Common Semantic Fields

The second part is identification of the metaphors which requires deciding whether certain words and phrases in the context have metaphorical meaning or not. The identified metaphors are then needed to categorize whether they are novel, entrenched or conventional metaphor based on the psycholinguistic criteria. They are:

  • Novel metaphors (usually processed by comparison)

  • Entrenched metaphors (usually processed by categorization)

  • Conventional metaphors (processing shifts between comparison and categorization, depending on context)

In categorizing metaphors, he suggested confirming the metaphor by looking at a dictionary for the evidence of verbal context and search the metaphor in a corpus to get the evidence of use. He gave a detailed explanation- “if using a corpus and a metaphor occurs fewer than five times in a sample of 100 corpus entries it is a candidate for being a novel metaphor; when more than half of the entries have a metaphor sense it is an entrenched metaphor. Conventional metaphors are likely to be those that occur somewhere between 5 and 5 times in a sample of 100 corpus entries”. (2014:179)

He pointed out that in identification and classification stage, an analyst will encounter different metaphor counts on different days. This process needs to be carried out in a slow pace and it is also a laborious process. It should be undertaken by more than one analyst to ensure the reliability of the findings. He proposed a robust method to analyse speeches in five phases, preferably on different days and this method is summarized in Figure 2 which shows how metaphors can be identified in all 5 phases.

Figure 2 Method for critical metaphor analysis (Charteris-Black 2014:180)

They are:

1) Identify all potential metaphors by working through a text with a marker pen; initially, all candidate metaphors can be identified.

2) Confirm or reject initial decisions- drawing on dictionaries to establish whether there is a more basic sense of a word, and a corpus to identify whether the word is usually metaphorical; and decisions taken with regard to the type of metaphor.

3) From the list in Stage two, identify novel ‘metaphors’- that is- words and phrases that are likely to be processed by comparison. These may be indicated in the title of a speech. They are likely to be processed by comparison in short-term memory and are influential in contributing to audience response.

4) Identify conventional metaphors- the ones that a corpus shows have become a pattern such as ‘beacon of hope’, and where these words are metaphors between 5 and 50 occurrences in a sample of 100 lines.

5) Identify entrenched metaphors –these might have been completely invisible in the first phrase because they have become naturalized. They will occur in over half of the lines in a sample of 100. (Charteris-Black, 2014:179-180)

According to him, all three types of metaphors need to be figured out for different reasons. The invisibility of entrenched metaphor can reveal the ideology behind the framing of issues in a certain way whereas novel metaphors can evoke empathetic responses and contribute to powerful, heroic narratives. However, if there is a time limitation, conventional metaphor should be paid less attention.

Charteris-Black (2014:181) stresses the fact that identification of every metaphor in a text is not necessary “unless the approach is entirely quantitative”.

In the interpretation stage, Charteris-Black employed it by three systematicity made by Cameron (Cameron and Low, 1999). They are:-

  • Local systematicity involves identifying patterns of metaphor in a particular speech

  • Discourse systematicity is when metaphors are examined in a collection of political speeches from a particular genre – say, inaugural speeches, or eulogies.

  • Global systematicity is when metaphors are examined in a large general corpus such as the British National Corpus

This stage involves the identification of conceptual metaphors, and the consideration of their roles in constructing socially relevant representations. Charteris-Black (2014) proposed two methods for identification of conceptual metaphors: Source-based approach and Topic-based approach. The approaches he proposed are:

Source-based approach

The first stage of CMA is to group metaphors together to establish a more general category before presenting a conceptual metaphor. For example, “beacon” could be classified with other words such as ‘glow’, ‘shine’ and ‘touch’ as a ‘light’ metaphor. Evidence from conventional metaphors in a corpus can assist in identifying common semantic fields such as ‘light’, ‘plants’, ‘animals’, ‘weather’ and ‘landscape’. There will be difficult decisions over the naming of these semantic fields as this can be done by using more or less inclusive terms. For example, ‘plants’ and ‘animals’ could both be included in a category named ‘animate entities’, and ‘weather’ and ‘landscape’ could both be included in a category named ‘environment’. Further, all the semantic groups just mentioned (light and so on) could be subsumed under the more general notion of ‘nature’; similarly ‘path’ and ‘journey’ could be integrated as ‘motion’ metaphors, and ‘health’ and ‘disease’ could be grouped under the more general category of ‘human body’.