Les métaphores de guerre dans la prose journalistique du français 

by Dilks, Charlotte, PhD

Abstract (Summary)
This study explores the use of war metaphors, more specifically metaphors centred on the verb, in modern French newspaper prose from three principal angles. The first part of the analysis shows that the verbs of war used are metaphorical rather than concrete. However, the vast majority of the metaphors stem from only five verbs, namely attaquer, affronter, combattre, défendre and lutter. The second part of the analysis focuses on these five verbs and their metaphorical uses. It is shown that it is the semantic role of patient that separates a metaphorical use from a concrete use. A classification of the patients according to semantic fields reveals that each of the five verbs shows a distinct preference for a certain type of patient and the verbs also differ in whether their patients have negative or positive connotations. This creates an image of five verbs, each of which is conventionalised in a certain linguistic context. The final chapter of the analysis investigates war metaphors from a textual perspective, analysing their usage according to three parameters: position, function and target domains. The position that is the most susceptible to war metaphors is the initial position. The textual functions of metaphors are divided into one semantic and three pragmatic functions. The semantic function structures the theme of an article in terms of war, construing an antagonism by means of elaborating or extending a conventional metaphor. The pragmatic functions considered are argumentative, descriptive and expressive. In the articles studied, war metaphors have mostly a descriptive or argumentative function. Finally, the target domains and their interconnections with the source domain WAR are considered, showing that the war metaphors are linked to power or the lack thereof. The metaphor often describes the person in power, but the case can be reversed with the metaphor describing the powerless resisting or fighting the person in power. 
Bibliographical Information:


School:Stockholms universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:HUMANITIES and RELIGION; Languages and linguistics; Romance languages; French language; French; metaphor; conventional metaphor; cognitive linguistics; cognitive semantics; conceptual blending; text linguistics; interpretative semantics; verbs; semantic roles; agentivity; journalistic prose; French; franska


Date of Publication:01/01/2009

© 2009 All Rights Reserved.