Metaphor in newspapers
Journalistic writing has been a welcome source of natural language data
for metaphor research. The popularity of newspaper texts for metaphor
research would seem to suggest that news is a very metaphorical register.
However, most studies on metaphor in news have been small-scale or restricted
in their focus, investigating only a small set of linguistic or conceptual
metaphors, or have lacked a transparent method of metaphor identification.
This research presents the first investigation of metaphorically used words in
newspaper articles based on a systematic and transparent method of metaphor
identification that captures all metaphorical language use regardless of source
domain or lexical field. Quantitative and qualitative analysis examines
the distribution, form, function and patterns of metaphorical language in
news texts compared to its use in the registers fiction, academic texts and
conversation. The analysis is based on a database of about 190,000 words
hand-annotated for metaphorical language use. Besides its cognitive linguistic,
sociolinguistic and discourse-analytical approaches, the work also adopts a
psycholinguistic angle to investigate the influence of metaphor conventionality
and metaphor signaling on people’s mental representation of a news article.
The work will appeal to anyone interested in newspaper texts specifically
and metaphor variation across registers more generally. It is also a helpful
resource to those who are concerned with research methodology: it not only
advances our knowledge of what characterizes metaphor in newspaper writing,
but also furthers the development of research tools for the identification of
linguistic metaphors as well as the description of conceptual mappings.