Call for papers

The 5th International Conference on Figurative Thought and Language (FTL5) will take place at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridsky”. It continues the tradition of regular forums for the discussion of links between figurative thought and language started at previous events in Thessaloniki-Greece (2014), Pavia-Italy (2015), Osijek-Croatia (2017) and Braga-Portugal (2018).

Cognitive linguistics has had from its very inception as its buzzwords conceptual metaphors and metonymies, image schemas and blending. These signposts gave rise to new topics and methodologies which are gradually pushing conceptual metaphors and metonymies out of the limelight opening the stage for vigorous research into how conceptual metaphors and metonymies interact and motivate grammatical structures, discourse types, communication processes, and overall structuring of human knowledge and behaviour.

FTL5 invites contributions from various theoretical and applied perspectives (e.g. cognitive linguistics, cognitive science, neuroscience, psychology, cognitive semiotics, cognitive poetics, cognitive anthropology and philosophy of mind), and methodologies (e.g. corpus studies, experimental techniques, synchronic and diachronic analyses, critical discourse analysis, sociovariational analysis, cross-linguistic and cross-cultural comparison, translation, etc.) on issues relating to the cognition-figurativity-language nexus. Suggested topics include (but are not restricted to):

  • the impact of figuration on levels of linguistic analysis (morphology, lexis, syntax, semantics, pragmatics);
  • the impact of figuration on areas of grammar (grammatical constructions, grammatical categories, parts-of-speech);
  • the impact of figuration on various types of discourse: politics, economics, business, media, public sphere, advertising, story-telling, narrative, law, science, medicine, healthcare, illness, education, poetry, sports, religion, etc.;
  • corpus-based, experimental and multivariate statistical approaches to figuration;
  • diachronic and sociocultural approaches to figuration; figuration and language change and variation;
  • figuration from body, culture and society;
  • figuration and ideology;
  • figuration and rhetoric, persuasion and manipulation;
  • figuration, creativity and blending;
  • figuration and artificial intelligence;
  • figuration and emotion;
  • figuration and problem solving in business, politics, education, healthcare, counselling, psychotherapy and conflict situations (war, terrorism, climate change, migration, racism, globalization, populism);
  • figuration and cognitive development: figurativeness acquisition, processing and comprehension;
  • figuration and language teaching and pedagogy;
  • multimodal figuration: figuration in images, music and gestures;
  • figurative gestures and figuration in sign languages;
  • humour, irony, sarcasm;
  • antithesis, antiphrasis, euphemism, hyperbole, hypallage, simile, synecdoche, synesthesia and other understudied figures or “rhetorical tropes.”

Theme sessions

Deadline: 1 September 2019
Notification of acceptance: 15 September 2019

Theme session organizers should submit their theme session proposals directly to the conference organizers (using the following email address: either in a .pdf or a .doc(x) format. Theme session proposals should include: session title, name and affiliation of the theme session convener(s), a description of the topic and research questions (no more than 1000 words excluding references), a list of the authors and titles of the individual papers, and all abstracts for the theme session in a suitable order.

The maximum number of papers per theme session is 12 slots. Papers in each theme session should be thematically coherent. Theme session conveners are encouraged to distribute a CfP clearly indicating that they are organizing a theme session at FTL5 – Figurative Thought and Language 5, 2020.

Once a theme session has been accepted, individual theme session authors will need to submit their abstracts to the conference email address for peer reviewing and acceptance.

Submission of abstracts

Abstract submission deadline: 30 September 2019
Notification of acceptance: by 15 November 2019

Presentations will last 25 minutes in total (20 minutes for paper presentation and 5 minutes for questions). This 25-minute slot will be followed by 5 minutes for room changes.

All submissions for presentations and posters should follow the following abstract guidelines:

  • The working language of the conference is English. Submissions on languages other than English are encouraged.
  • The abstract, either in a .pdf or a .doc(x) format, should be sent to the following address:
  • Abstracts should not exceed 500 words (including examples, and excluding figures and references), and should include 5 keywords and state research questions, approach, method, data and (expected) results.
  • Abstracts should be written using Times New Roman 12, single spaced, with a minimal use of special fonts, a minimum of figures and tables and no footnotes.
  • All abstracts will be reviewed anonymously by three referees, members of the Scientific Committee.
  • Please do not mention the author’s name, institution or address in the abstract.
  • The subject header of your email should include: FTL5 – name(s).
  • Please include the following information in the main body of your email: (1) name of author(s), (2) affiliation, (3) title of the presentation, (4) email address, (5) postal address.

SUBMITTING MULTIPLE PAPERS. In order to guarantee diversity, nobody is allowed to present or co-present more than three papers (one or two as the first author and one or two as а co-author). 

The Conference will bestow the FTL Young Researchers’ Award (FTL-YRA) upon three deserving young researchers, who must be doctoral candidates or doctoral graduates within the five years prior to April 1, 2020. The presentation must be an original unpublished investigation dealing with figuration. The Young Researcher Award Committee will select three presentations based on scientific merit, innovation, significance of the contribution to the field, and clarity of presentation. The best presentations will receive certificates of recognition and a gift from John Benjamins.