T. (Tina) Krennmayr, dr

  • Telephone:+31 20 59 88742
  • Room nr:13a00
  • E-mail:t.krennmayr@vu.nl
  • Unit:fac. der geesteswetenschappen ( taal,lit.&comm. )
  • Position:Universitair docent

Department of Language and Communication 
Metaphor Lab   

Fax: +31-(0)20-5986500

Research interests

Metaphor and foreign language learning, (applied) cognitive linguistics, metaphor in (news) disourse, corpus linguistics

Currently teaching

  • Lexis (BA)
  • Talk, Talkers, Talking (BA)
  • Metaphor in Language (MA)
  • Introduction to Metaphor (MA)
  • Tutoraat
  • BA thesis group
  • Supervision of MA theses



In this project we identified features of metaphor that distinguish the different CEFR levels and we provide descriptors relating to metaphor use that could be incorporated into the descriptions of each level

While the word “metaphor” reminds people of literature or poetry, metaphorical language is all around us. Take newspapers:  “Wall Street has been hitting new peaks” and “prices remain high”. Prices are not physically higher and there are no mountaintops that Wall Street is literally touching. Because we understand what it means to be at a higher location, we also understand the use of “high” and “peaks” in more abstract contexts such as news articles. This sort of metaphor use is a window onto the ways we think about and understand the world, and how we represent thoughts through language.

Journalistic writing has been a welcome source of natural language data for metaphor research. However, most studies on metaphor in news have been small-scale or restricted in their focus, investigating only a small set of metaphors, or have lacked a transparent method of metaphor identification. My research presents the first investigation of metaphorically used words in newspaper articles based on a systematic and transparent method of metaphor identification that captures all metaphorical language in a corpus of newspaper articles from a subcorpus of the British National Corpus.

Using quantitative and qualitative analysis, I examine the distribution, form, function and patterns of metaphorical language in news texts compared to its use in the registers fiction, academic texts and conversation. Besides using cognitive linguistic, sociolinguistic and discourse-analytical approaches, I also do alpsycholinguistic research to investigate the influence of metaphor conventionality and metaphor signaling on people’s mental representation of texts.

In a collaborative effort, my research on metaphor in newspapers has produced a database of about 190,000 words of real language data annotated for metaphorical language use (VU Amsterdam Metaphor Corpus). I have built an online environment making the database accessible to the metaphor research community through an easy-to-use search tool (in collaboration with Onno Huber, Metaphor Lab Amster


  • Metaphor in the Business English Classroom

Click here for my project on metaphor in the English language classroom (in collaboration with Constanze Juchem-Grundmann, Universität Koblenz-Landau, Germany).



  • Krennmayr, T. (2011). Metaphor in Newspapers. Utrecht: LOT dissertation series, 276.
  • Winner of Dissertation Prize, 2011, Dr. Maria-Schaumayer Stiftung

    cover dissertation small 




  • Steen, G.J., Dorst A.G., Herrmann, J.B., Kaal, A.A., Krennmayr, T., Pasma, T. (2010). A method for linguistic metaphor identification. From MIP to MIPVU. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.


  • Littlemore, J., Krennmayr, T., Turner, S., & Turner, J. (accepted). Investigating metaphor use at different levels of second language writing. Applied Linguistics.
  • Krennmayr, T. (2012). How linguists manipulate metaphors. Metaphor and the Social World, 2(1), 113-118.
  • Steen, G. J., *Dorst, A. G., *Herrmann, J. B., *Kaal, A. A., & *Krennmayr, T. (2010). Metaphor in usage. Cognitive Linguistics, 21(4), 765-796.
  • Andrews, E., & Krennmayr, T. (2007). Cross-cultural linguistic realizations of conceptualizations of anger: Revisiting cognitive and pragmatic paradigms. Glossos, 9, 1-28.

Contributions to books

  • Juchem-Grundmann, C., & Krennmayr, T. (2010). Corpus-informed integration of metaphor in materials for the Business English classroom. In S. De Knop, T. De Rycker & F. Boers (Eds.), Fostering language teaching efficiency through cognitive linguistics (pp. 317-335). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Krennmayr, T. (2008). Using dictionaries in linguistic metaphor identification. In N. L. Johannesson & D. C. Minugh (Eds.), Selected Papers from the 2006 and 2007 Stockholm Metaphor Festivals (pp. 97-115). Stockholm: Department of English, Stockholm University.

Conference proceedings, book reviews, corpora, and research reports

  • Littlemore, J., Krennmayr, T., Turner, J., & Turner, S. (2012). Investigating figurative proficiency at different levels of second language writing. Cambridge ESOL Examinations Research Notes, 47, 14-26.
  • Krennmayr, T. (2011). Review of “Researching and applying metaphor in the real world” by Graham Low, Zazie Todd, Alice Deignan and Lynne Cameron (Eds). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2010. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 21(3), 411-416.
  • Steen, G.J., Dorst, A.G., Herrmann, J.B., Kaal, A.A., & Krennmayr, T. (2010). VU Amsterdam Metaphor Corpus.
  • Krennmayr, T. (2009). Review of “Confronting metaphor in use. An applied linguistic approach” by Mara Sophia Zanotto, Lynne Cameron and Marilda C. Cavalcanti (Eds.). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2008. Metaphor and Symbol,24(1), 60-62.
  • Juchem-Grundmann, C., & Krennmayr, T. (2008). Fighting reduced authenticity: The role of metaphor in teaching English for specific purposes. LAUD Papers.

Other activities

Conference organization:


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