Semino et al 2004 also discusses this problem and

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Unformatted text preview: methodological point about corpusdriven research, i.e. “Searches are deterministic, and only report what has been sought, not what should or could have been looked for” (Moon 1998: 49). Similarly to Sinclair and Teubert, she emphasizes the fact that while the canonical, ‘dictionary’ forms of idioms and metaphors may be ambiguous between literal and non-literal readings, the textual realization will disambiguate the meaning (Moon 1998: 179). This claim goes against an observation made by Fabiszak – Kaszubski (2005 and 2006), namely, that quite often corpus data, even if the context is extended to a paragraph or a number of paragraphs, may remain uniterpretable in terms of literacy vs. metaphoricity. It may also be the case that expressions are inherently ambiguous, so that the judgment of various readers may vary, and also the judgment of the same reader on different occasions may diverge. In accord with our views on page 201, Moon seems to contradict Corpus linguistics and the language of mass media 59 her earlier statement and observes that metaphorical FEIs are widespread in the lexicon and a major source of polysemy, which, in turn, “complicates analyses of metphoricality”. Semino et al. (2004) also discusses this problem and suggests that metaphoricity may be a scalar concept. In addition, Moon notices a certain genre-specificity of journalistic writing (1998: 71), which we also found out in our study of battlefield, battleground, fight war and declare war (Fabiszak – Kaszubski 2006). That is, journalese seems to employ these words in their metaphorical uses significantly more often than other investigated genres, i.e. fiction and history texts. Apart from that, when examining the discoursal functions of FEIs, Moon points out that while in an informative function the distribution of metaphors does not depart from the general pattern characteristic of the whole corpus, in their evaluative function the metaphors are much more commonly used than on average (47% as opposed to 33%). She concludes: “This suggests that the use of institutionalized metaphors is stylistic, bound up with evaluation, and centred on the interaction” (1998: 225). Later she adds: “[When using evaluative or informational-evaluative FEIs] the speaker/writer is persuading the hearer/reader to share his/her orientation towards the situation or to acknowledge the conventionalized cultural interpretation of the situation” (1998: 245). Moon (1998: 247) is finally led to conclude that evaluative orientations are more strongly associated with metaphors than other kinds of FEI:5 It emerges that negative assignments are roughly twice as common as positive ones. The same kind of distribution was also observed in the compilation of CCDI,6 which systematically recorded negative and positive evaluations. It is possible that negative evaluations are simply more salient, and so negative orientations are more likely to be noticed: the proportions reflect human error or bias. However, it is equally possible that negatively evaluating FEIs are indeed commoner than...
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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 University (Engineering School).

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