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Scenario Negotiation in Online Debates about the European Union

Analysing Metaphor in Communication


Stefanie Vogelbacher

For decades, the focus of Metaphor Studies laid on Conceptual Metaphor and its role in the human conceptual system. This study, however, focuses on metaphor in communication. Its aim is to shed light on how commenters in online debates discuss EU-related topics via Scenario Negotiation, expressing and negotiating their points of view via Metaphorical Scenarios. The study offers a review of current metaphor theory and practical approaches and proposes an Integrated Model of Scenario Negotiation. The results are based on context-sensitive, qualitative analysis of data which stem from a corpus of online debates from the Guardian’s Comment is free section. The discussion illustrates the genre-specific conceptual-communicative functions of Scenario Negotiation in naturally occurring discourse.

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First of all, I would like to thank my supervisors Sonja Kleinke and Frank Polzenhagen for their support – it has gone way beyond what can be expected. I also want to thank Zoltán Kövecses for sharing his ideas and knowledge in many inspiring conversations, and Gerard Steen and the Metaphor Lab for giving me a new understanding of metaphor. Further, I thank my colleagues at the English Department: Sherry Föhr, who provided invaluable comments on my text, and Sandra Mollin, Monika Eller and Michael Isermann, who both shared their expertise and gave moral support. I am also grateful to Beat Glauser for introducing me to linguistics in the first place and for giving me the opportunity to work for and learn from him. Finally, I would like to thank Martin Pütz for his interest in my work and the team at Peter Lang for making the publication a very agreeable experience.

This is for the people who matter the most to me: my parents Rolf and Karin, my sister Kathrin, Joachim, and Alfred, who is a true lover of metaphors.

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