Figar (2014) Emotional Appeal of Conceptual Metaphors of Conflict in the Political Discourse ...

Abstract

The paper explores the ability of conceptual metaphors of CONFLICT to provoke an emotional response in the context of the political discourse of daily newspapers. Furthermore, it is argued that such emotional involvement can facilitate the construction of political reality. The emotional appeal of the most salient CONFLICT metaphors from the corpus that consists of newspaper articles extracted from the on-line editions of The New York Times is tested via appropriate questionnaires. The theoretical framework of the first part of the paper is based on Conceptual Blending Theory, which is expected to provide a detailed account of the conceptual basis that underlies metaphor usage, and the way the emotional appeal of metaphors influences the online process of meaning construction. The questionnaires used to determine the emotional response to metaphors are based on the Conceptual Act Theory of Emotion, and they were designed to test the reaction in terms of affect and more specific emotion concepts. Both questionnaires include selected metaphorical expressions from the corpus.

Citation Figar, V. (2014). Emotional Appeal of Conceptual Metaphors of Conflict in the Political Discourse of Daily Newpapers. Linguistics and Literature, 12(1), 43–61. URL

BibTex entry for this article:

BibTex entry for this article:

@article{figar2014emotional,
author = {Figar, Vladimir},
journal = {Linguistics and Literature},
number = {1},
pages = {43--61},
title = {{Emotional Appeal of Conceptual Metaphors of Conflict in the Political Discourse of Daily Newpapers}},
url = {http://casopisi.junis.ni.ac.rs/index.php/FULingLit/article/download/371/176},
volume = {12},
year = {2014}
}

Key ideas

The metaphor presents itself as a salient element of the political discourse of daily newspapers, with its ability to stir emotional reactions as one of the prominent mechanisms that can influence readers' perception of political issues, and condition and guide their construction of political reality. p. 59

This idea is further supported by the fact that effective and emotional engagement “makes external information from the world personally relevant to people, providing them with a first-person experience of the world” (Duncan and Barrett 2007: 1198), which in turn renders the construction of global insight at human scale possible. p. 59

Notes

1. Introduction

2. Theoretical Framework

The theoretical framework of the first part of the research is based on Conceptual Blending Theory, most thoroughly elaborated in Fauconnier and Turner (2002), where the minimal network of conceptual integration consists of four spaces:

  • The generic space,
  • Two input spaces,
  • And the blend.

Alternatively, a network can include multiple inputs, or even multiple blends.

3. Metaphor, Politics, and Emotions

The ability of metaphors to stir emotions has been recognized and studied extensively by a number of authors. p. 46

4. Present Research

The present research will attempt to answer the following research questions: p. 47

  1. What are some of the possible cognitive mechanisms that enable conceptual metaphors in the political discourse of daily newspapers to provoke an emotional response with the readers?
  2. Is there any similarity in the forms of emergent structures that appear in metaphorical conceptual integration networks from the present corpus?
  3. Can conceptual metaphors in the political discourse of daily newspapers provoke an actual emotional response with the readers?

5. General Discussion

6. Conclusion

Tables and figures

Figure 1: Distribution of metaphor keywords in the corpus Figure 1 ~ p. 48


Figure 2: Battles within the movement Figure 2 ~ p. 49


Figure 3: Nominating battle becomes a delegate fight Figure 3 ~ p. 50


Figure 4: FIGHT, STANDOFF, and RACE Figure 3 ~ p. 52

Keywords:

Conceptual Blending Theory, Favorite, LIS6013S, backward projections, compression, conceptual blending, coupled elaboration, emotional response, single-scope networks

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