Presentation on theme: "What is metaphor and why does it matter? Lynne Cameron The Metaphor Network MetNet."— Presentation transcript:
What is metaphor and why does it matter? Lynne Cameron The Metaphor Network MetNet
What is metaphor? A device for seeing something in terms of something else (Burke, 1945, p.503)
Metaphor is linguistic cognitive affective socio-cultural
Metaphor is linguistic Linguistic metaphor is the use of a word or phrase that brings (or could bring) some other meaning to the contextual meaning. potential, not necessarily active conventionalised as well as novel or deliberate weak as well as strong The word or phrase that brings the other meaning is the metaphor Vehicle.
Language + gesture spoken discourse – the production and interpretation of metaphors in the dynamics of talk written discourse – the use of metaphors by the writer and interpretation by readers
Metaphor is cognitive Conceptual metaphor is a cross-domain mapping in the conceptual system (Lakoff, 1993, p.203) Everyday language reveals systems of metaphorical mappings.
Metaphor is affective The Vehicle terms of linguistic metaphors often carry evaluations, attitudes, values, beliefs, perspectives. I’m going to give you a little bit of information. We’re going to look at…
Metaphor is socio-cultural as well as individual group metaphors: porridge, screws speech communities: –I hear what you say –I see what you mean
Metaphor offers a tool for understanding people Metaphor connects language and thinking. Linguistic metaphors in dialogue indicate socio-cultural conventions and speakers’ attitudes and values. As text and talk proceed, metaphors are selected, adapted, shifted.
An example of metaphor analysis The Discourse Dynamics of Metaphor in Conciliation Talk Research funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Board
The Grand Hotel, Brighton, 1984 Pat Magee & Jo Berry, 2000
The discourse dynamics of metaphor a search for patterns of metaphor use across discourse events is combined with close investigation of the negotiation of metaphors between speakers at the moment of use
Procedure (i) Identification of linguistic metaphors analysis of discourse action, discourse topics and themes aggregation into semantically- connected groups systematic metaphors
Procedure (ii) Identification of linguistic metaphors analysis of discourse action, discourse topics and themes analysis of distribution of metaphors across talk or text metaphor clusters
Starting Points: at the beginning as a republican … I felt obliged as a republican to sit down and talk about that and against the backdrop of the political reasons given a platform for a republican message that had been censored for decades so when offered an opportunity to sit down and talk about what motivated you then you should avail of that so that’s the way I walked into it Pat
Starting Points: but as I said when you meet somebody who’s so open to understanding your perspective then you’re obliged to somehow reciprocate
Starting Points: in er, the first few days after the bomb just thinking if only I could bring something positive out of this and feeling very strongly that my father was killed because he was part of a conflict and it was a conflict which I was suddenly emotionally involved in Jo
Starting Points and I realised I wanted to hear Pat’s story because I believe that if anyone opens up and shares their story ehm it’s very hard to hate and my idea of Pat was of someone without much humanity and I wanted to meet him and hear his story and discover his humanity later on also came the idea that I wanted him to hear my story
Research question How does metaphor contribute to the process of reconciliation? Data and evidence –Global metaphor use systematic use of metaphors metaphor clusters and absences –Local metaphor use how speakers use and negotiate metaphors
Example cluster Pat...(1.0) got a distorted picture of me. perhaps, I don't know... I don't know. Jo.. I think maybe they were just thinking, they wouldn't see a need to meet any of their victims. Patyeah yeah Jo.. and so they... therefore couldn't see why you would. Pat[hmh] Jo[and] I think it was more like that. Pat... hmh Joand they could see,... how from my healing journey, if I could build a bridge with you, that would...(1.0) help me. but they couldn't see --... perhaps there was even a need for a journey.
When clusters occur doing intensive interactional work – often difficult interpersonally: –explaining one’s point of view to the Other expressing emotional pain; explaining something the Other would find painful e.g. why Jo’s father was a target –discourse management getting the talk started finding a new topic
Using clusters in analysis Metaphor clusters offer a way to slice the data. –Find clusters and look inside them. Important things may be happening there. Absences of metaphor occur with –talk about concrete things –very significant moments, e.g. expression of raw emotion.
Metaphor Vehicles and Topics Linguistic metaphors were grouped by Vehicle domains: Inside these Vehicle groupings, metaphors were connected by shared Topics.
Systematic Metaphors Systematic metaphors are connected sets of linguistic metaphors used around a single Topic across a discourse event.... there's been a long long.. 16 years of [getting to this point]. the first conciliation meeting is a stage on a journey.. the end of that journey, would be,.. sitting down and,... talking to the people who did it.
something I have to go through.... and how you... come to terms with that, More examples it's such a painful thing to carry. it pains me to say that to you. coming to terms with responsibility is a journey coming to terms with responsibility is physical injury
Major systematic metaphors used to frame reconciliation JOURNEYS –bring something positive out of this CONNECTION –I was crying in a desert SEEING MORE CLEARLY –it’s never the whole picture LISTENING TO A STORY –I wanted to … hear his story
Understanding the Other requires connection building bridges breaking down barriers being open
building bridges Pat... (1.0) in the er -- the journey,...(1.0) coming... to a bridge,/... you [know]. Jo[hmh] Pat... with two ends, Patall those bridges are there to be built
connection and separation Jo.. and it felt like my heart was broken,... through the conflict....(1.0) and,... the suffering was.. my suffering. I couldn't separate it. I couldn't be detached anymore. Pathmh Jo.. and that --...(1.0) that um,.. that pain, that loss,... was shared by,.. by everyone.
The removal of barriers allows connection Jo victims of all sides have been meeting,.. and -- er,... (1.0) that is just about,... er,.. br- breaking down barriers, sharing stories, and -- Pathmh Jo... and through.. experiencing each other's stories, Pathmh Jo... there's a real feeling of,... closeness and humanity of everyone,
(re)conciliation happens through listening to the Other’s story Patbut you are also, and I find you very open.... to my story. where I --.. er,... I feel there is more to me than just a perpetrator....(1.0) and er,...(1.0) I suppose,...(1.0) what we're doing here.... is,.. exchanging our stories.
The figurative range of story Patsix killed -- people killed in one night.... and there are so many other stories like that. Pat be open to … the other person’s story Jo you offer me the story pain of your war
The flexibility of story Jo.. as a daughter of a conservative MP, I.. can sort of take responsibility for the --...(1.0) what the government.. didn't do. and,.. the not listening, not hearing [their story].
Local patterns of metaphor use Challenge the other’s metaphor. –a bridge with two ends Appropriate the other’s metaphor Vehicle for own topic. –my healing Adapt the other’s metaphor. – the struggle a struggle Use contrast metaphor to explore alternatives. –if my heart was closed
metaphor scenario construction After the bombing, Jo Berry and Pat Magee complete separate journeys, long and on foot, until they meet face-to-face and try to connect across the gap between their experiences. Jo’s journey has the aim of understanding the roots of violence and is a long, uphill journey on foot, sometimes following the path of journeys made by the bombers, sometimes stopping to meet other victims. The journey out of grief becomes a healing process. Pat does not talk much about his life up between the bombing and the meeting, but speaks of an earlier journey when, as a young man, he joined the IRA and agreed to use violence…
How does metaphor contribute to the process of reconciliation? Metaphor density, compared with other types of talk. –number per 1000 words Distribution of clusters and absences. Use of systematic metaphors by the two speakers. Changes over time in use of systematic metaphors.
How does metaphor contribute to the process of reconciliation? It offers ways to explore alternatives to violence and revenge. It allows victim and perpetrator to explain their feelings to the Other, and to feel empathy for the Other. It allows speakers to control and adjust the ‘affective climate’ of the talk. Small acts of reconciliation e.g. allowing appropriation of metaphor, contribute to the large process.
References Burke, K. (1945). A Grammar of Motives. New York: Prentice Hall. Cameron, L. (1999). Identifying and describing metaphor in spoken discourse data. In L. Cameron & G. Low (Eds.), Researching and Applying Metaphor (pp. 105-132). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Cameron, L. (1999). Operationalising metaphor for applied linguistic research. In L. Cameron & G. Low (Eds.), Researching and Applying Metaphor (pp. 3- 28). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Cameron, L. (2003). Metaphor in Educational Discourse. London: Continuum. Cameron, L. (in press). Patterns of metaphor use in reconciliation talk. Discourse and Society. Cameron, L., & Stelma, J. (2004). Metaphor clusters in discourse. Journal of Applied Linguistics, 1(2), 7-36. Lakoff, G. (1993). The contemporary theory of metaphor. In A. Ortony (Ed.), Metaphor and Thought (2nd ed., pp. 202-251). New York: Cambridge University Press.