Revisiting Text World Theory and extended metaphor: Embedding and foregrounding metaphor in the text-worlds of the 2008 financial crash

BROWSE, Sam (2016). Revisiting Text World Theory and extended metaphor: Embedding and foregrounding metaphor in the text-worlds of the 2008 financial crash. Language & Literature, 25 (1), 18-37.

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Official URL: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/09639...
Link to published version:: 10.1177/0963947015608969

Abstract

It has long been recognised that metaphor is not only a linguistic phenomenon, but also has important cognitive dimensions. To find evidence that metaphor is an important feature of the human conceptual system, cognitive linguists have often searched for clusters of metaphor in discourse that manifest a single conceptual metaphor. As Werth points out, however, in addition to clustering, metaphors can be sustained throughout a discourse. The subtle conceptual effects of these extended metaphors are of particular interest to researchers working in the field of stylistics. In this article, I build on Werth’s account of extended metaphor to explore in more detail these sustained conceptual effects. Like Werth, I draw on Text World Theory to outline a text-world approach to extended metaphor, proposing the idea of a ‘source-world’ to account for how individual, clause-level metaphors combine across a discourse to create a discourse-level conceptual structure. I argue that the source-worlds of extended metaphor are anchored in the text-world structures discourse participants create as they engage with a text and that this embedding of extended metaphor in the discourse gives rise to some of the subtle conceptual effects to which Werth alludes. Building on work by Gavins, Steen, Stockwell and Sullivan, I also argue that source-worlds can be more or less foregrounded or pushed into the background of discourse participants’ mental representations of the text and I propose a linguistic framework to account for the phenomenon of extended metaphor foregrounding. I illustrate extended metaphor embedding and foregrounding by analysing a newspaper opinion piece by Matthew D’Ancona entitled ‘Gordon Brown with siren suit and cigar’.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Humanities Research Centre
Departments: Development and Society > Humanities
Identification Number: 10.1177/0963947015608969
Depositing User: Sam Browse
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2018 15:50
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2018 15:50
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/18811

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