One of the most recent approaches to metaphor in

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Unformatted text preview: . Concordancing is a powerful observational tool, but no more than a tool; a researcher is needed to decide what to examine and how to interpret the resulting data (Deignan 1999: 180). On top of that, corpora are of limited usefulness in investigating innovative metaphor and require a bottom-up approach to theory building. Deignan discusses problems inherent in metaphor theory research as well. She sees distinguishing metaphor from other related phenomena as the major problem. There are three aspects to this problem, i.e. a distinction between dead metaphor and polysemous senses (possibly as in catachresis), a distinction between metaphor and idiom, and between idiom and metonymy. In many studies, it must be admitted that these distinctions are neglected and all figurative uses are viewed as metaphoric (see for instance Lakoff – Turner’s (1989) discussion of poetic language and a rather unclear distinction they make between metaphors, personification and proverbs), while others make minute distinctions (for example Sadock (1993) in building a speech act theory of metaphor, which distinguishes it painstakingly from other nonliteral linguistic figures such as metonymy, synecdoche, hyperbole, understatement, irony and euphemism). One of the most recent approaches to metaphor in combination with corpus linguistics is Charteris-Black (2004), in which he integrates the insights from CMT and discourse analysis. His investigations focus on specific-domain corpora, such as the British party political manifestos, American presidential speeches, sports reporting, financial reporting and religious discourse (the Bible and the Koran). But he stresses, like Stubbs did before him, that it is “beneficial to compare the findings of a domainspecific corpus with those of a general corpus (…). In such cases a gen- Corpus linguistics and the language of mass media 63 eral corpus serves as a control corpus” (Charteris-Black 2004: 31). For example, in analysing financial reporting he checked the frequency of potentially metaphoric words in The Economist sub-corpus and the entire Bank of English corpus and found out that words such as attack and haven were far more frequent in the general corpus. This led him to conclude that metaphors including these words are general and not domainspecific. He also remarks on the interaction of researcher’s intuition and corpus data: “It is not that corpus linguists do not rely on their intuitions as much as in the traditional approaches, but that their intuitions are measured against attested linguistic evidence” (Charteris-Black 2004: 31). Yet another recent investigation of metaphor, which combines corpus linguistics, discourse analysis and conceptual metaphor theory is Koller (2004). In her study of metaphors in business media discourse, she uses two self-compiled, purpose-built corpora from British and American business magazines and newspapers. Her aim is to study the rhetoric of the language of business press reports. She finds out that there are three metaphors domin...
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This essay was uploaded on 02/24/2014 for the course LING 1100 taught by Professor Friedman during the Fall '09 term at Cornell.

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