Metaphors in political discourse of Hong Kong and China : a comparative study on policy address and report on the work of the government

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Metaphors in political discourse of Hong Kong and China : a comparative study on policy address and report on the work of the government

 

Author: Wang, Zihan
Title: Metaphors in political discourse of Hong Kong and China : a comparative study on policy address and report on the work of the government
Degree: M.A.
Year: 2014
Subject: Metaphor -- Political aspects -- China -- Hong Kong.
Communication in politics.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of English
Pages: 71 pages : illustrations
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2775894
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/7681
Abstract: Metaphors in political discourse like political speeches and the media press are researched extensively both in Western and Chinese contexts. But two prominent governmental documents, the Report on the Work of the Government (RWG) by the Chinese government and the Policy Address (PA) by the Hong Kong government are seldom studied in the field of linguistics. Drawn upon methods and perspectives of corpus linguistics (CL) and critical discourse analysis (CDA), this research project examines and compares how metaphors are used in the Report on the Work of the Government and the Policy Address from 1997-2014, With a broader investigation of the discursive and narrative construction of social reality through metaphors, I identify a number of metaphors in the two political discourses. Modelled on Critical Metaphor Analysis (CMA) proposed by Charteris-Black (2004), the project also shows integrated procedures of identifying and analysing metaphors. By means of sample texts reading, and analysing the compiled corpora, it is found that metaphors that are most frequently used in the two discourses are based on four source domains: JOURNEY, WAR, BUILDING and PLANT. Some linguistic features are also identified for facilitating the analysis of metaphors. Although major source domains and purposes for using metaphors are generally similar, there are also significant differences in how metaphors are employed in the two discourses. The similarities and differences should be interpreted with the consideration of social, political, and ideological conditions of the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong. Metaphors and their effects on the audience are explained with 'image schemata' from Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT). The metaphors in the two discourses are usually used for conceptualising and thus simplifying and representing the descriptions of economic and social development, since economic growth is the focus of both governments. The battle against corruption, which employs metaphors in relation to CONFLICT, is also an important narrative of the Chinese government. In addition, the RWG adopts an relatively unemotional and authoritative narrative in the view of its uses of JOURNEY metaphors and cautious uses of single first pronouns, whereas the PA attempts to connect with its audience by means of JOURNEY metaphors, which is similar to Western political discourse.

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