My general concern in this chapter is with the regularities of the ways conceptual metaphors are expressed linguistically in different languages. Is the linguistic expression of shared conceptual metaphors also the same, or, alternatively, different from language to language? Several studies have revealed both differences and similarities in the linguistic expression of conceptual metaphors. In exactly what ways does the linguistic expression of shared conceptual metaphors differ or is it similar across languages, and, even more importantly, in exactly what ways can it differ or be similar, and why? (For previous work on this issue, see, for example, Barcelona, 2001; Charteris-Black, 2002; Deignan, Gabrys, and Solska, 1997; Kövecses, 2001; Kövecses and Szabó, 1996; and Pontoretto, 1994). The work that I describe here is intended to be a contribution to the further clarification of this general question.
More specifically, four issues are investigated in some detail: (1) how particular figurative meanings are expressed by means of one or several conceptual metaphors in different languages; (2) whether abstract meaning can be expressed literally at all; (3) what the subtle details of the differences in the linguistic expression of the same conceptual metaphor are; and (4) how particular cultural contexts in which conceptual metaphors are embedded influence the linguistic expression of these metaphors. The four issues are considered in separate sections.
In considering these issues I mainly analyze two conceptual metaphors that exist in both English and Hungarian: Time Is Money (or, more generally, Valuable Resource) and Love Is A Journey (Lakoff and Johnson, 1980). Time Is Money is discussed in connection with the first issue, and Love Is A Journey is used in connection with the fourth.