This is a summary of our activity associated to EMMA (from 5th October 2015 to 4th October 2017). For ongoing research, please visit EMMA on the University of Birmingham website.

Research Monographs

Research articles

  • Jeannette Littlemore, Paula Pérez Sobrino, David Houghton, Jinfang Shi & Bodo Winter (2018) What makes a good metaphor? A cross-cultural study of computer-generated metaphor appreciation, Metaphor and Symbol, 33:2, 101-122, DOI: 10.1080/10926488.2018.1434944 (Computer-generated metaphors)
  • Pérez Sobrino, Paula (2018). “Cognitive modeling and musical creativity”. In: Csábi, Z. Expressive Minds and Artistic Creations: Studies in Cognitive Poetics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Pérez Sobrino, Paula and Jeannette Littlemore (2017). “Facing methodological challenges in multimodal metaphor research”. In Baicchi, A. and Pinelli. (eds) Cognitive Modeling in Language and Discourse across Cultures. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars UP (Perez-Sobrino_Littlemore_2017).
  • Littlemore, Jeannette and Paula Pérez Sobrino (2017). “Eyelashes, speedometers or breasts? An experimental cross-cultural approach to multimodal metaphor and metonymy in advertising”. In: Baicchi, A. and Bagasheva, A. Figurative Language We Live by. The cognitive underpinnings and mechanisms of figurativity in language. Language Issue of Textus (Littlemore-Sobrino_2017).
  • Pérez-Sobrino, Paula. 2016. “Multimodal metaphor and metonymy in advertising: A corpus-based account”. Metaphor &Symbol 31(2): 73-90.
  • Pérez-Sobrino, Paula. 2016. “Shockvertising: patterns of conceptual interaction constraining advertising creativity”. Círculo de Lingüística Aplicada a la Comunicación 65: 257-290.

Invited talks (selection)

  • Jeannette Littlemore (Plenary talk): Metaphor and Metonymy in Cross-Linguistic Communication.7th October 2015. Faculty of Letters of the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
  • Paula Pérez Sobrino: “Talking about music is like dancing with architecture: Metaphors to talk and reason about music”.2nd February 2016. ELR seminar series. University of Birmingham (UK).
  • Paula Pérez Sobrino: “Metaphors music live by: Metaphors to talk about music, metaphors to reason about music”.9th February 2016. Metaphor Lab. University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands).
  • Jeannette Littlemore: Embodied Metaphor and Language Teaching.18th March 2016. University of Umea, University of Vaxjo (Sweden).
  • Paula Pérez Sobrino: “Create Impact. An MSC Case study: Culture & Metaphor in Advertising .12th May 2016. Maru Curie Symposium. Research Park, University of Birmingham (UK).
  • “Audiobranding: How does your brand sound like? “Exploring the Mind Through Music” workshop.7th June 2016. Rice University (Houston, USA).
  • “Like & share: Can figurative language make videos more popular in the Internet?”. 30/11/2016. University of Nottingham-Ningbo, China
  • “(Extra)ordinary creativity: can figurative language boost the number of views of your Internet advert?”. 2/2/2017. Universidad de Newcastle, UK.
  • “Facing multimodal challenges in multimodal metaphor research”. 16/3/2017. Lund University (Sweden)

Peer-reviewed international conferences (selection)

  • “The role of figurative complexity in advertising comprehension”. 16/4/2015. 33rd AESLA International Conference. Technical University Madrid, Spain.
  • “The reception of computer-generated metaphors” (co-authored with Jeannette Littlemore and David Houghton). 20/07/2015. 13th International cognitive Linguistics Conference. Northumbria University. Newcastle (UK)
  • “Metaphors for MUSIC : Different Levels of Conceptualization” (co-authored with Nina Julich). 20/07/2015. 13th International cognitive Linguistics Conference. University of Newcastle, UK.
  • “A corpus-based account of multimodal conceptual complexes in advertising”. 28/10/2015. 2nd International Symposium on Figurative Thought and Language. University of Pavia, Italy. FTL prize.
  • “Bridges and icebergs: A corpus-based approach to multimodal metaphor and metonymy”. 1/7/2016. RaAM 11, Freie Universitaet Berlin (Germany).
  • “The man your man could smell like: The role of metaphor, irony, and paradox in the viralisation of advertising campaigns”. 19/7/2016. 6 UK CLC. Bangor University (UK).

Public engagement

Community of Marie Curie fellows

Advertising agencies

General public

Women in academia


  • “Food for Thought”. European Researchers Night 2016. Parlamentarium (Brussels, Bélgica). Over 1200 children and 2000 visitors. 28 September 2016. Online quiz Food for Thought 

Prizes and awards