Using verb patterns to find recurrent metaphors in corpus

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


In this study, we examine the possibility of finding regularities in combinations of verb patterns, and if these regularities can be used to find recurrent metaphors in discourse. As the source of the data, we used Verbario, a database of 227 Spanish verbs that were annotated with the Corpus Pattern Analysis technique (Hanks 2004, 2013). We restricted our analysis to transitive patterns in order to have identical syntactic structures and be able to focus our analysis to semantic types only. Given a verb pattern such as [[Humano]] guarda [[Objeto Físico]] ([[Human]] keeps [[Physical Object]]), the base pattern is [[Human]] ~ [[Physical Object]], a syntacto-semantic structure that can be found also in verbs other than guardar. 177 verbs from the database (78%) had 2 or more transitive structures and were included in the study. Results show how a small number of semantic types and combinations of verb patterns are linked to most of the verbs. Additionally, many pairs of base patterns are connected to each other through metaphors. The study is of interest for lexicographic tasks involving corpus analysis and is a contribution to corpus-based studies of metaphor.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLexicography for Inclusion
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 19th EURALEX International Congress, 2021
EditorsZoe Gavriilidou, Lydia Mitits, Sypros Kiosses
PublisherEuropean Association for Lexicography
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9786188513822
StatePublished - 2021
Event19th Congress of the European Association for Lexicography, EURALEX 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 7 Sep 20219 Sep 2021

Publication series

NameEURALEX Proceedings
ISSN (Electronic)2521-7100


Conference19th Congress of the European Association for Lexicography, EURALEX 2021
CityVirtual, Online


  • Corpus Pattern Analysis
  • Metaphor
  • Polysemy
  • Semantic type
  • Spanish


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