Date of Award

January 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

James K. Watters


This thesis applies a new theory to old data. It reanalyzes VERTICALITY metaphors for distress in Classical Hebrew using Primary Metaphor Theory. Previously, this pattern of metaphors in Hebrew was analyzed by King (2012) within the general framework of Conceptual Metaphor Theory. This study focuses on the ways that Primary Metaphor Theory radically changes the organization of conceptual structure as dictated by Conceptual Metaphor Theory and as used by King in his analysis of Hebrew VERTICALITY metaphors. The reorganization of conceptual structure following Primary Metaphor Theory hinges on the assumption that conceptual structures with direct, independent experiential motivations also have independent statuses in our minds. Equally, this study focuses on theoretical reasons for why this adjustment to the organization of conceptual structure should be preferred.King (2012) understood the metaphorical mapping of VERTICALITY onto DISTRESS as existing in a hierarchy in which there were two sub-schemas—spatial and postural VERTICALITY. I discard the higher-level structure and treat the mappings of the “sub-schemas” onto DISTRESS as independent structures and as construals of primary metaphors. This affects the generalizations made over metaphorical expressions that are supposed to be motivated by these structures. In this thesis, the reanalysis of Hebrew metaphor data is driven by the simple application of a new theoretical framework. Though valid, data-based arguments are made, the data themselves have not pushed the reanalysis.