One of the main tenets in Conceptual Metaphor Theory is that metaphorical thought is deeply embodied and working automatically on an unconscious level. Nevertheless, metaphorical language can be used intentionally to focus the attention of the addressee to a certain aspect within a communicative situation.
Verbs of perception like see, hear, touch/feel, smell and taste, are our main tools for expressing how we experience the world. Despite their prototypical meanings there are so-called transfield mappings of perceptive verbs into the semantic domains of cognition and emotion, showing a high degree of polysemy patterns. These metaphorical meanings can be found in different texts of various genres and stages in Egyptian language history. The question is whether we can say
something about their deliberate choice or not – through the eyes of a modern reader.
This paper is an experiment and aims at finding possible criteria for the identification of deliberate metaphors by looking at some metaphorical semantic extensions of verbs of perception in Egyptian literary texts.