Lidija Beko, Marija Đorđević

DOI Number
First page
Last page


This paper deals with the use of the geology-based metaphor in common and field -specific English, while including the concept of the “inverse metaphor” [1] which has proven highly important for specific vocabulary learning and initial understanding. The geology-based metaphor proves to have great potential for practical application in L2 vocabulary teaching, especially when it comes to explaining new field-specific terms. The paper is divided into several sections, the first one being a general introduction to the fields of metaphor and its relation to the language of science, as well as its usage in L2 vocabulary teaching. The second part deals with the typology of the geology-based metaphor and the specificities of the metaphor itself, whereas the third part focuses on a phenomenon noticed in our teaching practice at the Faculty of Mining and Geology which has been termed “inverse metaphor” in the study of the theory of metaphor. The last section explains our views on the importance of using the geology-based metaphor known from everyday English in the language classroom, alongside final conclusions, and remarks. This paper will hopefully provide more insight into the full capacity of the applicability of the geology-based metaphor.

[1] The phenomenon in question has been termed differently by different authors, but we have opted for the term “inverse metaphor” from the paper “On Metaphoric Inversion” (1993) by Paul D. Deane, since it best describes what we have seen in our practice.


metaphor, inverse metaphor, geology, L2 vocabulary

Full Text:



Allaby, Michael (ed.). 2008. A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Beréndi, Márta, Csábi, Szilvia, and Zoltán Kövecses. 2008. “Using conceptual metaphors and metonymies in vocabulary teaching.” In Cognitive Linguistic Approaches to Teaching Vocabulary and Phraseology, edited by Frank Boers and Seth Lindstromberg, 65-99. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Cuadrado, Georgina, and Pilar Durán. 2013. “Rocks are Human Beings: Researching the Humanizing Metaphor in Earth Science Scientific Texts.” Global Journal of Human Social Science (B), Volume XIII, Issue VII, Version I: 55-64.

Deane, Paul D. 1993. “On Metaphoric Inversion”. Metaphor and Symbolic Activity, Vol. 8, Issue 2: 111-126.

Dictionary of Geology and Mineralogy. 2003. McGraw-Hill.

Gentner, Dedre, and Brian Bowdle. 2008. “Metaphor as structure-mapping.” In The Cambridge Handbook of Metaphor and Thought, edited by Raymond W. Gibbs, Jr., 109-128. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Gibbs, Raymond W. Jr. 2008. “Metaphor and Thought: The State of the Art.” In The Cambridge Handbook of Metaphor and Thought, edited by Raymond W. Gibbs, Jr., 3-13. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kövecses, Zoltán. 2010. Metaphor: a practical introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Lakoff, George, and Mark Johnson. 1980. Metaphors We Live By. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.

Low, Graham. 2008. “Metaphor and Education.” In The Cambridge Handbook of Metaphor and Thought, edited by Raymond W. Gibbs, Jr., 212-230. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Mayer, Richard E. 1993. “The instructive metaphor: Metaphoric aids to student’s understanding of science”. In Metaphor and Thought, edited by Andrew Ortony, 561-578. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Merali, Zeeya, and Brian J. Skinner. 2009. Visualizing Earth Science. Wiley.

Moc, Jovana. 2015. “The Path for a Peaceful Resolution to this Crisis: Metaphors in the speeches of American politicians on the Ukranian crisis.” Master Thesis, unpublished. University of Belgrade.

Ortony, Andrew. 1993. “Metaphor, Language and Thought.” In Metaphor and Thought, edited by Andrew Ortony, 1-16. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Rickards, Lauren A. 2015. “Metaphor and the Anthropocene: Presenting Humans as a Geological Force.” Geographical Research (June): 1-7.

Schmitt, Norbert. 2000. Vocabulary in Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Valez, Leonardo. 2017. “Enhancing ESL Learner's Vocabulary Learning of Metaphorically-Used Words.” Journal of Language Teaching and Research, Vol. 8, No. 5 (September): 835-846.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 0354-4702 (Print)

ISSN 2406-0518 (Online)