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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
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