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Language and Text

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (online): 2312-2757

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17759/langt

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Started in 2014

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The Natural Choice? Metaphors for nature in a UK government white paper 279

Ponton D.M., Doctor in Philosophy, Researcher in English, Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Catania, Italy, dmponton@hotmail.co.uk
Abstract
George Lakoff (1993) described metaphor as “a major and indispensable part of our ordinary conventional way of conceptualizing the world.” In the context of a critical approach to discourse studies, however, such conceptualizing is not a neutral phenomenon. Politicians and advertisers, among others, understand the potential of metaphor as a persuasive rhetorical figure. In the topical public debate on the environment, where environmental discourse has achieved a certain currency thanks to pressure groups such as Greenpeace, metaphors have a key role to play in influencing attitudes. This study explores the construction of environmental discourse in a recent white paper from the British government, with an emphasis on the persuasive role of metaphor. It suggests that the notion of ‘value’ as a key metaphor can be understood in terms of the appeal it makes to potential readers in the corporate sphere.

Keywords: metaphors, nature, Ecolinguistics, British government, The White Paper

Column: Intercultural Communication and Problems of Globalization: Psycho-, Socio- and Ethnolinguistics

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17759/langt.2015020312

A Part of Article

Horizontal elongation causes a shape to lean towards the kind of structure in which what is positioned on the left is presented as ‘Given’, as information that is already familiar to the reader and serves as a ‘departure point’ for the message, while what is positioned on the right is presented as ‘New’, as information not yet known to the reader, and hence deserving his or her special attention. (Kress and Van Leeuwen 1996: 57)

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