Exploiting metaphor in disagreement

Lotte van Poppel*, Roosmaryn Pilgram

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

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The use of metaphors is a common strategy in argumentative discourse to resolve disagreements and create common ground. Nonetheless, metaphor use could also backfre. An opponent could, for example, hijack a metaphor to oppose the proponent's standpoint. The current study focuses on this type of resistance, which we have dubbed 'metaphor exploitation'. Such exploitation is of particular interest because proponents are pragmatically committed to the metaphor which is subsequently exploited to attack their ideas. This paper introduces a model to distinguish metaphor exploitation from other types of reusing metaphor (extension and recontextualisation) and contrasts it with the neighbouring phenomenon of metaphor reframing. Subsequently, the model is applied by analysing the strategic use of metaphor exploitation in a corpus of 196 replies on Twitter (now 'X') to a violence metaphor employed by former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson (his so-called 'mugger metaphor'). As such, this paper ofers the tools for systematically analysing the reuse of metaphors in disagreement.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)1-28
Aantal pagina's28
TijdschriftJournal of Language Aggression and Conflict
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 18-apr.-2024


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