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Metaphors of Our Time


  • Silva Bratoz

    (University of Primorska, Slovenia)


The book is geared towards establishing ways in which metaphors reflect the linguistic and cultural environments from which they emerge. The research is based on a contrastive analysis of conceptual metaphors used in the pre-election political discourse. It has been argued that while the selected languages share many metaphorical conceptualisations of elections (such as elections as fighting), there are also significant variations which have cultural implications. The first part looks at two theoretical traditions which are focused on analysing metaphors as forms of organising conceptual structure, i.e. the conceptual theory of metaphor as one of the most prominent frameworks in the cognitive linguistics movement and critical metaphor analysis as an off-spring of critical discourse analysis. It is suggested that valuable methodological tools for researching metaphors in political discourse can be gained by combining these two traditions. In addition, a critical assessment of the two theories is provided. The contrastive analysis model, developed in the second part, examines some important issues related to analysing metaphors contrastively, such as metaphor classification and the question of determining particular realisations of conceptual metaphors. The proposed model has been tested in two case studies: the first one looks at conceptual metaphors and their realisations in a corpus of pre-election articles related to the American elections in 2008 in five different languages (English, Slovene, Italian, German and Croatian), while the second one examines the pre-election discourse in Slovenian by analysing newspaper articles related to the Slovenian elections in 2008. In the last chapter, the results of the two case studies are discussed and compared. The results suggest that there are several cases of linguistic and cultural variation in the metaphorical conceptualisation of elections in the selected languages. It has been argued that these variations reflect different conceptions of this social phenomenon in the minds of the speakers of different languages. In conclusion, several issues are advanced pointing to possibilities for further research, especially by exploiting the benefits of combining different approaches and disciplines and researching metaphors on a contrastive basis.

Suggested Citation

  • Silva Bratoz, 2010. "Metaphors of Our Time," Faculty of Management Koper Monograph Series, University of Primorska, Faculty of Management Koper, number 978-961-266-078-9, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:mgt:fmkmon:978-961-266-078-9

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