Durham ias metaphors models and political discourse
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DURHAM IAS Metaphors, models and political discourse. THE ISSUES Political discourse today is global--discourses from diverse political cultures exist in multiple languages and in translation

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Durham ias metaphors models and political discourse

DURHAM IASMetaphors, models and political discourse


Durham ias metaphors models and political discourse

  • THE ISSUES

  • Political discourse today is global--discourses from diverse political cultures exist in multiple languages and in translation

  • Aim: to outline some questions at the beginning of a research project on comparative political discourse, Europe-China

  • Metaphors, qua models of political realities, are part of these discourses.

  • But how do they vary within political cultures?

  • What happens to them in translation?

  • In order to begin to answer such questions, it is necessary to review some aspects of the conceptual theory of metaphor.

  • variability in source–target mappings

  • What is in the source?

  • Wanted: metaphorical expressions dead or alive?

  • some cases: translating Chinese political discourse


Durham ias metaphors models and political discourse

  • WHAT DO WE KNOW ALREADY ABOUT METAPHOR IN POLITICAL DISCOURSE?

  • Distinguish: metaphors for political entities, metaphors for political processes

  • POLITICAL ENTITIES

  • A tentative classification

  • state is a BODY (has arms, legs, health, sickness, etc.

    • hierarchy

    • life, death

    • disease-cure

    • penetration, rape

  • state is a PERSON (has a voice, personality, friends, enemies, etc.)

  • state is a BUILDING

    • house (but what is a house?)

    • fortress

  • generic CONTAINER schema

    • all the above

    • ‘containment’ doctrine

    • CENTRE-PERIPHERY image schema

  • the state is a FAMILY

    • hierarchy extended

    • vs strict vs. nurturing

  • the state is a MACHINE (levers of power…)


Durham ias metaphors models and political discourse

  • METAPHORS FOR POLITICAL PROCESS (‘politics’)

  • WAR

    • political enemies

    • battles, strategise, tactics

  • BUILD

    • construct a just society

  • PATH

    • move forward toward a goal

    • journey, march

    • train

    • flow of liquid


Durham ias metaphors models and political discourse

THE METAPHOR AND TEXT PROBLEM

What is a metaphorical expression?

in texts it is often difficult to decide

proposal: there is a continuum between basic-level meaning in SD (e.g. build1 a house) and metaphorical meaning (build2 a harmonious society).

  • even if build2 is conventionalised (dead, inactive), it retains some semantic elements of build1 (e.g. create by human agency something that was not there before)

  • In text processing, maybe build1 primes the BUILD frame and script, making build2 (build a harmonious society) activate the BUILD schema/frame more readily

  • A continuum?: build a housebuild a public health systembuild a harmonious society


Durham ias metaphors models and political discourse

THE METAPHOR AND POLITICAL CULTURE PROBLEM

parameters of variability in source–target mappings

Psychologically real operations in and on metaphor

Perspectivisation

focus: zooming in and zooming out (scaling, granularity…)

feature focus, e.g. in PATH, on parts of the image schema

figure ground:

motion parallax: times are moving objects wrt observer;

observer is moving object wrt to times

motor image schemas and modelling them: using simple vectors

Important to note that image schemas are not only used in SD of metaphoric mappings but also constitute the meaning of literal expressions e.g. the meaning of grasp is the motor neuronal (mirror) schema for real grasping (cf. Gallese, Feldman); it is also the SD for TD understanding. This means that both literal and metaphorical meanings of works like grasp, build, move towards, may be significant in whole texts


Durham ias metaphors models and political discourse

REVIEWING METAPHOR THEORY: THE IMPORTANCE OF SD STRUCTURE

PATH

My idea is that different parts of the PATH image schema can be focussed in political discourse

PATH schema consists of start---obstacles---goal.

Start-oriented metaphors relate to mission discourse (e.g. the mission of America is to ...). Mission relates to some (possibly divine) authority sending somebody on a path..

Goal-oriented metaphors focus goal. E.g. The Party's goal is to build a harmonious society..

mid-path-oriented metaphors include e.g. "there are many barriers to be overcome in introducing a fair society....“, “we are moving towards….”)


Durham ias metaphors models and political discourse

BUILD

The image schema has e.g. foundation, walls, windows, doors, ceiling, roof.

Also associated script, i.e. process: architect, builder, plans.

But in text, building are culture-specific, e.g. houses (see my 1993 paper about Russian dom/house)

Political uses of BUILD

The state is a building, thus the state has foundations (e.g. in America, founding fathers.)

This combines with PATH: the foundation is where the nation started..

Thus BUILD can be at the beginning of PATH.

It can also be at the goal: e.g. “we are taking steps towards the goal of building a harmonious society..."

So in general, political texts often combine the two image schemas BUILD and PATH.

What happens to these in translation? We will look at some examples.


Durham ias metaphors models and political discourse

WHAT HAPPENS IN TRANSLATION?

Specifically in translation of political texts, which ‘construct’ realities for their consumers.

Schäffner (2004); Chilton and Ilyin (1993); Chilton (1996)

SD: dom (= multi-story apartment block)  house (=free standing family box)

TD: Europe

Entailments: different in Russian and English; conflicting conceptualisations of Europe

  • We now turn to the comparative project for English-Chinese, which is at very early stages:

  • what are the metaphors in Chinese political discourse?

  • are they the same or different form the European cases studied?

  • are there any universals for political metaphors?

  • Initial comparison of translated texts suggests similarities at the generic level with some subtle differences relating to IMAGE SCHEMA FOCUS


Durham ias metaphors models and political discourse

CANDIDATE METAPHORS in Chinese political culture for political entities

Confucius:

the state is a FAMILY

the family is a BODY

the state is a family HOUSE (with open doors)

"Emperor is the first. Followers are the second. Father is the first. Sons are the second."

THE STATE IS A PATRICARCHAL FAMILY

THE FAMILY IS A BODY

the emperor is the head of the family

family is a body

the emperor is the head of the body

the parts of the body should be controlled by the head


Durham ias metaphors models and political discourse

POLITICALPROCVESS: comparison of PATH in Chinese and English

PATH

startprocessgoal

Chinesebù, lùmu biao

4515

Englishpath, road, stepgoal, end, purpose

2318


Durham ias metaphors models and political discourse

EXAMPLES

PATH and BUILD

Example: PATH in Source Text but different focus

我国在全面建设小康社会道路上迈出了新的坚实步伐

Wo-guo zai quanmianjian-she xiao kang she hui

I-country LOC comprehensive build-set-up small wealth society

dao lushangmai chu le xin de jianshi bu-fa

road-path-on step-out PRT new PRT solid step big-step

Literal translation:

China has made a big leap on the path of comprehensive building of a moderately prosperous society

‘‘These achievements mark a further increase in China’s overall strength and represent a solid steptoward the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects”

ST: two expressions for ‘step’; one in TT

TT:introduces ‘toward goal’ --- goal-orientation; ‘building’ is located in future, whereas ST has process-focus, and possibly start location (CONTAINER) focus, ‘step out’


Durham ias metaphors models and political discourse

CULTURAL FRAMES

PATH in the English text is apparently congruent with the Chinese text (cf. dom/house)

要坚持 走 新 型 工 业 化 道 路,着力优化产业结构

yao jian chi zou xin xing gong ye hua daolu, zhe li you hua can ye jie gou

must stick-to walk new type factory industrialisation path road, put strengthen perfect perfection industry career shape structure

Literal translation:

We must take the new road and pay attention to the improvement of industrial structure.

“We will continue to follow a new path of industrialization, concentrating on upgrading the industrial structure”

Possible loss of cultural frame: dao carries cultural and normative meanings

E.g. Confucius (and others) put forward the Chinese “Dao” in terms of morality which emphasizes that a decent man scholar should pursue a “dao” of high ideal morality. This is not goal-focussed but process-focussed (?)


Durham ias metaphors models and political discourse

ANY EXAMPLES WHERE PATH IS NOT IN THE CHINESE TEXT BUT IS IN THE ENGLISH ONE?


Durham ias metaphors models and political discourse

ANY EXAMPLES WHERE PATH IS IN THE CHINESE TEXT BUT IS NOT IN THE ENGLISH ONE?


Durham ias metaphors models and political discourse

BUILD

Here we are concerned with the occurrences of build(ing), construct(ion, ing) and jian she, gou jian

It appears that subparts of the BUILD schema are not used (e.g. door, foundation…), although they are often found in political texts where the metaphor STATE IS A BUILDING is concerned.

Chinese jian she, gou jian106

English build(ing), construct(ion)55

What happened to the Chinese words for building? Problems of counting lexical items

Note that this study counted all occurrences of these words, whether literal or metaphorical—we are interested in the occurrence of the image schema, i.e. in which image schemas are needed for the text to be understood.

However, we consider examples of metaphorical expressions in detail. It is necessary to consider the conceptual structure of the Chinese morphemes linked to the SD.


Durham ias metaphors models and political discourse

EXAMPLES

BUILD

Example: BUILD IS IN CHINESE TEXT BUT NOT IN ENGLISH TEXT; also PATH

公共卫生体系 建设 得到加强,文化、体育事业进 一步繁荣。

Góng gong wei sheng ti xi jian she te dao jia qing, wen hua, ti yu shi ye jin yi bu fan rong

public shared health life body system build set-up get PRT plus strength, culture education, body exercise thing career further one step many prosperous

Literal translation:

The construction of public health system has been strengthened. Cultural and sports projects have been better.

“the public health system was improved and progress continued in cultural and sports programs”

TT: loses BUILD; also loses PATH


Durham ias metaphors models and political discourse

TT: loses BUILD

继续加强民主法制 建设。

ji xu jia qiang ming zhu fa zhi jian she

continue follow-up plus strengthen people master law policy build set-up

Literal translation:

The construction of the democratic legal system should be strengthened.

“We continued to strengthen democracy and the legal system. “


Durham ias metaphors models and political discourse

TT: loses BUILD

国防和军队现代化建设取得新 进展。

guo fang he jun dui xian dai hua jian she qu de xin jin zhan

country defense and army team modern generation modernization build set-up fetch get new progress development

Literal translation: The construction of national defense and the army modernization has got new progress.

“We continued to make progress in modernizing national defense and the army”


Durham ias metaphors models and political discourse

More BUILD exampleS: BUILD is in both texts, when non-metaphorical

发展节能省地环保型建筑,形成具有中国特点的住房建设和消费模式。

fa zhan jie neng sheng di huan bao xing jian zhu, xing chen ju you zhong guo te dian de zhu fang jian she he xiao fei mo shi.

develop demonstrate saving energy saving land environment protection type building architecture, shape form concrete have central country speciality point PRT living house build set-up and consumption using mode form

“build environmentally friendly buildings that conserve energy and land, and develop a Chinese development and consumption model for housing”


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