This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
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...
View Full Document