This book is based on the results of my PhD research. It introduces and then deals with the use of MIP, the Metaphor Identification Procedure, in some detail. I show how to apply MIP and discuss some of my solutions to some problems that arose in its use.
The book is an introduction to MIP, the Metaphor Identification Procedure described by the Pragglejaz Group (2007). The name of the Pragglejaz Group derives from the first letter of the first names of the ten original members of the group who devised MIP: Peter Crisp, Ray Gibbs, Alan Cienki, Graham Low, Gerard Steen, Lynne Cameron, Elena Semino, Joe Grady, Alice Deignan, and Zoltan Kövecses. MIP is the result of a project co-sponsored by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) and the British Academy which involved the development of a reliable procedure for finding metaphorically used words in natural discourse. The work was carried out at the Vrije Universiteit (Free University), Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
MIP works by comparing the contextual meaning of a word in the text being examined with its meaning as found in a dictionary. If the contextual and dictionary meanings do not corrrespond then the word is used metaphorically. In other words, if the literal meaning given in the dictionary corresponds with the meaning in the text being examined then the word is used literally and not metaphorically.
In using MIP I have developed ways of dealing with some of the problems I found. These problems include which dictionary to use, or how many; some of the words found have some metaphor-like qualities that need to be thought through; then there are the implications that MIP can be used either quantitatively or qualitatively, by providing data useable in either of those ways; and so on.
In resolving these problems I believe that I have developed MIP into a very strong tool for providing a reliable, valid and rigorous result, and also one that can be used for quantitative and qualitative analysis. I discuss these implications in the following chapters where I also use the data from a survey of PhD students to illustrate them. The students were asked to discuss their PhD work, from which I have extracted their conceptions of research, their conceptions of the self in research, conceptions of knowledge and conceptions of the PhD itself. Some of these conceptions are also discussed, where they add a suitable context, in the following chapters.
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