Conceptualising the coronavirus pandemic: a corpus linguistic study of metaphors in Italian, British and French coronavirus press discourse.

Benchetrit, Louise Kate (2021) Conceptualising the coronavirus pandemic: a corpus linguistic study of metaphors in Italian, British and French coronavirus press discourse. [Laurea magistrale], Università di Bologna, Corso di Studio in Specialized translation [LM-DM270] - Forli'
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As the number of coronavirus cases increased globally, governments started to introduce restrictive measures which many individuals had never experienced before. Heads of state started to use expressions referring to ‘war’, encouraging citizens to help the ‘fight’ against the ‘invisible enemy’. In the cognitive linguist approach, metaphors are believed to involve the ‘thinking’ as well as the ‘talking’ (or writing) of one thing in terms of another. That is, similarities (or correspondences) are perceived between two different ‘domains’ such as ‘covid-19’ and ‘war’. Therefore, ‘fighting the disease’ can be ‘translated’ into ‘reducing infection, illness and death’. This dissertation aims to identify metaphorical expressions, and the associated conceptual mappings, in the coronavirus media discourse of three countries – Italy, France, and the United Kingdom – over the period of the ‘first wave’. If metaphorical expressions can highlight how we ‘think’ about an event, it is interesting to investigate if all three countries are ‘thinking’ about the novel coronavirus in the same terms. In order to tackle this question, this dissertation has five chapters. First, the cognitive linguistic approach to metaphors is discussed, focusing on Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT). In chapter two we turn to the corpus linguistic approach and its application to metaphor research. On the basis of this theoretical background, chapter three introduces the methodology employed for this study. Chapter four presents the main results for English, French and Italian. In particular, this study found that the coronavirus is conceptualised as WAR, SUBSTANCE IN MOVEMENT, SUBSTANCE IN A CONTAINER, and OBSTACLE in all three language corpora, while WATER, FAMILY and POSSESSION are unique to the French, Italian and English samples, respectively. Finally, chapter five discusses the findings and the limitations of this study, closing with possible directions for future research.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di laurea (Laurea magistrale)
Autore della tesi
Benchetrit, Louise Kate
Relatore della tesi
Correlatore della tesi
Corso di studio
Ordinamento Cds
Parole chiave
Corpus linguistics,cognitive linguistics,conceptual metaphor theory,coronavirus,conceptual metaphors,multilingual
Data di discussione della Tesi
17 Marzo 2021

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