Reddy, M.J. (1979). The conduit metaphor — a case of frame conflict in our language about language. In Ortony, A. (Ed.), Metaphor and thought (p. 284-297 only). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
English speakers communicate with one another using a language of metaphor. Communication fails when the frame of reference from which someone speaks varies in some fundamental way from that of the audience. When communication fails, the failure is generally verbally acknowledged by metaphoric comments; problem-setting stories that describe “what is wrong and what needs fixing.” Solutions to the speaker’s communication problems are also illustrated through the use of metaphor. As we seek to understand the logic of the framework regarding communication, we refer to the conduit metaphor that implies that meaning can be inserted into words, despite the lack of a physical nature of language. In developing a common framework for the use of metaphor in communication, a speak and a listener can engage in meaningful and productive interaction.
– Ruth Frasur