Anna Piata



Centre de linguistique générale, discours, cognition

Rue Pierre-à-Mazel 7
CH-2000 Neuchâtel

Bureau 203



Anna’s research interests fall within the area of pragmatics, discourse analysis and stylistics, with a particular focus on metaphor and, more generally, figurative language and verbal creativity. She holds a BA in Greek Language and Literature (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens) and an MPhil in Linguistics (University of Cambridge). In her doctoral thesis (which she completed in 2013 at the Department of English Language and Literature of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens) Anna looked at novel metaphors of time, focusing on how poetry creatively exploits mental representations of time while at the same time challenging them. In 2015 Anna was awarded a Swiss Government Excellence Fellowship to carry out a research project at the Swiss Center for Affective Sciences in Geneva and since 2017 she has been a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Language Sciences and Communication of the University of Neuchâtel. Throughout her research Anna seeks to unveil how verbal creativity can serve as a window to better understand the intricacies of language and cognition.


Current teaching

Spring Term:

  • MA Seminar on “Language and Verbal Communication” (Topic: “Metaphor”)
  • MA in Cognitive Science & Pilier de MA en sciences du langage et de la communication, University of Neuchâtel.


Main research projects

  • September 2015-September 2017:

Postdoctoral researcher in the project “When time defies the clock: Fictive time and affective triggers in language and literature” (Supervisors: Prof. Patrizia Lombardo and Dr. Cristina Soriano). Funded by a Swiss Government Excellence Fellowship (academic year 2015-2016) and the Swiss Center for Affective Sciences (academic year 2016-2017).

  • January 2015-December 2016:

Postdoctoral researcher in the project “Motion verbs in Ancient Greek and Ancient Egyptian: A diachronic study on the linguistic, cognitive and cultural encoding of space”. Faculty of English Language and Literature, University of Athens, Greece and Excellence Cluster Topoi, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Co-funded by the State Scholarships Foundation of Greece and Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD).

Peer-reviewed publications (selection)

i) Monograph

Piata, Anna (2018). The Poetics of Time: Metaphors and Blends in Language and Literature. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

ii) Articles in Journals

(in preparation). “Approaching Events and Shifting Valences: A Study on EventConceptualization and Affect in Language Use” (in collaboration with Cristina Soriano).

(under review). “On the Polysemy of Motion Verbs in Ancient Greek: Why LexicalConstructions Are Important” (in collaboration with Thanasis Georgakopoulos, Kiki Nikiforidou and Eliese-Sophia Lincke).

(accepted). “Incongruent Codes and Humor in Classical Art Memes:Where the Past Meets the Future”. In Internet Pragmatics (Special Issue on the Pragmatics of Internet Memes, edited by Chaoqun  Xie & Francisco Yus).

 Piata, Anna & Pagán Cánovas, Cristóbal (2017). “Powerful Rhyme and Sluttish Time: A Cross-linguistic Study of Time Personification in Poetic Discourse”. In Language & Literature 26 (1): 18-33.

 Piata, Anna (2016). “When Metaphor Becomes a Joke: Metaphor Journeys from Political Ads to Internet Memes”. In Journal of Pragmatics 106: 39-56. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2016.10.003


iii) Articles in Edited volumes

(to appear). “Is All Poetic Metaphor Deliberate? Exploring the Relationship between Verbal Creativity and Deliberateness”. In Di Biase-Dyson, C. & Egg, M. (eds.), Drawing Attention to Metaphor. Case Studies across Time Periods, Cultures and Modalities. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 

Piata, Anna (2018). “On-line Humorous Representations of the 2015 Greek National Elections: Acting and Interacting about Politics on Social Media”. In Tsakona, V. & Chovanec, J. (eds.), The Dynamics of Interactional Humor: Creating and Negotiating Humor in Everyday Encounters (pp. 257-282). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Pagán Cánovas, Cristóbal & Piata, Anna (2018). “The Way Time Goes By: Generic Integration Templates and the Poetics of Time”. In Csábi, S. (ed.), Expressive Minds and Artistic Creations: Studies in Cognitive Poetics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Piata, Anna (2016). “Genre ‘Out of the Box’: A Conceptual Integration Analysis of Poetic Discourse”. In Stukker, N., Spooren, W. & Steen, G.  (eds.), Genre in Discourse and Cognition: Concepts, Models and Methods (pp. 225-250). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

iv) Articles in Conference proceedings

Piata, Anna (2014). “Emotion and Time Conceptualization in Poetic Discourse”. In Selected

Papers from the 11th International Conference on Greek Linguistics: 1361-1376.

Piata, Anna (2012). “Time at the Interface of Felt Experience and Social Rhythms: Evidence from Modern Greek”. In Selected Papers from UK-CLA Meetings 1: 361-384.

Georgakopoulos, Thanasis & Piata, Anna (2012). “The Meaning of Khrónos in Ancient Greek”. In Selected Papers from UK-CLA Meetings 1: 342-360.