25 April – Pauline Heyvaert

Metaphors in Belgian political discourse: a new look on the identification of deliberateness

One of the main aspects of Deliberate Metaphor Theory is that metaphor is used as metaphor between speaker and addressee, hence pushing the language users to pay attention to the source domain as a separate domain of reference. Metaphors convey certain representation of the topic at hand, but not all metaphors are equal in terms of conveying these representations: metaphors which are perceived as metaphors are more likely to activate and thus ratify certain properties of a particular representation, whereas metaphors which constitute the type of language use that people usually deploy to talk about certain topics will not have the same effect. This research aims to further contribute to the ongoing debate on deliberateness by means of metaphor analysis in a large political discourse, and thus by taking a bottom-up approach to metaphor analysis. The purpose of this extensive analysis is to create lists of candidates/indicators that allow us to differentiate metaphors based on the extent to which these metaphors might activate and thus ratify certain properties of a particular representation (and thus, the extent to which these metaphors might be potentially deliberate). Political discourse is the ideal type of discourse to achieve this goal. It is the type of discourse that is situated in a space of what we could call “conflicts” between representations of topics and issues, thus lending itself quite naturally to the use of metaphors that are likely to highlight and activate certain properties of particular representations. During this research meaning I will discuss what has been done so far and what needs to be done, with a particular focus on the different methodological issues at hand.

Potgieterszaal, University Library
Singel 421-427
1012 WP Amsterdam