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Dr Sarah Duffy

Senior Lecturer

Department: Humanities

Dr Sarah Duffy is a cognitive linguist with a particular interest in metaphor and embodied cognition.

I joined the Department of Humanities at Northumbria University in 2016 as Senior Lecturer in Language and Linguistics. Prior to this, from 2014–2016, I held a lectureship in the Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics at the University of Birmingham.


PhD Cognitive Linguistics, Northumbria University, 2014 (funded by the Department of Humanities, Northumbria University)

BA (hons.) English Language, Northumbria University, 2008

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Broadly speaking, I am interested in the universality and variation of metaphors and, in particular, individual differences in the comprehension and representation of metaphors. My main strand of research explores the ways in which people understand and reason about metaphors for time, with a particular focus on the factors that may influence people’s perspectives on the movement of events in time. In addition to this, I am involved in a number of projects exploring the pervasiveness of metaphor and embodied cognition in education and society.

Professional Activity

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)

Key Publications


Duffy, S. E. and M. I. Feist. Time, Metaphor, and Language: A Cognitive Science perspective. Under contract, Cambridge University Press.

Peer-reviewed journal articles

Duffy, S. E. and M. I. Feist. 2016. Power in time: The influence of power posing on metaphoric perspectives on time. Language and Cognition, 1–11. doi:10.1017/langcog.2016.33.

Duffy, S. E. and V. Evans. 2016. The top trumps of time: Factors motivating the resolution of temporal ambiguity. Language and Cognition, 1–23. doi:10.1017/langcog.2016.8.

Feist, M. I. and S. E. Duffy. 2015. Moving beyond Next Wednesday: The interplay of lexical semantics and constructional meaning in an ambiguous metaphoric statement. Cognitive Linguistics 26(4), 633–656.

Duffy, S. E. 2014. The role of cultural artifacts in the interpretation of metaphorical expressions about time. Metaphor and Symbol 29(2), 94–112.

Duffy, S. E., M. I. Feist and S. McCarthy. 2014. Moving through time: The role of personality in three real life contexts. Cognitive Science 38(8), 1662–1674.

Duffy, S. E. and M. I. Feist. 2014. Individual differences in the interpretation of ambiguous statements about time. Cognitive Linguistics 25(1), 29–54.

In progress

Sztencel, M. and S. E. Duffy. Reporting conditionals. In A. Capone, M. Garcia-Carpintero and A. Falzone (eds.), Indirect Reports (and Pragmatics) in the World Languages. Under contract, Springer.

Berry, H. and S. E. Duffy. ‘Dossing’ in digital archives: A historical/corpus linguistic analysis of slang and its uses in eighteenth and nineteenth-century Britain. Under review.

Duffy, S. E., J. Littlemore, B. Winter, and F. Heritage. Jane the nurse is a doctor too: Investigating the interactions between gender, power, and the vertical image schema for hierarchy. In preparation.

Feist, M. I. and S. E. Duffy. On the path of time: Temporal motion in typological perspective. In preparation.


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