LINGUIST List 13.812

Mon Mar 25 2002

Diss: Cognitive Science: Maalej "Metaphor"

Editor for this issue: Karolina Owczarzak <>


  1. zmaalej, Cognitive Science: Maalej "Metaphor in Political and Economic Texts"

Message 1: Cognitive Science: Maalej "Metaphor in Political and Economic Texts"

Date: Mon, 25 Mar 2002 15:31:25 +0000
From: zmaalej <>
Subject: Cognitive Science: Maalej "Metaphor in Political and Economic Texts"

New Dissertation Abstract

Institution: University of Manouba
Program: Linguistics
Diss Status: Completed
Degree Date: 1990
Author: Zouhair Maalej
Diss Title: Metaphor in Political and Economic Texts
Linguistic Field: Cognitive Science
Subject Language: English
Diss Director: Fathi Dali

Diss Abstract: 

The dissertation is written as a counterargument to two important
dominant myths about metaphor: 

(i) that metaphor is a figure of speech having a stylistic value, and
(ii) that literature is the only valuable recruiting ground for

To react against this, the cognitive linguistics framework (Lakoff and
Johnson, 1980) is defended, whereby metaphor is a matter of thought
pervading our conceptual system. The data adduced to defend the
cognitive status of metaphor are politics and economics
discourses. The politics part investigates metaphoric discourse
through major political writings (Hobbes' Leviathan, Paine's Rights of
Man, Godwin's Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, and Mill's On
Liberty) and inaugural addresses of American presidents (Roosevelt,
Nixon, Reagan, Bush) and one British Prime Minister (Lloyd
George). The study isolates the various cognitive domains used to
cognize politics, explaining the choice of metaphor by its
entailments. In the economics part, in contrast, it is argued after
Boyd (1979) that economics discourse includes "theory-constitutive
metaphors," which make up models of economic speech or the metaphors
that economics lives by. Apart from economics textbooks, this part
investigates Time and Newsweek for the most common metaphors. The gist
of the dissertation is that the politics metaphors' cognitive semantic
domains are more open-ended than their economics counterparts. The
dissertation offers, apart from the Introduction and the Conclusion, a
review of the literature, including semantic theories of metaphor
(selection restriction violation view, simile view, interaction view,
and substitution view), pragmatic theories of metaphor (Searle, Grice,
Sperber and Wilson), and Lakoff and Johnson's experiential cognitive
theory of metaphor.
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