A corpus linguistics study : metaphors in newspaper texts of the Paris attacks

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A corpus linguistics study : metaphors in newspaper texts of the Paris attacks


Author: Lam, King Chi
Title: A corpus linguistics study : metaphors in newspaper texts of the Paris attacks
Degree: M.A.
Year: 2016
Subject: Metaphor.
Newspapers -- Social aspects
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of English
Pages: iv, 67 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2917079
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/8643
Abstract: Employing a discourse analytical framework, the paper examines the abstract and complex social phenomenon of terrorism from a constructivist perspective. Constructivists suggest that terrorism is more a discursive than a physical fact as people's understanding of it is greatly contributed by social constructions in the discourse, such as elite discourse produced by governments and political leaders and mass media discourse. In this sense, metaphors, which construct social reality by projecting the known to the unknown, is a principal linguistic means to shed light on the understanding of terrorism and act as a coping mechanisms to reduce the complexity of the concept. In this paper, it is aimed to document how the general public perceives the recent terrorist acts by analyzing the metaphorisations in newspaper texts in the corpus of 2015 Paris Attacks. It as well focuses on the role metaphors have in this discourse treating them as both enabling and constraining conditions for the governmental responses. Three dominant conceptual metaphors constituting terrorism as a crime, a war and the concept of barbarism are identified. The counter-terrorism policies corresponds to the metaphoric constructions, such as the "criminal justice" model and the "war" model exemplified in the discussion, have shown the making of terrorism brings significant impacts on the domestic and international practice, which also cause social issues such as hate crimes. Lastly, it is argued that the conventional and stereotypical use of the dominant TERRORISM IS CRIME and TERRORISM IS WAR metaphors identified may well limit the possibilities of developing new counter-terror strategies.

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