Global financial crisis : a corpus-based study on metaphors

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Global financial crisis : a corpus-based study on metaphors

 

Author: Ho, Nga Man
Title: Global financial crisis : a corpus-based study on metaphors
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2013
Subject: Metaphor.
Metaphor -- Data processing.
Mass media and language.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of English
Pages: 326 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2652763
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/7236
Abstract: This study is a corpus-based examination of metaphors in the media coverage of the global financial crisis of 2008. It aims to investigate the inter-connectedness of the linguistic, conceptual and communicative functions of metaphor. Based on conceptual metaphor theory, the study compares the different conceptualizations from various source domains. It discusses how metaphors perform different functions in financial news discourse, particularly how metaphors express and describe negative emotions in financial news reports during the financial crisis. The research started with the compilation of a 1-million-word corpus of news articles on the financial crisis. With the use of the software suites Wmatrix tool 2.0 and WordSmith tool 5.0, metaphors directly conceptualizing the emotions of fear, anger and anxiety were identified and classified into various source domains such as ORGANISM and WATER. To further examine how negative emotions are expressed in news discourse, the study also examines the use of target-term absent emotion metaphors that express negative emotions. The study reveals various findings and suggestions related to the linguistic and cognitive dimensions of metaphor. The findings show that target-term present emotion metaphors describe various stages and intensities of negative emotions. On the other hand, target-term absent emotion metaphors are highly hyperbolic and can express negative emotions strongly in news reports. Both types of metaphor complement each other in filling lexical gaps, enhancing the decorativeness, expressiveness, reconceptualization and informativeness of financial news discourse. Various theoretical and lexico-grammatical implications have also arisen from the study. To sum up, this study shows how target-term present and target-term absent emotion metaphors perform different functional roles in the media coverage of the financial crisis. It reveals the systematicity of conceptual metaphors with the source domains, and strengthens the link between the linguistic, conceptual and discursive aspects of metaphor. This may make a significant contribution to metaphor research in discourse.

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