LINGUIST List 14.1046

Tue Apr 8 2003

Diss: Text/Corpus Ling: Koller "Metaphor Clusters..."

Editor for this issue: Anita Yahui Huang <>


  1. veronika.koller, Text/Corpus Ling: Koller "Metaphor Clusters in Business Media..."

Message 1: Text/Corpus Ling: Koller "Metaphor Clusters in Business Media..."

Date: Tue, 08 Apr 2003 08:04:45 +0000
From: veronika.koller <>
Subject: Text/Corpus Ling: Koller "Metaphor Clusters in Business Media..."

Institution: Vienna University
Program: Department of English
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2003

Author: Veronika Koller 

Dissertation Title: 
Metaphor Clusters in Business Media Discourse: A Social Cognition Approach

Linguistic Field: Text/Corpus Linguistics, Semantics, Discourse

Subject Language: English (code: ENG)

Dissertation Director 1: Herbert Schendl
Dissertation Director 2: Wolfgang Obenaus

Dissertation Abstract: 

Combining critical language study with cognitive semantics, this
thesis looks at how metaphor usage in business media texts on a)
marketing and b) mergers and acquisitions (M&A) is linked to discourse
and cognition as well as to the socio-economic framework these are
embedded in.

The study is based on two purpose-built machine-readable corpora of
texts from British and US businessmagazines and newspapers. These were
first subjected to computer-assisted quantitative analysis to search
for metaphoric usage of items from previously established lexical
fields (war, sports and games for marketing as well as evolutionary
struggle--sub-divided into fighting, mating and feeding--for M&A). The
quantitative results then served as the starting point for a
qualitative functional grammar analysis of sample texts, which in turn
resulted in assumed socio-cognitive models underlying the two

The analyses show that in quantitative terms, metaphorical expressions
of war/fighting dominate both discourses, followed by sports and
mating and then games and feeding, resp. In addition, the dominant
metaphors are also qualitatively supported by the other metaphors in
the clusters, with alternative romance (marketing) or dancing (M&A)
metaphors being either marginalized or co-opted into the dominant

Discussed critically, the features of business media discourse thus
ascertained are seen as originating from and impacting on cognition
and the wider socio-economic sphere by reifiying business as a
male-defined social practice.
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