Chow, Mei Yung Vanliza (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
As cognitive linguistics argues, the meaning construction processes that we employ to understand and interact with the world around us are dynamic processes and are highly metaphorical. Conceptual Metaphor Theory proposed by Lakoff and Johnson appears to be insufficient to explain the fuzziness in categorization and the emergence of mixed metaphors. Categorization theory indicates that meaning construction processes are not fixed while the presence of mixed metaphor casts doubt on the idea whether metaphor production is simply a cross domain mapping. Moreover, metaphor is also cultural-cognitive that it is a good tool to explore the ways of thinking, evaluations, values and attitudes of the people speaking the metaphor. On the pragmatic level, the choice of metaphor helps deliver the stance and achieve the persuasive ends of the writers. In my study, I compare how the commonly used word ‗economy‘ is construed with metaphors in the economic discourse in two locations, Britain and Hong Kong, in an attempt to illustrate the above mentioned ideas. Firstly, on the cognitive level, I compare the conceptual metaphors manifested in shaping the concepts concerning ‗economy‘. I argue that primary metaphors are near-universal across cultures. Moreover, I discuss some of these mixed metaphors observed in my corpora in order to illustrate that meaning construction processes is dynamic processes. I also suggest observing cross-cultural differences in conceptual metaphor by looking at the change of image schema. Then, I further investigate these conceptual metaphors on the cultural-cognitive level, in an attempt to explore the ideas attached with the word ‗economy‘ in these two locations. Finally, I attempt to illustrate the pragmatic functions of metaphors, that is, how the choice of metaphors helps achieve the persuasive ends of the writers.
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