CV-Yeshayahu Shen 2015 - homepage

I am a Professor in the Program of Cognitive Studies of Language Use, and the Department of Literature at Tel Aviv University.

My main areas of research are story grammars, discourse comprehension, figurative language comprehension, cognitive poetics, and metaphor and conceptual structure.

My publications in these areas appeared in Journal of Memory and Language, Discourse Processes, Cognitive Linguistics, Poetics, Text, Metaphor and Symbol, Journal of Pragmatics,Language and Literature, Journal of Literary Semantics, Empirical Studies of the Arts, Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Cambridge Handbook of Metaphor and Thought, Language and Cognition, and Poetics Today.





 2014. Mashal, N., Shen, Y., & Kastel, D. (2014). Element Order in Metaphorical and Literal Phrases. Metaphor and Symbol, 29(2), 113-128. Click here

2008. Cognition and poetic figures. In: Gibbs, Ray. Cambridge Handbook of Metaphor and Thought. Cambridge University Press. (pp. 295-307) click here

2007. Foregrounding and communication: The battlefield between deviation and cognitive constraints. Language and Literature. 16:2. pp. 169-181. click here

2002. Cognitive constraints on verbal creativity. In: Elena Semino and Jonathan Culpeper (eds.). Cognitive Stylistics: Language and cognition in text analysis. John Benjamins Publishing (pp. 211-230).  click here

1998. Zeugma:  Prototypes, categories and metaphors. Metaphor and Symbol. 13(1). 31-47. click here

1997. Cognitive constraints on poetic figures. Cognitive Linguistics, vol. 8(1). 33-71. COGNITIVE CONSTRAINTS ON POETIC FIGURES

1995. Constraints on directionality in poetic vs. non- poetic metaphors. Poetics. 23. 255-274. click here
 1987. The structure and processing of the poetic oxymoron". Poetics Today 8/1 (fall  issue). pp. 105-122. click here

2008. "מדוע נארזת החולצה לפני היגון: על פן מרכזי ביחסים שבין פואטיקה לקוגניציה.  אוריינות ושפה 1(1), עמ' 159-175. click here

2005. "מדוע הצער הוא מתוק ולא שמח: קוגניציה, שירה, והאוקסימורון הפואטי".  ביקורת ופרשנות. חוברת 38. עמ' 65-85. click here

1994. כיווניות במטפורות פואטיות. דפים למחקר בספרות. 9. 311-335. click here                         



 2009. Shen, Y. & Osnat Gadir. (2009). "Target and source Assignment in Synaesthetic Possessive Constructions". Journal of Pragmatics, 41(2), 357-371. click here

2008. Shen Y. & Ravid Aisenamn.  "'Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter': Synaesthesia and cognition". Language and Literature (17:2), here

2008.  Shen, Y. & David Gil. "Sweet Fragrances from Indonesia: A Universal Principle Governing Directionality in Synaesthetic Metaphors". In: Willie van Peer & Jan Auracher (eds.) New Beginning or the Study of Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing (pp. 49-72).  click here

1998. Shen, Yeshayahu & Michal Cohen. "How come silence is sweet but sweetness is not silent: a cognitive account of directionality in poetic synaesthesia". In: Language and Literature. Vol. 7(2). 123-140. click here

2006. (עם אסנת גדיר). " כיצד לפרש את 'צליל של ליטוף' - אינטרפרטציות לסינסתזיות במבנה של סמיכות: האם הטיה קוגניטיבית חזקה יותר מכלל לשוני? בלשנות עברית: כתב-עת לבלשנות עברית תיאורית, חישובית וישומית. click here



2010. Shen, Yeshayaho & Efrat Biberman "A Story told by a picture". Image & Narrative, 11 (2), 177-197. click here

1994. (with Rachel Giora). "Degrees of narrativity and strategies of semantic  reductions". Poetics, 22. pp. 447-458. (The authors are alphabetically ordered). click here

1990. Centrality and causal relations in narrative texts".Journal of Literary Semantics, Vol 19(1). pp. 1-29. click here

1989. "The X-Bar Grammar for stories: story grammar revisited". Text Vol. 9, No. 4. pp. 415-467. click here

1988. Schema theory and the processing of narrative texts: The X-Bar story-grammar  and the notion of discourse topic". Journal of Pragmatics, Vol 12, No. 5/6. pp. 639-Reprinted  in: Kasher, A. (ed.). 1989. Cognitive Aspects of Language Use. North Holland. click here

1997. שן, ישעיהו ורות ברמן. מהאירוע הבודד למבנה הפעולה: שלבים בהתפתחות היכולת הנראטיבית. יוסף שימרון (עורך): מחקרים בפסיכולוגיה של הלשון בישראל. הוצאת מאגנס. עמ' 119-145 click here



2004. "Why do we need evaluation devices anyway?" In:  Ravid, D. & Bat Zeev Shyldkrot (eds.). Perspectives on language and language development. Kluer Academic Publshers. Dordrecht / Boston / London. pp (131-142). click here
2002. Evaluation devices as a coordinating mechanism for story points. In: Louwerse Max & Willie van Peer (eds.) (2002) Thematics: Interdisciplinary Studies. John Benjamins Publishing (pp. 79-90). click here

1985. "On Importance hierarchy and evaluation devices in narrative texts" Poetics Today, 6/4. pp. 681-698. click here



  2008. "Two levels of Foregrounding in Literary Narrative" In: Sonia Zyngier, Marisa Bortolussi, Anna Chesnokova and Jan Auracher (eds.). Directions in Empirical Literary Studies. John Benjamins.

1998 (With Sara Carmely). "Semantic transparency and translucency in Blissymbols".  In: Augmentative and Alternative Communication. 14(3), 171-182. click here

1999. "לאחר שחנקה אותו היא מזדרזת ושוכבת על הרצפה". בלשנות עברית: כתב-עת לבלשנות עברית תיאורית, חישובית וישומית 45, עמ' 79-94. click here  

1985. קוהרנטיות: סקירת תיאוריות ונושאים. הספרות, 2, 34. עמ' 114-125. click here


2012 (with Yael Zarhy-Levo). ‘The making of theatrical groupings: A cognitive perspective’. Semiotica, Volume 2012, Issue 190, Pages 265–284. ZARHY-LEVO SHEN31_edit03




1999. Principles of  metaphor interpretation and the notion of 'domain': a proposal for a hybrid model". Journal of Pragmatics. 31, 1631-1653. click here

1997 . Metaphors and global conceptual structures. Poetics. 25(1). 1-17.   click here

1993. Connectivity and metaphor comprehension". Empirical Studies of  the Arts, 11(2) 95-116. click here
1992. Aspects of metaphor comprehension: Introduction". Poetics Today, 13:4., 567-574. click here 

1992. Metaphors and categories". Poetics Today, 13:4, 771-794. click here

 1991. Schemata, categories and metaphor comprehension". Poetics Today, Vol 12(1), 11-124. click here

1989. Symmetric and asymmetric comparisons". Poetics Vol. 18, No. 6. pp. 517-536. click here

1989. מה בין השוואות מטפוריות / לא מטפוריות לבין השוואות סימטריות / אסימטריות? עיון, 38, 43. 287-302. click here
שן, ישעיהו ואלעד קוצר. "לקלף את הטפטים לפני הזכרונות: סדר איברים במבנים מטפוריים". עומד להופיע ב-ספר היובל לאיריס לוין בעריכת קורת עפרה ודורית ארם. הוצאת מאגנס. click here

המטפורה - בין דמיון לרה-קטגוריזציה. עומד להופיע ב-אוריינות ושפה. click here                                             



2001.  Keysar, Boaz, Yeshayahu Shen, Sam Glucksberg and Ad Horton. (2001). "Conventional language: how metaphorical is it? Journal of Memory and Language 43(4), 576-593. click here

1999. Shen, Yeshayahu & Noga Balaban. Metaphorical (in)coherence in discourse. In: Discourse Processes. Volume 28(2), 139-154. click here



2014. Mashal, N., Shen, Y., Jospe, K. & Gil, D (2014). Language effects on the conceptualization of hybrids. Language and Cognition, 1-25. Click here


1984      Tel-Aviv University: "Liber Fund".

1987      Everyman University: "Everyman fund".

1991      The British Council Fellowship Award.

1991      The National Israeli Grant for Academy for Sciences Research - "A  model of the structure and comprehension of the short narrative  text".

1993      The National Israeli Grant for Academy for Sciences Research - "Aspects of a Theory of Narrative Competence"

1996.   United States-Israel Bi-national Science Foundation "Metaphor in Language and Thought".

1999.   Israel Science Foundation - “Cognitive Poetics and the Use of Figurative Language in Poetry.”

2002.   Israel Science Foundation - Cognitive processes and strategies in poetic and non-poetic modes of comprehension of figurative language.

2005.   Israel Science Foundation - Figurative Language: Cognitive and Cross-Linguistic aspects.

2007    Israel Science Foundation - What can visual metaphors \ hybrids tell us about language and thought?

2011    Israel Science Foundation - The role of figurative form in the comprehension of metaphor




Research Students

Doctoral students (active)


Hamutal Yakir (since 2010). 'Emotional responses to visual hybrids' (a tentative title)

Roy Porat (since 2013): 'Metaphor – between language and thought' (a tentative title)

Nava Sanhedrai (since 2010): 'Visual hybrid perception: A developmental perspective (a tentative title). [with Dr. Nira Mashal]

Amir Harash (since 2012): 'Attention and the processing of literary texts' (a tentative title).


MA students (active)

Ana Trubackoy. “Linguistic relativity hypothesis: a comparison between Hebrew and Russian”

Adva Berer. 'Counterintuitive narratives' (a tentative title)

Lena Yerushalmy

Tomer Winer. Counter-intuititiveness and narrative temporality (a tentative title).




Doctoral and MA students (completed)

1997: An external examiner (a member of the reading committee) of Johan  Hoorn's dissertation: "Metaphor and Brains: A Behavioral and

         Psychophysiological Research into Literary Metaphor Processing". Algemene  Literatuurwetenschap. Vrije Universiteit. Amsterdam. Holland.

Zvi Marks (completed – 2006): A member of a doctorate committee of in computational linguistics. Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Sara Carmeli (completed - 2007). "Transparency and Translucency of Compound Blissymbols". Tel Aviv University.

Elad Kotzer (completed - 2010). "Visual Hybrids and the Conceptual Hierarch". Tel Aviv University.

Alexandra Katz. (completed -  2010) “Cognition, metaphor and structure in Music”. (In collaboration with Dr. Zohar Eitan)

Ronit Schwartz. (1993) "Space in the cinematic text". Tel Aviv  University.

Neri Lifshitz. (1993) "Metaphor in the cinema".

Lizi Doron. (1994) "Narrative competence in Schizophrenic patients."

Dana David. (1994) "Narrative competence in Aphasia patients". .


Rachel Don Yichye (1996) "Law theory and discourse analysis". .


Efrat Biberman (1996). "Narrative structure in drawings". .


Ravid Aisenman. (1996)"Cognitive aspects of similes and metaphors.


Avital Eyal. (2002) Scripted categories – a developmental perspective.


Michal Avivi. (2001) "Mental models of children's thinking". (In collaboration with Professor Sidney Strauss).


Osnat Gadir. (2002) “Synaesthetic metaphors in Biblical and Post Biblical Hebrew”. .


Lior Michaeli. (2000)“Scripted categories and conceptual organization".


Ariela Plaut. (2004) “Naming errors and principles of conceptual  organization”.


Efrat Assif. (2004) “Inferences in Scripted categories”


Dita Bar Israel. (2004) Narrative organization.


Maya Duvdevani.. (2004) “Developmental aspects of conceptual organization".


Shraga Zilbermintz. (2004) “Narrative structure in dreams representation in literary prose".


Smadar Asulin (2005) (in collaboration with Rachel Erhard). Metaphors and education.


Galia dror. (2005) “Metaphorical analogies and humor”.


Hagit Hen (2007). "Aspects of pictorial metaphor"


Elad Kotzer. (2007) "Word ordering in metaphorical  constructions". .


Asil Mansur. (2008). "Cognitive aspects of the conceptualization of visual hybrids"


Liel Admon. (2010). “Interpretation strategies of metaphors”


Debi Kastel (2012). "Abstractness effects on word order in metaphorical and literal sentences" (in collaboration with Nira Mashal)


Bat el Aharoni. (2013). "Categorization in the brain hemispheres" (in collaboration with Nira Mashal).


Ronen Leshem. (2014) “Narrative structure in computer games” (in collabration with Dr. Ronit Kampf).



Last updated: 18.03.2015