metaphor emotion and multilingualism

“She looked at him sweetly

“She looked at him kindly

What’s the difference between these two statements? The first is based on a metaphorical expression, while the second is based on a literal one.

Research shows that when native speakers, as well as language learners, read the first sentence, they engage more emotionally than when they read the second sentence. This discovery has dramatic consequences on political speech, marketing and other types of communication aiming to persuade.

Dr Francesca Citron (psycholinguist and neuroscientist at University of Lancaster) will address these questions and provide an overview of the latest scientific discoveries in the field, using examples taken from different languages. Her talk will be followed by an opportunity for questions.

Her most recent article on The Conversation can be found here.


The event is organised and hosted by Creative Multilingualism in collaboration with TORCH. Creative Multilingualism is a research programme led by the University of Oxford and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of the Open World Research Initiative.

Participation is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided.

Please register your attendance on EventBrite.


Creative Multilingualism

Contact name: Marianna Bolognesi

Contact email:

Audience: Open to all