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The emotional and emphatic function of a metaphor (based on materials of free communication Internet forum)

Liberal Arts in Russia. 2017. Vol. 6. No. 2. Pp. 182-193.
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Anferova K.
Maxim Gorky Literature Institute
25 Tverskoy Boulevard, 123104 Moscow, Russia


In the article, the author represents a specific function of a metaphor - emphatic function that in its turn proceeds from the emotional one. The author unfolds the role, significance, and effects of emotional and emphatic functions of metaphor in the dialogues of Internet discourse. The formation of stable emotional relations (feelings) is the most important condition of human development, the main aim and the final result of his education as well as the essential factor for the formation of empathy - an important psychological reaction. The author proves that a metaphor is the means of creation and development of empathy, which is a state when a person sympathizes with another human’s feelings so much that starts identifying himself with this human for some time. Art as a whole and fiction in particular by means of a metaphor and figurativeness make for the formation of empathy. In Internet discourses the empathy expressed by the communicants in lexemes with direct meaning or by means of metaphors and phraseological units leads to creation of an open and friendly dialogue among the communicants. Thus, a metaphor thanks to its bright expressiveness either supports a positive mood in the dialogues of Internet forum or intensifies negative feelings and emotions to one another and escalates a conflict. Since a metaphor stimulates the development of empathy, the ability to produce and use metaphors and phraseological units in the speech, it can be considered as a significant factor in upbringing an accomplished personality able to understand other people’s feeling and communicate successfully with those around.


  • • rhetoric
  • • rhetoric poetics
  • • metaphor
  • • phraseology
  • • empathy
  • • Internet discourse
  • • poetry tools


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