On the afternoon of June 18, 2020, Prof. Zoltán Kövecses, Emeritus Professor at Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE),gavehis fourth lecture to the teachers and students of School of Foreign Languages via the Tencent Meeting and the Skype. The fourth lectureentitledUniversality and Variation in Metaphorical Conceptualizationwas hosted by Dr. Yu Lin. Nearly200postgraduates and faculty members joined the lecture with interest and excitement.
At first,Prof. Zoltán Kövecsesbegan his lecture witha question — “To what extent and in what ways is metaphorical thought relevant to an understanding of culture and society”? Then he elaborated on this questionwithvivid examples. Next, hepresented two approaches to metaphorical thinking: cognitive science and social science. He stipulated that“cognitive linguists have overemphasized the universality of some of the metaphorical structures that they found, and they ignored the many cases of nonuniversality in metaphorical conceptualization, which poses challenges to the interpretation of metaphors”. Then, Prof. Kövecses illustrated three motivations of universality and further explained the implications of universal metaphors in different cultures with reference to two typical universal metaphors: emotion metaphor and time metaphor. Finally, from the perspective of two dimensions, namely, cross-culture and within culture, 10 aspects of metaphor involved in variation and four causes of variation were also elaborated by Prof. Kövecses.
Althoughthe lecture washeld viainternet, students’ enthusiasmto attend the lecturehas never diminished. We are deeply impressed not only by Prof. Kövecses’sacademic achievements and humorous instruction, but also by his meticulousattitude. Through this lecture, students and teachershave gained more insights onconceptualmetaphortheory.Everyone is looking forward to the next lecture.(Authors: Li Pandeng, Liu Congcong)