How Metaphor Scenarios can Reveal Socio-cultural and Linguistic Variations of Meaning: A Cross-linguistic Perspective on the “NURTURING PARENT” and the “STRICT FATHER” Frames

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Abstract

This research investigates the cross-linguistic exploitations of Lakoff’s “STRICT FATHER” and “NURTURING PARENT” frames. The British, American, Spanish, and French languages show significant variations of meaning of the metaphorical expression “Mother Earth/Nature” used in press articles discussing climate change. The shift from conceptual metaphor theory to metaphor scenarios operated in this research reveals major adjustments to Lakoff’s findings with, notably, the identification of a “STRICT MOTHER” in our corpus. The cross-linguistic perspective also emphasizes socio-cultural influence on the metaphorical interpretation and the related metaphorical frames. For instance, our results highlight linguistic evidences of language-specific and culture-specific characterizations of the “MOTHER”. The reliance on “RELIGION” metaphors in climate change discourses has been previously documented by researchers. However, we demonstrate that the reliance on myths has a significant role to play in the characterization of the “MOTHER” in different languages. The association between the myths and the frames related to the figure of the “MOTHER” also influences the understanding of the topic of climate change fulfilling different argumentative stances.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-228
Number of pages19
JournalMetaphor and Symbol
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2019

Keywords

  • Mother Nature
  • metaphor
  • Climate Change

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