Phone: +36 1 485 5200 / 4301
Office: Room 309
Zoltán Kövecses received his M.A. from Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, in 1972 and his Ph.D. and D.Sc. from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1988 and 1996, respectively. He is Professor of Linguistics in the Department of American Studies at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. In 1982-83, he worked on his Ph.D. in the Linguistics Department of the University of California at Berkeley.
He is one of the four editors of the international scholarly journal, Metaphor and Symbol, published by Lawrence Erlbaum Publishers in the U.S. He also serves on the advisory board of Cognitive Linguistics and several other international professional journals. He has lectured widely as an invited plenary speaker at various international conferences. He has received several scholarships from the Fulbright Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
He is also working as a lexicographer, and is the author of several Hungarian-English, English-Hungarian dictionaries. For his work as a lexicographer, he was awarded the peer-reviewed Országh László Prize in 2004, and for one of his English-Hungarian dictionaries he received the Quality Award in 2000. He has taught at several American and European universities, including the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, Rutgers University, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Hamburg University, Odense University, and the University of California at Berkeley. He has served as an advisor of several completed Ph.D. dissertations at Eötvös Loránd University and the University of Vienna. He was a Ph.D. defense committee member at the University of Murcia, Spain, and an external examiner at Cambridge University, U.K. and the University of Helsinki. He is the head of the Cultural Linguistics doctoral program at Eötvös Loránd University.
He is currently working on the language and conceptualization of emotions, cross-cultural variation in metaphor, and the issue of the relationship between language, mind, and culture from a cognitive linguistic perspective.
Major books: Where Metaphors Come From. Reconsidering Context in Metaphor. 2015. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. Ten lectures on figurative meaning-making: the role of body and context. 2012. Eminent Linguists Lecture Series. Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press. Metaphor. A Practical Introduction. 2010. Second revised edition. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. Language, Mind, and Culture. 2006. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. Metaphor in Culture. Universality and Variation. 2005. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. American English. An Introduction. 2000. Peterborough, ON, Canada: Broadview Press. Metaphor and Emotion. Language, Culture, and Body in Human Feeling. 2000. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. Major dictionaries: Magyar-angol kifejezéstár. Második bővített kiadás. [Hungarian-English Idiom Dictionary. Second revised edition] 2010. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó. Magyar Szlengszótár [Title in English: A Dictionary of Hungarian Slang] 2009. Second, revised edition. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó. Magyar-Angol Nagyszótár [Title in English: Unabridged Hungarian-English Dictionary] 1998. [With L. Országh and D. Futász] Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó.
Research Grants and Awards, Visiting Professorships
- Distinguished Fellow, Institute of Advanced Study, winter, Durham University (2008)
- Fulbright Fellowship, spring, UC Berkeley, lecturing and research on Cultural variation in metaphor (2003)
- Fulbright Fellowship, to teach Hungarian Language and Civilization in the Slavic Languages Department, Rutgers University (Spring semester) and to teach The Language of Emotion in American English in the Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts at Amherst (Fall semester) (1987)
- Hungarian Academy of Sciences grant, to study The Language of Emotions in English (1983-84)
- American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) grant, to study Informal American English and The Language of Emotion in American English in the Department of Linguistics, University of California at Berkeley (1982-83)
- Hungarian Academy of Sciences grant, to study Verbs of Motion in English and Hungarian, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest (1976-78)
- Linguistic Society of America grant, to participate at the Summer Linguistic Institute, Tampa, Florida (1975)
- Athletic scholarship to play water polo, Pepperdine University, Malibu, California.
Honors, Awards, Grants
- Charles Simonyi Research Award (2008)
- Országh László-díj (2004)
- Quality Award (Nívó-díj) for co-editing the English-Hungarian Dictionary (2000)
- Széchenyi Grant (1998-2001)
Teaching Experience Abroad
- Paris Diderot University, teaching and lecturing (2014 October)
- Heidelberg University, Metaphor and Metonymy, Recent Issues in Metaphor Theory, American English. (2014 summer semester)
- Heidelberg University, Language, Mind, and Culture and Practical Applications of Metaphor and Metonymy [with Sonja Kleinke] (2013-2014 winter semester)
- Department of English, Heidelberg University, Metaphor and Metonymy; Metaphor and Culture; American English. (2013 summer semester)
- Department of English, Heidelberg University, Language, Mind, and Culture; Emotions: Language and Conceptualization; Metaphorical Conceptualization: Universality and Variation. (2012-13 winter semester)
- Department of English, Heidelberg University, Metaphor and metonymy, Metaphor and culture. (winter 2011)
- Four universities in Beijing, China, Chinese International Forum on Cognitive Linguistics, Figurative Meaning Making (November 2010, ten lectures)
- Department of Translation, University of Granada, Spain, Metaphor in Culture(Winter session, 2005)
- Department of Linguistics, UC Berkeley; Language and Mind (Spring and summer, 2003)
- Graceland University, Lamoni, Iowa; The Language of Emotion, Metaphor in Language, Literature, and Philosophy (Winter session, 2001)
- Odense University; Metaphor (Summer school, 2000)
- Department of Anthropology, UNLV, Las Vegas; American English and Culture, The Language of Emotion (Summer session, 1996)
- Department of Anthropology, UNLV, Las Vegas; Language and Culture, The Language of Emotion (Summer session, 1994)
- 1992-93, full academic year: Hamburg University, Germany: Language of Emotion, Introduction to Linguistics, Metaphor, Metonymic Processes, American English(Academic year, 1992-93)
- Rutgers University, New Brunswick, Department of Linguistics: Introduction to Linguistics, Sociolinguistics (Summer session, 1992)
- Rutgers University, New Brunswick, Department of Anthropology: Introduction to Anthropology; Language, Culture, Cognition (Summer session, 1990)
- Rutgers University, New Brunswick, Department of Anthropology: Introduction to Anthropology; Language, Culture, Cognition (Summer session, 1989)
Language and Mind
Issues in metaphor theory.
The nature of metaphor and metonymy as cognitive devices.
The nature of abstract concepts.
Language and Culture
The role of metaphorical thought in culture.
Cross-cultural and within-culture variation in human conceptualization.
Metaphor- and metonymy-based cultural systems (Christianity, postmodernism, emotions, etc.).
Metaphor-based aspects of American culture (politics, sexuality, social thought, historical analysis, literature, etc.).
Constitutive metaphors in American culture (e.g., LIFE IS A SHOW).
Social and intellectual history of American English (the role of American intellectual traditions)
American slang as a cultural phenomenon.
Specific features of American English (as compared to British English).
Other research areas
The role of cognitive devices in language teaching (metaphors, frames, etc.).
Sports as a symbolic system.
Lexicographic work (English-Hungarian, Hungarian-English general, idiom, and slang dictionaries).
Courses in American Studies at ELTEFor courses taught in American Studies at ELTE see the course catalogue of the School of English and American Studies.