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Pan, Xie Molly
PhD Student (FT)

B. A. in English, Nanjing Agricultural University (2014)
M.A. in English Language Teaching, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (2016)
Course Certificates in Fundamentals of Graphic Design, Typography and Image Making, California Institute of the Arts, offered through Coursera (2017-2018)

Room No.AG415
Tel2766 6382
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Research areas:

Cognitive Linguistics
English Language Teaching
Second Language Acquisition

Title of thesis:

Exploring creative metaphor in video ads: Manifestation, uses and effectiveness. 

Description of thesis research:

An increasing attention has been paid on metaphor in video ads, but there is limited effort on the creative metaphor from a Cognitive Linguistics (CL) perspective, under which creative metaphor in ads is not merely a rhetoric device that can only be cued by verbal language or visuals, but a conceptual phenomenon that can manifest itself in any mode in video ads. A CL perspective considers what are the target and source of a metaphor and how they are constructed. It extends the scope of metaphor studies in multimodal discourse from the investigation of verbal/visual metaphors to multimodal metaphors that emerge from interactions of different modes. This research adopts a CL perspective and aims to explore creative metaphor in video ads regarding its manifestation, uses and effectiveness. Corpus-driven studies are carried out to investigate how creative metaphor is constructed and used in video ads. A procedure to detect creative metaphor is conceptualized, tested and implemented in this research. Content analyses signal major uses of creative metaphors in relation to promoting the products. The significant associations between uses and the manifestation of metaphors have been unveiled. In order to examine the extent to which creative metaphors exert an influence on viewers, experimental studies are designed. This research contributes to the Multimodal Metaphor Theory, regarding the methodology, the theoretical conceptualization and the empirical evidence of creative metaphors in video ads.

Involvement in research groups, networks and projects:

Member of Researching and Applying Metaphor (RaAM)

Member of Teaching and Researching Team in WE ENGLISH


Written Publications:

Pan, X. & Tay, D. (accepted). Identifying creative metaphor in video ads. In L. Lin, INI. Mwinlaaru & D. Tay (Eds.), Approaches to specialized genres: In memory of Stephen Evans. Routledge.

Pan, X. (accepted). The effectiveness of the Conceptual Metaphor Approach to English idiom acquisition by young Chinese learners. Metaphor and the Social World.

Conference Presentations:

The 17th International Conference on the Processing of East Asian Languages and the 9th Conference on Language, Discourse, and Cognition (ICPEAL 17- CLDC 9), National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan (2018, October).
Creative metaphor in Chinese video ads.

The 12th International Conference for Researching and Applying Metaphor, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong (2018, June).
A tentative scheme to identify metaphor from video ads.

SNU International Conference on Linguistics: Future Directions for Linguistic Research Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea (2018, June).
Pragmatic uses of metaphors in Chinese video advertisements.


Shanghai New Oriental School (2013-2015).
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Training Course


Member, Teacher Training Program in WE ENGLISH, Shen Zhen (2016-ongoing).

Member, Organizing Committee, The 12th International Conference for Researching and Applying Metaphor (RaAM), Department of English, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong (2018).


Best Paper Award, First Place, Joint Postgraduate Student Symposium on Language, Culture and Cognition, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong (2018).

Graduate with Honor, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing (2014).