Prof. Yeshayahu Shen

Emeritus in Department of Literature
החוג לספרות אמריטוס
Prof. Yeshayahu Shen
Phone: 03-6407867
Fax: 03-6023862
Office: Gilman-humanities, 482


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.

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).






Porat, R., & Shen, Y. (2015). Imposed Metaphoricity. Metaphor and Symbol, 30(2), 77-94. click here
Mashal, N., Shen, Y., & Kastel, D. (2014). Element Order in Metaphorical and Literal Phrases (vol 29, pg 113, 2014). Metaphor and Symbol, 29(3), here
Shen, Y. (1999). Principles of metaphor interpretation and the notion of ‘domain’: A proposal for a hybrid model. Journal of pragmatics, 31(12), here
Shen, Y. (1997). Metaphors and conceptual structure. Poetics, 25(1), here
Shen, Y. (1993). Connectivity and metaphor comprehension. Empirical Studies of the Arts, 11(2), 95-116. click here
Shen, Y. (1992). Cognitive aspects of metaphor comprehension: An introduction. Poetics Today, 567-574. click here
Shen, Y. (1992). Metaphors and categories. Poetics Today, 771-794. click here
Shen, Y. (1991). Schemata, categories, and metaphor comprehension. Poetics Today, 111-124.
Shen, Y. (1989). Symmetric and asymmetric comparisons. Poetics, 18(6), 517-536. click here
שן, י, 1989. /מה בין השוואות מטפוריות/לא מטפוריות לבין השוואות סימטריות/אסימטריות?. עיון, 287-302,click here
Keysar, B., Shen, Y., Glucksberg, S., & Horton, W. S. (2000). Conventional language: How metaphorical is it?. Journal of Memory and Language, 43(4), 576-593. Click here
Shen, Y., & Balaban, N. (1999). Metaphorical (in) coherence in discourse. Discourse Processes, 28(2), 139-153. click here
Shen, Y. (2008). Metaphor and poetic figures. The Cambridge handbook of metaphor and thought, Cambridge University Press. 295-307. 
Shen, Y. (2007). Foregrounding in poetic discourse: between deviation and cognitive constraints. Language and Literature, 16(2), 169-181. click here
Shen, Y. (2002). Cognitive constraints on verbal creativity. Cognitive stylistics: Language and cognition in text analysis, John Benjamins Publishing. 1, 211.  click here
Shen, Y. (1998). Zeugma: Prototypes, categories, and metaphors. Metaphor and symbol, 13(1), 31-47. click here
Shen, Y. (1997). Cognitive constraints on poetic figures. Cognitive Linguistics 8(1), 33-72. COGNITIVE CONSTRAINTS ON POETIC FIGURES

Shen, Y. (1995). Cognitive constraints on directionality in the semantic structure of poetic vs. non-poetic metaphors. Poetics, 23(4), 255-274. click here

Shen, Y. (1987). On the structure and understanding of poetic oxymoron. Poetics today, 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                         



Shen, Y., & Gadir, O. (2009). How to interpret the music of caressing: Target and source assignment in synaesthetic genitive constructions. Journal of pragmatics, 41(2), 357-371. click here


Shen, Y., & Aisenman, R. (2008). Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter': synaesthetic metaphors and cognition. Language and Literature, 17(2), 107-121. click here


Shen, Y., & Gil, D. (2008). Sweet Fragrances from Indonesia: A universal principle governing directionality in synaesthetic metaphors‖. New Beginnings in Literary Studies. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 49-71. click here

Shen, Y., & Cohen, M. (1998). How come silence is sweet but sweetness is not silent: a cognitive account of directionality in poetic synaesthesia. Language and Literature, 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




Shen, Y., & Biberman, E. (2010). A Story Told by a Picture. Image & Narrative, 11(2), 177-197. click here
Giora, R., & Shen, Y. (1994). Degrees of narrativity and strategies of semantic reduction. Poetics, 22(6), 447-458. click here
Shen, Y. (1990). Centrality and causal relations in narrative texts. Journal of Literary Semantics, 19(1), 1-29. click here
Shen, Y. (1989). The X-bar grammar for stories: Story grammar revisited. Text-Interdisciplinary Journal for the Study of Discourse, 9(4), 415-467.. click here
Shen, Y. (1988). Schema Theory and the Processing of Narrative Texts: the X-bar Story Grammar and the notion of Discourse Topic. Journal of pragmatics, 12(5), 639-676. (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



Shen, Y. (2005). Why Do We Need Evaluation Devices Anyway?. In Perspectives on language and language development (pp. 131-142). Springer US. click here
Shen, Y. (2002). Evaluation devices as a coordinating mechanism for story points. Thematics: Interdisciplinary Studies, 3, 77.. click here
Shen, Y. (1985). On importance hierarchy and evaluation devices in narrative texts. Poetics today, 681-698. click here




Shen, Y. (2007). Foregrounding in poetic discourse: between deviation and cognitive constraints. Language and Literature, 16(2), 169-181.
Carmeli, S., & Shen, Y. (1998). Semantic transparency and translucency in compound blissymbols. Augmentative and alternative communication, 14(3), 171-183. 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


 Zarhy-Levo, Y., & Shen, Y. (2012). The making of theatrical groupings: A cognitive perspective ZARHY-LEVO SHEN31_edit03




Mashal, N., Shen, Y., Jospe, K., & Gil, D. (2014). Language effects on the conceptualization of hybrids. Language and Cognition, 6(02), 217-241.

Shen & Gil - How Language Influences the Way We Categorize Hybrids (2018)



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