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LINGUIST List 19.2137

Thu Jul 03 2008

Diss: Disc Analysis: Aponte: 'Metaphors in Hugo Chávez's Political ...'

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        1.    Marco Aponte, Metaphors in Hugo Chávez's Political Discourse: Conceptualizing nation, revolution, and opposition


Message 1: Metaphors in Hugo Chávez's Political Discourse: Conceptualizing nation, revolution, and opposition
Date: 03-Jul-2008
From: Marco Aponte <maponteprinceton.edu>
Subject: Metaphors in Hugo Chávez's Political Discourse: Conceptualizing nation, revolution, and opposition
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Institution: City University of New York
Program: Hispanic and Luso Brazilian Literatures and Languages
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2008

Author: Marco A Aponte

Dissertation Title: Metaphors in Hugo Chávez's Political Discourse: Conceptualizing nation, revolution, and opposition

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis

Dissertation Director:
Ricardo Otheguy
José del Valle
Isaías Lerner

Dissertation Abstract:

This dissertation examines Hugo Chávez's choice of metaphors in his efforts
to construct and legitimize his Bolivarian Revolution. It focuses on
metaphors drawn from three of the most frequent target domains present in
his discourse: the nation, his revolution, and the opposition. The study
argues that behind an official discourse of inclusion, Chávez's choice of
metaphors contributes to the construction of a polarizing discourse of
exclusion in which his political opponents are represented as enemies of
the nation.

The study shows that Chávez constructs this polarizing discourse of
exclusion by combining metaphors that conceptualize: (a) the nation as a
person who has been resurrected by his government, as a person ready to
fight for his revolution, or as Chávez's himself; (b) the revolution as
war; and (c) members of the opposition as war combatants or criminals. At
the same time, the study shows that by making explicit references in his
discourse about the revolution as the continuation of Bolívar's wars of
independence, Chávez contributes to represent opponents as enemies of the
nation, given that in the Venezuelan collective imaginary Simón Bolívar is
the symbol of the nation's emancipation.

This research, which covers a period of nine years (from Chávez's first
year in office in 1999 through 2007), is part of the discipline of
Political Discourse Analysis (PDA). It is anchored both in the theoretical
framework provided by the cognitive linguistic metaphor theory developed by
George Lakoff and Mark Johnson described in their book Metaphors We Live
By, and in Critical Metaphor Analysis (CMA) as defined by Jonathan
Charteris-Black in his book Corpus Approaches to Critical Metaphor Analysis.

The study provides the first comprehensive analysis of metaphors used by
Chávez in his political discourse. It builds upon the findings of previous
studies on political discourse analysis in Venezuela by showing that
Chávez's discourse not only polarizes the country and represents opponents
as detractors of national symbols such as Bolívar or his wars of
independence (which have been clearly established in previous studies), but
also represents political opponents as enemies of the nation.



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