Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Linguistic Theory and Typology (MALTT)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Mark Richard Lauersdorf


This corpus-based study examined English and Spanish learner language for ‘heart’ metaphors. Gutiérrez Pérez (2008) compared ‘heart’ metaphors across five languages and that study served as a reference framework for the work presented here. This work intended to find evidence of metaphor transfer and/or new metaphor learning in second language writing. Conceptual metaphors (Lakoff and Johnson, 1980) and linguistic or lexical metaphors (Falck, 2012) from both languages were considered in the analysis. This work analyzed ‘heart’ metaphors taken from two learner corpora, the Cambridge Learner Corpus and the Corpus de Aprendices de Español. Results were compared to the findings of Gutiérrez Pérez (2008) to see whether these metaphors typically occur only in English, only in Spanish, or are found in both languages. The results showed evidence of language learners using several kinds of metaphors that do not typically occur in their first language. The aim of this study was to add a new facet to this body of research by examining these phenomena in learner corpora rather than monolingual corpora. Furthermore, this study also examined both second language English and second language Spanish corpora, addressing potential bi-directionality of transfer or conversely, the use of new linguistic forms.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)