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
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).
parameters of variability in source–target mappings
Psychologically real operations in and on metaphor
focus: zooming in and zooming out (scaling, granularity…)
feature focus, e.g. in PATH, on parts of the image schema
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
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….”)
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.
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)
Entailments: different in Russian and English; conflicting conceptualisations of Europe
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
start process goal
Chinese bù, lù mu biao
English path, road, step goal, end, purpose
PATH and BUILD
Example: PATH in Source Text but different focus
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
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’
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
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 (?)
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 jian 106
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.
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
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
ji xu jia qiang ming zhu fa zhi jian she
continue follow-up plus strengthen people master law policy build set-up
The construction of the democratic legal system should be strengthened.
“We continued to strengthen democracy and the legal system. “
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”
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”