embodied in the subjects through interaction with the environment, that while being open to reconfiguration orient future experiences.

Cognition and language are embodied and these conceptual metaphors are one of the basic mechanisms through which this happens.

In the thirty years that followed a high number of critiques and developments have happened, both in the conceptual metaphor theory and more in general in the field of cognitive linguistics and cognitive semiotics. It is thus time to bring this together, to map the paths that the concept of conceptual metaphor has followed, in order to better follow its future trajectories and open new debates building up on the old ones.

A non exhaustive list of themes for this issue would be:

CMT and its epistemological foundations: many popular simplifications of CMT seem to approach metaphors and cognition in a physicalist and strongly reductive way. Cognitive sciences – however – show an increasing interest in ecological and distributed models of cognition including contextual cues, diagrammatic manipulation, social normativity, cultural dynamics and intersubjective negotiations. Can this offer a naturalistic perspective that preserve the generality and intrinsic semiotic nature of metaphors, language and more in general cognition?
CMT and phenomenology: can a phenomenological exploration of the perceptual/figurative aspects of metaphors and of the process through which metaphors unfold enrich our existing models?
CMT and empirical researches on language: psycho- and neuro-linguistics are investigating the dynamics and the neural correlates of metaphor production and interpretation; corpus linguistics is trying to show the distribution and temporal evolution of metaphors; ethnomethodology is working on the contextual and interactional structure of language use. How do these researches feedback on CMT? How do they articulate the relation between CMT and
its most renowned alternative, Blending Theory?
CMT and alternative traditions: a few critiques have come to CMT from adiacent fields, mainly cognitive psychology and analytical philosophy. Have these critiques been persuasively countered? Which constructive possibilities do they offer CMT?


Special issue editors of Cognitive Semiotics are:

Riccardo Fusaroli is a PhD Candidate in Semiotics at the University of Bologna and a Visiting Researcher at the Center for Semiotics in Århus. His research involves the conceptual articulation and analytic application of a perspective on language as a dynamic instrument of coordination for joint and distributed action and cognition, blending embodied dimensions, external symbols and a social and intersubjective horizon.
E-mail: fusaroli(At)

Simone Morgagni is a PhD Candidate in Semiotics at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes in Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris & at the University of Bologna. His research involves the development of a dynamic contribution to iconism theories at the interface between semiotics and cognitive science especially focusing on their usage in new digital objects and user’s information systems.
E-mail: simone.morgagni(At)


The first of its kind, Cognitive Semiotics is a multidisciplinary journal devoted to high quality research, integrating methods and theories developed in the disciplines of cognitive science with methods and theories developed in semiotics and the humanities, with the ultimate aim of providing new insights into the realm of human
signification and its manifestation in cultural practices.
Accordingly, readers will have the opportunity to engage with ideas from the European and American traditions of cognitive science and semiotics, and to follow developments in the study of meaning – both in a cognitive and in a semiotic sense – as they unfold internationally. The initiative to create a transatlantically based journal comes from the Center for Cognition and Culture at the department of Cognitive Science at Case Western Reserve University
(Cleveland), and from a group of researchers, based in Aarhus and Copenhagen, trained in cognitive semiotics at the Center for Semiotics at the University of Aarhus, and in language and literature at the University of Copenhagen. By bringing together scholars from multiple disciplines, the editors hope to provide a revitalized perspective on the semiotic field.

Further details of the journal, including a free-to-download Issue 0, can be found at

Cognitive Semiotics is published internationally twice a year, in fall and in spring, by Peter Lang Publishing Group (

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