DOI: 10.18413/2313-8912-2020-6-1-0-1

Функционирование метафорической модели «Politics is Animal World» в современных СМИ


    Данная статья посвящена описанию политического дискурса как среды развертывания сложной концептуальной зооморфной метафоры «POLITICS IS ANIMAL WORLD». Анималистические метафоры рассматриваются на материале американских и британских Интернет средств массовой информации. Метафорическая модель исследуется в рамках дискурсивного подхода и в условиях возрастающего интереса языкознания к внутреннему миру человека на современном этапе развития науки. Зооморфная метафора рассматривается в рамках медийного дискурса и институционального политического дискурса. Любая политическая деятельность предполагает вовлеченность в политическую коммуникацию, направленную на получение власти, использования ее в своих интересах и влияния на широкие массы общественности для контроля над общественным сознанием. Манипуляция общественным сознанием в современной действительности приобретает самые разнообразные виды и формы, однако метафора была и остается одним из эффективнейших средств воздействия на массовое сознание, а концептуальная метафора может рассматриваться как одно из основных средств метафорического моделирования политической картины мира.

К сожалению, текст статьи доступен только на Английском

    Introduction: In light of the anthropocentric approach to the study of linguistic identity, the study of perception, conceptualization, mental representation and storage of knowledge is of particular relevance. According to A.A. Kibrik, the cognitive approach to the study of language activities as a form of man’s cognitive activity considers linguistic phenomena "only in the context of other cognitive processes" and "tries not only to register linguistic phenomena but also to explain why they are implemented exactly this way" (Kibrik, 2003: 5).

    The close relationship of cognition and communication proposes "a realistic reflection of functioning of language and its individual categories, units or structures" in the communicative and discursive paradigm (Kubryakova, 2004: 520). Discourse in terms of the communicative and cognitive approach does not have any unambiguous definition. Discourse as an object of linguistic description is interpreted by A.A. Kibrik as "a real linguistic interaction" and "a unity of the process of linguistic activity and its result, i.e. a text", as well as "unfolding through time processes of its creating and understanding" (Kibrik, 2003: 4). The researchers contrast discourse and text, separating text as a product of verbal and cogitative activity from discourse as a process, which is based on their etymology (Latin «discursus – name of an action and textus – name of an object, result of an action") (Dem’yankov, 2005: 50). From the standpoint of communication theory discourse is understood as a combination of a linguistic component (text) and an extralinguistic component (context); as a text in conjunction with extra-linguistic factors; as a speech "dipped into life" (Arutyunova, 1990: 136) and as an interactive way of verbal interaction as opposed to text as a monologic utterance. According to V. Z. Dem’yankov "discourse is referred to a text in its formation in front of the mind's eye of an interpreter." He believes that discourse is made up of sentences or their fragments and discourse content centers around the "reference" concept, while the content of individual sentences − discourse components – is called propositions; these propositions are linked with logical relations (Dem’yankov 2003, 116).

    The need to describe cognitive aspects implementation in political discourse is determined by its ability to influence public opinion through the media. The manipulative pressure on the audience intensifies due to the increasing role of the media. This feature of political discourse makes the study of its linguistic and extralinguistic aspects particularly interesting and justified.

    Speaking about political discourse within the field approach the researchers distinguish institutional political discourse. They study it by considering various texts composed by politicians and mass media texts that combine all texts spread by the media (Budayev, Chudinov). According to A.P.Chudinov the content of political discourse includes "all presented in the mind of the speaker and the listener (the writer and the reader) components that can affect the processes of production and perception of speech: all other texts, the content of which is taken into account by the author and the addressee of the text, author’s political views and his tasks when creating the text, political situation, in which the text is created and "lives", reputation of the edition, in which it is published (Chudinov, 2003).

    Thus, considering political communication as an object of linguistic research we mean the totality of all oral and written statements relevant to political life. While determining political discourse we rely on the opinion of E.I. Sheygal who understands it as political communication in the broadest sense and considers the corpus of signs, which constituting the semiotic space of political discourse to be a policy language (Sheygal, 2000: 30, 34). Political discourse is basically an expression of the whole complex of relations between an individual and society. In this regard following a number of scientists who hold the view of broad interpretation of the term "political discourse" (A.P. Chudinov, E.V. Budayev, E.I. Sheygal ) we consider any messages related to politics to be political communication. As political communication is not just a means of communication but also a powerful means of public impact, the study of political communication is particularly important for the analysis of the processes of world perception, worldview being formed in the addressee’s mind, social and political position of the audience in terms of the anthropocentric approach. Thus, political communication appears to be a special form of relationship aimed primarily at information exchange in the course of struggle for power and formation of certain views in the minds of the audience.

    The process of worldview formation in general and conceptualization of political worldview in particular is reflected in the study of cognitive structures or concepts. Concepts (as defined by E.S. Kubryakova) are operational meaningful units of memory, mental lexicon, conceptual system of language and brain, the whole worldview reflected in the human psyche (Kubryakova, 1996: 90). These mental images showing human’s mental representation of the world are often verbalized by means of metaphors. In the research of political metaphors we base on the works of M. Black, Z. Kovecses, G. Lakoff, A. Musolff, Teun A. Van Dijk, R. Wodak. Taking into account that not only informative function but also the function of the audience impact are typical for political communication the emotional aspect becomes really essential. The role of metaphor in verbalization of emotions is undeniable. As a consequence, metaphor is used to express the required evaluation or to form the audience’s opinion, as well as to focus the audience's attention on some fact drawing their attention to a particular issue or, on the contrary, trying to disguise unwanted information.

    Main part: Analyzing the metaphorical model POLITICS IS ANIMAL WORLD, we identify the animal world as the original conceptual field (sphere-source), i.e. semantic sphere, which includes the words, which are covered by the model, in the primary meaning (Chudinov, 2003) represented by the diversity of units nominating wild populations and related concepts. We include political system of a state, politicians and other politically significant personalities, government institutions and entire countries, presenting an integrated whole, as well as their heads, to a new conceptual field (sphere-target) or the sphere which includes the words, which are covered by the model, in the figurative meaning (Agafonova, 2012: 46,48,54).

    THE TYPICAL SCENARIOS for this metaphorical model are the most typical sequences of situations. For example, when meeting some animals demonstrate their ability to protect themselves to each other − first trying to scare their rivals with sounds (to bark, to hiss), their appearance (to make the fur fly) or using available protective mechanisms (to change colours). If it does not allow them to cope with the situation, they attack their rivals (to attack, to bite into) and the stronger or luckier one wins. While hunting animals wait in ambush (to lie low), use natural camouflage mechanisms, pop up from behind cover suddenly (to break cover), cause an unexpected blow, try to avoid danger (to bury head into the sand), etc.

    The next step was to analyze the frames and slots. The result of their processing is the foundation of metaphorization processes. The frame system is a cognitive dynamic scenario of metaphorical model deployment in discourse.

    Describing the slots constituting these frames we follow A.P. Chudinov and in order to characterize the components of the slot we use the term "concept", which acts as "a unit of consciousness, mental lexicon". Together they make up "conceptual system, sphere of concepts" existing in the national consciousness.

    Concerning METAPHORICAL MEANINGS of this model’s units as components BINDING PRIMARY AND METAPHORICAL MEANINGS it should be noted that the main one is the image of tough animal world where only the strongest survives. Analyzing the metaphorical model POLITICS IS ANIMAL WORLD we found out that the feature that brings together sphere-source and sphere-target is the nature of relationship between animals, animals and humans, which give rise to a metaphorical transfer. Zoomorphic metaphor makes it possible to visualize the world of politics in the likeness of an animal kingdom, the laws of which are harsh and merciless. Collected illustrative material proves clearly that animal world as a category to refer to representatives of the political system and their professional activities, is presented in its diversity − from amphibians to mammals (Agafonova, 2012: 73).

    From the point of DISCURSIVE SPECIFICATIONS OF MODEL, i.e. consideration of conceptual vectors, leading emotive characteristics, pragmatic potential of the model, its relationship to the current political situation, specific political events, political views and intentions of the subjects of communication, zoomorphic metaphor expresses the idea of the similarity of the world of politics to the world of animals, which has a number of characteristics: cruelty, desire for survival, hierarchical relationships, competition, etc.

    While analyzing the modeling potential of the sphere-source "Animal World" we note the significant potential of zoomorphic metaphor in terms of formation of a politicians’ negative image, and an image of the human beast – a common metaphor for a political opponent. So most zoomorphic metaphors have pejorative evaluative meanings (Budayev, 2003).

    Evaluating PRODUCTIVITY OF MODEL, i.e. the ability to deploy and typical areas of deployment, as well as frequency of the use of the model, we came to the conclusion that metaphor POLITICS IS ANIMAL WORLD is one of the most effective ways of conceptualizing the image of politicians. This model is dominant as it is proved by the potential of deployment and the frequency of its use in modern political language. By reference to the conducted research it can be concluded that this metaphorical model has divergent framed and slotted structure and is well structured, which is important for its deployment. Frequency characteristics of sources of metaphorical borrowings revealed that the following conceptual fields are the most productive: composition of animal world (49%) and animal behavior (19%). They reflect modern conceptual vectors and trends of world perception in modern society. Since zoomorphic metaphors have considerable emotive potential and are mostly pejorative in nature, we can conclude that high productivity of the model POLITICS ARE ANIMALS is caused by its extensive capabilities in terms of formation of emotive meanings. The ability of the metaphorical model to cause an emotional response in the addressee’s mind is its pragmatic potential (Agafonova, 2012: 129).

    Methods: The basic methods applied in the research were cognitive discourse analysis, modeling, classification and systematization and quantitative analysis. The research methods were chosen due to the interdisciplinary nature of the phenomenon under study.

    Results: Zoomorphic metaphor as an object of research is of interest due to its high productivity as a means of indirect nomination. Conceptualization of the world view takes place through cognitive structures that represent the reality in our minds. Being a part of the animal world, a man passes the reality through the prism of well-known images that are understood by the majority. Metaphors containing zoomorphic component can easily form these images and ideas in the minds of the audience. A political metaphor is an applicable means of categorization of reality and thus can help by assigning certain qualities to a politician or an event, forming judgments or persuading the audience. Elements of reality form associative bonds with an abstract idea of this reality as a result of metaphorization.

    In this study the classification is based on a naive view of the world that reflects the conceptual structuring of the animal world in English-speaking political discourse most accurately. In our work the frame structure of the metaphorical model is determined by the choice of the sphere-source as the core element of the classification. Some scientists note that the detailed study of the particular sphere-source of metaphorical expansion bring about positive outcome. In our research we followed their steps choosing the animal world as a sphere-source of metaphorical expansion as it enables us to study the metaphorical model comprehensively even when viewing the whole large-scale picture (Budayev, Chudinov, 2007).

    The illustrative material analyzed in our study was mostly taken from well-known British and American online mass media (The Telegraph, The Guardian, The New York Times, The Independent, The New York Daily News, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Observer, The Times and others). We also take into consideration the fact that official web-pages of political parties, politicians’ blogs, various forums and comments posted there contribute to political discourse when it is broadly defined.

    The study showed that zoo metaphorical model is updated in British and American political discourse by the following key frames. The most voluminous is the frame of "Composition of animal world", which is represented in the political discourse by a wide range of animal names from the simplest (amphibians) to the highest class of animals − mammals and it should be noted that in our study we consider "animal" as any "living being able to feel and move as opposed to a man"

    mammals ‒mad dog, attack dog, bluedog/yellowdog democrats, dog days/life/years, lap dog, topdog, underdog, dog and pony show, watchdog, dead dog, Russian bear, mama grizzly, teddy bear, fat cat, paper tiger, cash cow, sacred cow, dark horse, pacesetter, running mate, also ran, stalking horse, scapegoat, sacrificial lamb, demon sheep, wolf in sheep’s clothes, black sheep;

    birds ‒ hawk (budget hawk, chicken hawk, deficit hawk, war hawk), dove, rooster, bantam rooster, chicken, game of chicken, spring chicken, rubber chicken circuit, lame duck, sitting duck;

    fish and other sea creatures ‒ shark, red herring, bottom feeder;

    reptiles and snakes ‒ reptile, crocodile, chameleon, snake;

    insects and low organisms ‒ gypsy moth republican, boll weevils, cockroach, queen bee, cocoon, leech, parasite;

    endangered species of animals ‒ dead dodo/dead as a dodo, last dinosaur.

    Frame “Behavior, habits, instincts” is the second of the most productive sources of metaphoric expansion in political discourse:

    typical behavior of animalsto dog, a dog with a bone, a dog chasing its tail, to cling/sucker like a leech, red meat speech, like a vulture, to chicken out, the tail that wags the dog, antsy, to ape, to badger;

    typical behavior of animals when interacting with other animals ‒ dog-eat-dog, cat and dog, cat-and-mouse;

    behavior in extreme and dangerous situations, aggressive behavior, protection ‒ to sting, dog fight, to kick a hornet's nest, catfight, like deer caught in the headlights, to bury/hide one’s head in the sand, to backbite;

    hunting habits ‒ to smell a rat, bird-dogging, snake-in-the-grass, wild goose chase.

    Frame “Characteristics of animals” contains the following units: hard-shell, nitwit, elephantine, doggedly, predatory, lousy.

    The use of units of frame “Body parts” is focused on the demonstration of hostility. Among the constituent units of the frame, we have identified wings, to claw back, to spread wings, clipped wing, to display teeth и to make the fur fly.

    Frame “Habitat” is represented by units: doghouse, shark tank, zoo, political jungle and activates such features as a restriction of freedom and dependence on man.

    Frame “Groups of animals and interrelation within them” is less numerous and has the following slots in its composition: unions of animals‒ to flock, wolf pack, swarm; hierarchic relations in an animal community ‒ alpha dog, lion's share, pack leader.

    Next we examined the frame of “Interaction with a man” that reflects the relationship between politicians who are lined up according to the relationship between a man and an animal and comes mainly to the use of animals by humans and consumption of the derived from foods, as well as protection from predators:

    use / exploitation of animals in everyday life ‒ dog-whistle politics, to bite the hand that feeds you, the last straw that broke the camels' back, to nip at the heels, to bring to heel, to call off the dogs, on a leash, a whip, carrot and stick policy, donkey work, to make an aquarium out of fish soup, to flog a dead horse, to beef up (11 items ‒ 73%);

    human interaction with predators to fall into clutches, to tame the bear, to foray into the lion's den, to allow the sharks to swim free (4 items ‒ 27%).

    Frame “Products obtained from animals” is represented by two units and expresses the meaning of consumption: to milk the cash cow, pork barrel.

    Units representing the frame “Sounds that animals produce” are often associated with dog's image: to bark, to bark up the wrong tree (Agafonova, 2012).

    It should be noted that definition of the boundaries between the model core and its periphery, as well as between some peripheral frames is quite complicated in some cases. For example, the zoomorphic unit “to wag the tail” can belong to frames “Behavior, habits and instincts” and “Relationship with a man” at the same time. Likewise “to bark” can be considered as a part of the slot “Behavior, habits and instincts “or "Sounds that animals produce”.

    The hierarchical arrangement of the model under study is manifested in the fact that it can be represented in the form of the structure showing multi-level relationships within it. In our case we can consider the metaphorical model POLITICS IS ANIMAL WORLD as an element of a more complex model HUMAN WORLD IS ANIMAL WORLD, which can act as a prototype metaphor. The universality of human reasoning allows conducting operations aimed at information arrangement and then its classification based on it. At the same time this model can be represented as consisting of the frames that represent the initial conceptual spheres COMPOSITION OF THE WORLD OF ANIMALS, INHERENTANIMAL CHARACTERISTICS, INSTINCTS AND BEHAVIOR, HABITAT, RELATIONSHIPS WITH PEOPLE, etc.

    The corpus analysis has confirmed that the frame-slot structure of the metaphorical model POLITICS IS ANIMAL WORLD is very varied judging by units representing it in the political discourse of modern English (Agafonova, 2012).

    Conclusion: Judging by the data received from the research it is possible to conclude that a metaphor being one of the basic mental mechanisms serving for world conceptualizing has the same functions and works likewise in political discourse.

    Metaphors function within metaphorical models. The above models reflect the particular part of national consciousness and conceptualize complicated relationships within political community, contacts with the public, ways of affecting and shaping public opinion and so forth.

    The data obtained makes it possible to conclude that close examination and description of metaphors typical for a specific language in general and its political discourse in particular as well as metaphoric modeling can work as a way of mental reconstruction and conceptualization of political worldview. Complex and detailed study of political metaphor and metaphorical models they function with can give a clear idea of political world landscaping reflected in mentality.

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