|Title||The Visual Representation of a Systematic Metaphor in a UK Media Text|
Much has been written on the organizational power of metaphor in discourse, eg on metaphor ‘chains’ and ‘clusters’ of linguistic metaphor in discourse (Koller 2003, Cameron & Stelma 2004, Semino 2008) and the role of extended and systematic metaphor in organizing long stretches of language, even whole texts (Cameron et al 2009, Cameron & Maslen 2010, Deignan et al 2013, Semino et al 2013). However, at times, this work belies the intricacies of how a single metaphoric idea can impact on a text. The focus of this paper is a UK media article derived from a HM Treasury press release on alleviating poverty. The language of the article draws heavily on orientational (spatial) metaphors, particularly metaphors of movement around GOOD IS UP. Although GOOD IS UP can be considered a single metaphoric idea, the picture the reader builds up as they move line by line through this text is complex and multifaceted. I take the idea of “building up a picture” literally in order to investigate the schema of motion relating to GOOD IS UP. To do this, fifteen informants (Masters students at a London university), tutored in Cognitive Metaphor Theory, were asked to read the article and underline words and expressions they felt related to GOOD IS UP. The text was then read back to the informant with emphasis given to the words they had underlined, while they drew a pictorial representation of the article based on the meanings of these words, integrating their drawings into a single picture as they went along. I present examples of the drawings the informants produced. I propose that using Metaphor-led Discourse Analysis to produce visual material in this way offers useful insights into how metaphor contributes to meaning making at text level. It shows how a metaphoric idea, such as GOOD IS UP, provides the text producer with a rich and versatile meaning-making resource for constructing text; and gives a ‘mind-map’ of how certain aspects of a media text are decoded by the text receiver. It also offers a partial representation of the elusive, intermediate ‘deverbalized’ stage of translation (Lederer 1987), where the sense of the source text is held in the mind before it is transferred to the target language.
Cameron, L., R. Maslen, Z. Todd, J. Maule, P. Stratton & N. Stanley. 2009. ‘The discourse dynamic approach to metaphor and metaphor-led analysis’. Metaphor and Symbol, 24(2), 63-89.
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Deignan, A., J. Littlemore & E. Semino. 2013. Figurative Language, Genre and Register. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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|Keywords||Systematic Metaphor, Orientational Metaphor, GOOD IS UP, MLDA, CMT, Visual Representation, Translation|