Poland was an ally of the participant while britain

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Unformatted text preview: the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, the roles were reversed. Poland was an ally of the participant, while Britain was an observer. In the 2001 war against the Taliban, both countries were on the same side of the conflict. I hoped that this choice of conflicts would ensure a wide range of disparate rhetorical strategies for describing conflicts from a variety of perspectives extending along a continuum starting from an active involvement – through alliance with the participant – to observation. As is shown in the analysis in Chapter Four, these expectations have been born out only to a certain extent. That is, although the edge of the tinted representation may have had an opposing direction, the rhetorical strategies and the conceptual metaphors motivating them have been quite similar in both Polish and British press, irrespective of the degree of involvement of the country. The qualitative analysis of The Times War Reports Corpus has also led to a compilation of the lexemes characteristic of the lexical field of war as used in press reports. This list is later used as a starting point for the quantitative study investigating the frequencies of different senses of the words commonly considered as indicators of X IS WAR conceptual metaphor. This study is conducted on the data from the British National Corpus. 4 The dating of the events on the basis of Grant (1994). 12 Introduction Such development of qualitative into a quantitative study is in accord with Semino’s (2007) suggestion that a detailed qualitative study of metaphorically motivated expressions in a small genre-specific corpus study should lead to a quantitative study in a large general language corpus. The large corpus study can then be used to formulate implications for Cognitive Metaphor Theory. Indeed, the present work develops a frequency related instrument showing which words from the semantic field of war are more likely to indicate X IS WAR conceptual metaphor and which are more likely to indicate the use of other Source Domains. The book is structured in the following way. Chapter One presents a short review of the Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT). The cognitive school of linguistics started as a movement towards placing the language in a broader psychological perspective away from the concept of modularity. It emphasised the importance of real life data and criticised invented, artificial examples. In the 1980s its major theoretical and philosophical premises were formulated by Langacker (1987, 1991) and Lakoff – Johnson (1980, 1999). Lakoff stressed the metaphoric nature of the understanding of abstract concepts, such as emotions in contemporary American English (thoroughly researched by Kövecses 1993, 1998); and the radial structure of concepts (e.g. mother). In the 1990s the Lakoffian Conceptual Metaphor Theory was applied to a variety of new fields of study, such as literature and political discourse. It was also tested in psycholinguistic studies and applied to neural networks modelling. Today, we can witness a surge of studies applying CMT analyses to new areas of linguistic investigations such as historical linguistics (Tissari 2001,...
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