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Creating Worldviews

Metaphor, Ideology and Language

James W. Underhill

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Encouraging readers to reflect upon language and the role metaphor plays in patterning ideas and thought, this book first offers a critical introduction to metaphor theory as it has emerged over the past thirty years in the States. James W. Underhill then widens the scope of metaphor theory by investigating not only the worldview our language offers us, but also the worldviews which we adapt in our own ideological and personal interpretations of the world.

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Part I Metaphor
1 Metaphor and World-Conceiving
This Book
2 A Concern for Metaphor
3 Metaphors We Live By
4 Other Developments in Metaphor Theory
Philosophical Investigations
Linguistic Approaches
The Poetic Tradition
The Rhetorical Tradition
5 Further cognitive contributions to metaphor theory
Crtitical Discourse Analysis
Turner's Contribution
6 Diversity on the Periphery
An Early Contribution
The Website Journal,
The Slavic Contribution
Sweetser's Contribution
Reaching beyond a languageless linguistics
Part II Case Studies in Metaphor
Part II Three Case Studies
7 The Language of Czechoslovak Communist Power
Does it make any sense?
Conceptual Cluster
Historie and Doba
An ABC of Czechoslovak Communist Terminology
8 Hitlerdeutsch: Klemperer and the Language of the Third Reich
Mindset and Personal World
Seven Perversions
Conceptuel Clusters
Binary Definition
Essentialisation and Exclusion
Adoption and Inversion
Two Goebbels
9 Language in Metaphors
The French language is so beautiful, we hardly dare touch her
The Aesthetics of Order
New defences
Hagège's garden
Global English
A final Word

About the Author

James W. Underhill is a Professor at Rouen University, France. He has worked as a professional translator of both French and Czech and has published articles on poetics, metaphor and translation. He is the author of Creating Worldviews: Ideology, Metaphor and Language (Edinburgh University Press, 2011) and Ethnolinguistics and Cultural Concepts: Truth, Love, Hate and War (Cambridge University Press, 2012). The Rouen Ethnolinguistics Project (REP) was founded by James W. Underhill in the framework of the ERIAC RESEARCH GROUP at the University of Rouen, in Northern France. REP aims to further investigations into the philosophy of language and explorations of worldviews. You can find out more about the project here: Rouen Ethnolinguistics Project


Underhill follows through on what he sees as lacking in metaphor studies: he shares insights from non-English-speaking scholars, he examines individual speech, he translates from other languages, he notes the history of concepts, and he demonstrates individuals not being entirely subsumed by the discourse of a prevailing ideology. For all these characteristics, this book is an invaluable contribution to the field of metaphor studies… Besides cognitive linguists, this book will also be invaluable for critical discourse analysts wishing to incorporate the study of metaphor into their work and for ethnographers who examine the history of the community of their research, as well as for scholars of rhetoric and of worldview.

- Heather Walker Peterson, Northwestern College, St Paul, Linguist List

This book distinguishes itself from much recent work in cognitive metaphor studies in a number of important ways. It argues against the nostrum that cognition is independent of language and based on universal bodily experience. It gives new weight to the European tradition of the philosophy of language, for example Humboldt. And it investigates the historical construction of ideologies in languages other than English by its analysis of metaphors in Czech communism, German Nazism and French resistance against English. Underhill's book is simultaneously a breath of fresh air and a rich source of stimulating insights, advancing and giving emphasis to new perspectives in critical metaphor analysis.

- Professor Andrew Goatly, Lingnan University, Hong Kong