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The circular visualisation

Exploring the data

There are several ways to explore the metaphorical links that we have identified in this Metaphor Map of English. The guides below provide instructions on some pathways through the data, to indicate how the Map can be used and allow you to then find the categories which interest you the most. These will introduce you to using the different pathways into the data (1, 2 and 3) and the different ways of viewing the data (A, B and C).

Pathways into the data:
1. Visualisation (from the Home screen)
2. Browse function (from the Browse tab)
3. Search function (from either the Search tab or the search box at the top right of the screen).

Data views:
A. Tabular view
B. Card view
C. Timeline and Visualisation views


Pathways into the data

1. Visualisation

  1. On the Home page you will see a circular visualisation representing all of meaning in the English language, as described above. Each code (e.g. 1A, 1B, etc.) signifies a different semantic area.

  2. The Info-box
    Info-box
    On the left of the screen there is always a green-coloured box (or purple if you are using the Metaphor Map of Old English). This box provides controls to help you access the data. These controls change as you move through the visualisation, in order to bring up appropriate information. However, there are several controls which are always present and these are explained below:
    • Key: This allows you to bring up or dismiss the ‘Key’ pop-up box, which gives information on the colour-coding in the visualisation.
    • Download: This allows you to download an svg file of any visualisation (or a csv file of the tabular data).
    • Rotate: Clicking on the right-hand toggle sets the diagram rotating to the right, while the left-hand toggle rotates it to the left. To stop the rotation click the button again. This is a particularly useful tool for reading long category names, as you can bring them to a horizontal position. As a bonus, the rotating visualisation is also very pretty!
    • History: This button brings up a pop-up box which shows you a list of the pages you have been looking at on the Mapping Metaphor website in case you wish to go back at any stage to a previous page.
    • Metaphor Strength: The toggles here are labelled ‘Strong’, ‘Weak’ and ‘Both’ and clicking any one of these allows you to decide what kind of links to look at. Links are labelled Strong if they show systematic evidence of metaphor and Weak if they only show limited evidence of metaphor. To view all available links click ‘Both’ at every stage. The default view is ‘Strong’.
    • Change view: This brings up a pop-up which allows you to change the way you are viewing the data.
    • Cite this page: This link is located immediately below the info-box and clicking on it produces a pop-up box which provides handy citations of the page you are currently viewing in APA, MLA and Chicago style.

  3. Lines showing connections, circles showing relative number
  4. Click on a code (e.g. 1A The Earth). The yellow lines show the metaphorical connections to other areas of meaning. The yellow circles around other codes show how many connections there are with that semantic area – the bigger the circle, the more metaphorical connections have been found between categories.
  5. If you click on any of the yellow lines a pop-up box will appear telling you how many metaphorical connections there are between the two sections. Look at a couple of these connections and either press the ‘x’ in the upper-right corner to dismiss the pop-up or click on ‘View the connections between these two categories’ to see the specific categories which have metaphors from one to another.
  6. Close the pop-up and click on a category (e.g. 2D Emotion)
  7. On the left of the screen the green info-box will now include a button labelled ‘Show categories’. Click on this button and any category will split into its constituent parts (e.g. Fear, Pride, etc.) on the visualisation.
  8. Choose one of these subordinate categories (e.g. 2D14 Pride) and click on it. The resulting yellow lines represent metaphorical connections.
  9. In the info-box there is a button containing an ‘i’ with a black circle round it, beside the category title. Click this button and a pop-up will show information on what this category contains (based on Historical Thesaurus sub-headings). Click the ‘x’ at the upper-right corner of the pop-up to dismiss it.
  10. From the info-box, set the Metaphor Strength to ‘Both’ to see all of the metaphorical links. The default, ‘Strong’, allows you to see only links which have been analysed as showing systematic metaphor between two categories.
  11. In the info-box, there is a toggle marked ‘Centre on:’. The buttons beside this should say ‘Top’ and ‘2D14’ (i.e. the code for Pride). If you clicked ‘Top’ this would reset the visualisation to show the Home page (or ‘Top’ level). Instead, click on the button saying ‘2D14’.

  12. Connections to/from 'Pride', with '1N08 Impulse' selected
  13. The visualisation now shows every link from Pride. To explore these links click on ‘2D14 Pride’ on the edge of the circle and each link will turn yellow. Click on any of the yellow lines to bring up a pop-up ‘metaphor card’ giving detailed information about the link.
  14. Using the info-box again, click the button ‘2D’ beside ‘Centre on:’. This will take you up one level to look at all of the Emotion categories again.
  15. Back on the circular visualisation, click on e.g. 2D01, 2D02, 2D03, etc. in turn to see the differences in metaphorical links from the separate Emotion (or other) categories to other semantic areas.
  16. Click on another section, e.g. ‘1I: Physical sensation’. This will show the subcategories of physical sensation in the visualisation, e.g. 1I09 Touch, I10 Taste, 1I11 Smell, etc., as well as the original categories.
  17. Choose any of the categories in the original section (e.g. 2D03 Excitement) and click on it. This will show strong metaphorical links between that category and individual physical sensation categories (or those of any other chosen section).
  18. Choose one of these links and click on the yellow line connecting the two categories.

  19. Metaphor card for 2D03 Excitement and 1I08 Poison
  20. This will produce the pop-up ‘metaphor card’, with information about the links between the two categories. At this stage, we do not have online examples published for each area, though it has all been analysed. However, all 2D03 Excitement cards have dates and examples of each metaphorical link.
  21. Click on one of the underlined words given as examples of the metaphor. This will take you to the Historical Thesaurus (HT) webpage entry for this word in its semantic context. If you wish to explore this word further and have access to the Oxford English Dictionary then there is a further link from the HT entry.
  22. Return to the Mapping Metaphor tab in your browser.
  23. This is not the only route through the visualisation, so please continue to play around with the links further and look for other categories that interest you.

2. Browse


    Browse page with 1J Matter opened
  1. On the main page you will see a series of links below the header bar.
  2. Click ‘Browse’. This will take you to a menu listing the three superordinate parts of the Historical Thesaurus hierarchy: the External World, the Mental World and the Social World. It also shows the number of metaphorical connections present in each.
  3. Click on ‘External World’ to reveal the next sections down in the semantic hierarchy (1A The Earth, 1B Life, etc.).
  4. Click on ‘1J Matter’ to explore our largest section, and note that you can see the number of metaphorical connections in each category (1J01, 1J02...1J38).
  5. Click on one of these categories (I will use 1J25 Light as an example). You will arrive at a table showing the connections between Light and all other semantic categories. This table can be sorted as discussed below, in section A, below.

  6. Tabular view of 1J25 Light
  7. In the left-hand info-box (discussed in section 1, above) there is the option to change Metaphor Strength from the default ‘Strong’ to ‘Weak’ or ‘Both’. Click on ‘Both’ to see all the data available. The table can always be sorted to show the strong, systematic links at the top if required.
  8. At the bottom of the info-box there is the option to change view from ‘Tabular view’ to ‘Visualisation view’, ‘Card view’ or ‘Timeline view’ by clicking the ‘Change view’ button.
  9. Click this button and choose ‘Visualisation view’ and you will see all the links with 1J25 Light represented on a visualisation.
  10. On visualisation view, click ‘1J25 Light’ (or your category) on the rim of the circle. The lines will turn yellow and can now be clicked in the same way as in the visualisation accessed from the main page.
  11. Change to ‘Card view’ using the info-box toggle. This presents similar information to the tabular view but presents it using the same layout as is used when a yellow line is clicked on in the visualisation view.
  12. Scroll down the page to see all the metaphorical connections to/from 1J25 Light (or your category).
  13. Choose one metaphor card and click on example words to access the Historical Thesaurus then return to the Mapping Metaphor tab in your browser.
  14. Change to ‘Timeline view’ to show the first dates where 1J25 Light links to other categories represented as a timeline from Old English to the present day. These data views are discussed further in sections A, B and C below.

3. Search

  1. On the main page you will see a series of links below the header bar.
  2. Click ‘Search’ to go to the search page. This is also directly accessible by typing your search term into the ‘Quick search’ box at the very top-right of the screen.
  3. There is a quick search option, which will be suitable for most users. However, for more complex searches there is also an ‘Advanced search’ toggle which will be discussed below.
  4. Quick Search
    Quick search is the easiest way to locate the specific category associated with a word sense you are interested in. It is important to remember though that the Metaphor Map shows links between categories, rather than between specific words. So the Map will show that ‘Excitement’, for example, links strongly with ‘Taste’, but will not necessary show each word sense which might illustrate this.
    Follow the steps below to explore the quick search function:
    • Search for the term ‘education’.
    • This should bring up an exactly matching category (located under the heading ‘Matching Categories’) which can be clicked to go through to the data views.

    • Quick search results for 'fire'
    • Search for the term ‘brother’.
    • There is no category with this name, but a search through the category keywords finds some categories which may contain the semantic area which you are seeking (located under the heading ‘Categories with matching descriptors’). You can then click through to see how these categories connect with others in the data views.
    • Search for the term ‘fire’.
    • There are several different aspects of fire split between different categories, from exact ‘Matching Categories’ and from ‘Categories with matching descriptors’.
    • At the bottom of the page is a further heading: ‘Search Historical Thesaurus words’. Click on the button underneath this labelled ‘Find categories that contain your search criteria in the Historical Thesaurus of English’.
    • The results will show every category which contains the word ‘fire’ as a lexeme within that area of the Historical Thesaurus. Each can be clicked on to show the results relating to that specific category.
    • Please note, as highlighted earlier, that these results show links between categories, so do not just show links in the narrower semantic area which has been searched for (e.g. Search for ‘fire’ > Click on ‘Weight, heat and cold’ > See results for that entire category, not just the fire element of it).
  5. Advanced Search

    Advanced search form
    Advanced search is recommended more for experienced users of the Metaphor Map, who have a good understanding of the complexities and limitations of the data sources. The steps below will introduce you to some potential uses for the advanced search function, including restricting results for date and generating results over wider semantic areas. The date restriction will not be fully functional until all the data in the Metaphor Map have been linked with the Historical Thesaurus, so it is not currently a reliable indicator.
    • Click on the ‘Advanced search’ tab and read through the potential options.
    • You can choose to specify particular categories or more general semantic areas (e.g. 1A).
    • One way of finding a particular category is to use the search box to search for a lexeme contained within that area (or areas) of the Historical Thesaurus. This will take you to a page specifying all categories containing that lexeme. You can uncheck all but the ones you want. For example, searching for ‘sister’ brings up 57 different categories so if you were interested in the category ‘3A04 Family members and genealogy’ then you would click ‘Deselect all’ at the top of the page, scroll down to check the box against 3A04 and then click ‘Continue’ at the bottom of the page.
    • If you wish to add extra parameters into your search then you should do this on the first page of ‘Advanced search’, before you come to the page where you specify categories such as 3A04.
    • It is possible to search entire areas, such as ‘Emotion’ by leaving the search box blank and selecting ‘2D Emotion’ from the ‘Category section(s)’ menu underneath the search box.
    • If you want to see all links from all of 2D Emotion (or particular categories within it) then you should set ‘Connection type’ to ‘Connections between selected sections and all other sections’ and press ‘Search’.
    • If, however, you want to look at the links between (and within) different sections, such as ‘2D Emotion’ and ‘1I Physical sensation’, check the boxes beside all the categories you would like to see and select ‘Connections within selected sections only’ as the Connection type.
    • These options will always take you to another screen which will allow you to select specific categories (or keep all categories selected). So if, for example, you are only interested in Fear, Anger and Excitement within Emotion and all categories relating to Physical sensation it is possible to select as many or as few options as you would like.
    • Metaphor strength should be specified. The default is ‘Strong’ but this can be changed to ‘Weak’ or ‘Both’.
    • Metaphor direction can also be specified. This would normally be ‘Both’ and should only be changed if you are interested in looking at category links which are bidirectional (or if you wish to exclude these).
    • Date of metaphor inception’ can be specified. If you wished to search for metaphor links which began before 1300, for example, you would enter 1000 in the left-hand box (as a substitute for Old English) and 1300 in the right-hand box. If you wish this can also be restricted to specific semantic areas, metaphor strengths, etc. After clicking ‘Search’ the next page allows you to choose specific categories if required.
    • The results of the advanced search are initially shown in the Visualisation view. However, this can be toggled to Tabular, Card and Timeline view using the controls in the left-hand info-box. The Timeline view is particularly useful for viewing date searches, while the Tabular view provides a sortable and downloadable set of results when viewing large amounts of information for wider searches.

Data Views

At the bottom of the left-hand info-box, there is a grey button reading ‘Change view’. This allows you to toggle between different ways of viewing and exploring the results of the Mapping Metaphor analysis. These views are: Tabular, Card, Timeline and Visualisation.

A. Tabular view


Tabular view of 1J34 colour ordered by start era (descending)
  1. This view is best for viewing categories in their entirety, as it presents the data in an easy to manage way.
  2. Each table contains the columns: Category 1; Category 2; Direction; Strength; Start era; Sample lexemes.
  3. Category 1 is called that only because it is the category you have clicked on to gain access to the table and does not imply anything else.
  4. The direction arrow points from the source category to the target category of the metaphorical connection, or to both if it is a bidirectional connection. This means our evidence shows that vocabulary has been metaphorically transferred from the source to the target rather than the other way round.
  5. The tables can be sorted by column, e.g. by ‘Start era’ or by ‘Category 2’.
  6. Metaphor strength can be toggled between ‘Strong’, ‘Weak’ and ‘Both’ using the left-hand info-box. If ‘Both’ is selected, the table can be sorted by Strength.
  7. If you click on individual ‘Sample lexemes’ in Tabular view this will take you to the corresponding sense in the Historical Thesaurus of English website.
  8. Every table can be easily downloaded as a csv file (which will work with Microsoft Excel, etc.) simply by clicking the ‘Download’ button in the info-box.
  9. All pages in this resource have a handy citation tool. Simply click on ‘Cite this page’ under the info-box.

B. Card view


Card view of 1J34 colour
  1. The Metaphor Cards are designed to be easy to read and to provide a broad set of information on each metaphorical link. This means that they are less suitable for analysing larger sets of links but are excellent for viewing individual connections.
  2. The cards show two categories which have a metaphorical link, with an arrow between them indicating the direction of metaphor (the direction of transfer of vocabulary from one category to another).
  3. They indicate whether the link has been identified as a ‘Strong’ or ‘Weak’ link.
  4. The number of lexemes (words) present in each category is specified. This is not the number of metaphorical words, but simply the number of words in that section of the Historical Thesaurus of English.
  5. The ‘Start Era’ is identified on a timeline at the bottom of the card. These are aggregated into spans of 50 years, with the corresponding start era highlighted in red. This is the date when we find our first evidence of metaphorical transfer between each pair of categories. The dates for each sense are from the Oxford English Dictionary and Historical Thesaurus. It is important to recognise that these dates show first connections and do not necessarily show continuing connections between the categories.
  6. The Metaphor Cards also show ‘Examples of metaphor’. These are words which we have judged to give evidence of a transfer of meaning across categories, where one concept is being described in terms of the other. As well as analysing the data in order to establish where metaphorical mappings occur in English, we also wanted the Metaphor Map to be a bridge into our source materials. Therefore, our examples are clickable and lead directly into the corresponding sense in the Historical Thesaurus of English.

C. Timeline and Visualisation views

  1. The Timeline and Visualisation views are not strictly end points in the data but allow the Metaphor Cards to be accessed in different ways.
  2. The Visualisation view has been explained above more fully as a pathway into the data, but is also useful in showing how links correspond with each other. It is a way of visually displaying the links relating to a whole category or to wider grouping of categories, with the connections displayed as lines between points on a diagram.

  3. Section of the timeline view for 1J25 Light
  4. The Timeline view displays the connections as points on a timeline, ordering them by the first date of transfer between each pair of categories. Strong connections are displayed as large points, with weak connections as smaller points. As with other views, ‘Metaphor Strength’ can be toggled in the info-box at any stage to change between ‘Strong’, ‘Weak’ and ‘Both’, depending on the results you wish to view.
  5. Access to the metaphor cards is gained by clicking on the points in the Timeline. In the Visualisation view, the cards are accessed by clicking on the highlighted lines.
  6. In both the Visualisation and Timeline views the results are colour-coded to show whether the category belongs to the External (green), Mental (blue) or Social (red) world, with a guide to this available by clicking on the ‘Key’ button in the info-box. For the Timeline, this is slightly more complicated, as the colour relates to ‘Category 2’. For example, if you are viewing the results from 1J25 Light the points will show the colour of the other category: 1J25 Light and 2D03 Excitement would be blue because Excitement is in 2.Mental World.
  7. Both the Visualisation and Timeline views allow you to aggregate the data and see all of the data together (at the Top-level) or all of one second-level grouping (e.g. 1A or 2B), as well as individual categories. In these views it is possible to click and access Metaphor Cards which show aggregations of the number of links between different areas.

Navigating the Old English Map

Main differences in using the Old English Map: