Metaphors in law: methodological foundations for research

Cover Page

Cite item


Language of law and language of normative legal documents with their specific features represent scientific knowledge, designed to objectively reflect the real world; they act as an independent regulating force. The word as the main structural and semantic unit, which plays a key role in organizing the text of a normative legal act, is realized not only in its direct nominative meaning, but also as a lexical means of secondary designation - metaphor. It is noted that the attitude to metaphor and to its use in normative legal acts is ambiguous. In order to highlight and address the challenge, we analyze the history of the study of this linguistic phenomenon, and trace the shifts in scientific views on metaphor from the perspective of its functional ambiguity. As a result, the nature of metaphor and its status in the process of scientific cognition is determined, the criteria and conditions of admissibility of metaphor in the language of law are systematized. The research confirms the leading role of metaphorical mechanism in modeling the legal space of normative act.

About the authors

Inna A. Yaroshchuk

Belgorod State National Research University

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5604-549X

Candidate of Philology, Associate Professor, Department of Forensic Science and Criminalistics, Law Institute

85 Victory str., Belgorod, 308015, Russian Federation


  1. Alefirenko, N.F. (2002) Poetic energy of the word. Synergetics of Language, Consciousness and Culture. Moscow, Academia Publ. (in Russian).
  2. Apresyan, Y.D. (1995) Selected works. Vol. I. Lexical semantics. Moscow, School «Languages of Russian culture». (in Russian).
  3. Aristotle. (1983) Poetics. In: Aristotle. Collected Works in four volumes. Vol. 4. Moscow, Mysl’ Publ. рр. 645-686. Available at: (in Russian).
  4. Baranov, M.V. & Vlasenko, N.A. (2019) Metaphor in law: methodological danger and prospects. Bulletin of Nizhny Novgorod Academy of the Russian Interior Ministry. 1 (45), 11-19. (in Russian).
  5. Black, M. (1962) Models and Metaphors (Studies in language and philosophy). Ithaca, New York, Cornell Univ. Press.
  6. Cherdantsev, A.F. (2012) Logical and linguistic phenomena in jurisprudence: monograph. Moscow, INFRA-M Publ. (in Russian).
  7. Cicero, M.T. (1994) About the orator. In: Three treatises on oratory. Moscow, Ladomir Publ. pp. 75-252. (in Russian).
  8. Ermolenko, G.A. (2001) Metaphor in the Language of Philosophy. Author. of dis. … candidate of philosophy. Krasnodar. (in Russian).
  9. Fauconnier, G. & Turner, M. (1998) Conceptual Integration Networks. Cognitive Science. 22 (2), 133-187.
  10. Kryukova, E.A. (2003) Language and style of legislative acts. Author. of dis. … Cand. of legal sciences. Moscow, Russian Academy of State Service under the President of the Russian Federation. (in Russian).
  11. Lakoff, G. (1993) The contemporary theory of metaphor. In: A. Ortony (ed.), Metaphor and thought. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. pp. 202-251.
  12. Locke, J. (1985) Experience on the Human Mind. Collected works in 3 vols. Т. 1. Moscow, Thought Publ. (in Russian).
  13. Локк Дж. Опыт о человеческом разумении // Собр. соч.: в 3 т. Т. 1. М.: Мысль, 1985. 622 с.
  14. Maslova, V.A. (2001) Linguoculturology. Moscow, Academia Publ. (in Russian).
  15. Mishankina, N.A. (2010) Metaphor in Science: Paradox or Norm? Tomsk, Tomsk State University Press. (in Russian).
  16. Nietzsche, F. (1990) On the other side of good and evil. In: Selected works. Translation from German. Leningrad, Italo-Soviet Publishing House «Sirin». (in Russian).
  17. Nietzsche, F. (2013) On Truth and Lies in the Intrinsic Sense. Complete Works: In 13 Vols. Institute of Philosophy. Moscow, Cultural Revolution Publ. (in Russian).
  18. Ortega-y-Gasset, J. (1990) Two Great Metaphors. In: N.D. Arutyunova & M.A. Zhurinskaya (eds.) The Theory of Metaphor: A Collection: Translated from English, French, German, Jena, Polish. Moscow, Progress Publ. (in Russian).
  19. Petrov, V.V. (1985) Scientific metaphors: nature and mechanism of functioning. Philosophical foundations of scientific theory. Novosibirsk, Nauka Publ. рр. 196-220. (in Russian).
  20. Richards, I.A. (1936) The Philosophy of rhetoric. New York, Oxford Univ. Press.
  21. Vico, J. (1994) Foundations of the new science of the general nature of nations. Translated from Italian. Moscow, Kiev, REFL-book Publ; NSA Publ. (in Russian).
  22. Vlasenko, N.A., Abramova, A.I. & Chernobel, G.T. et al. (2018) Legal technique: textbook. 2nd ed., revised. and additional. Moscow, Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law under the Government of the Russian Federation; JUSTICE Publ. (in Russian).
  23. Vlasenko, N.A. (2021) Theory of State and Law: textbook for undergraduate studies. 3rd edition. Moscow, Norma Publ, INFRA-M Publ. (in Russian).
  24. Vlasenko, N.A. (2022) Language of law: a monograph. Rev. ed. Moscow, Norma Publ, INFRA-M Publ. (in Russian).
  25. Yaroshchuk, I.A. (2013) Cognitive-metaphorical palette of the text: on the material of artistic prose of writers of the Chernozem region: dis. ... candidate of philological sciences. Belgorod, Belgorod. state nat. research university.

Copyright (c) 2022 Yaroshchuk I.A.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies