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Auteur: Louis Wei-Lun LU

Co-Auteur(s): Kathleen AHRENS, Hong Kong Baptist University

Cognitive Rhetoric: A New Way to Governance Discourse

Abstract/Résumé: In this paper, we propose an interdisciplinary approach to governance discourse that incorporates both a conceptual metaphor approach (cf. Charteris-Black 2004, 2005; Lu and Ahrens 2008) and a corpus constructional approach (cf. Divjak and Gries 2008; Stefanowitsch 2007). We will investigate, in particular, how such combination of approaches is capable of revealing the nuances between different names of a single country and their semantic associations. The present study takes different names of a country as synonyms, including taiwan 'Taiwan', zhonghuaminguo 'the Republic of China', guojia 'country', and woguo 'my/our country', and see how they are individually associated with different conceptualizations of the same political entity by examining a collection of Taiwanese presidential speeches. We also delineate the distinguishing feature of metaphor in presidential speeches by comparing the texts with a general corpus. We argue that the president uses synonymous constructions with distinctive sets of metaphors for ideological reasons. Moreover, metaphors in the genre of presidential speeches are manipulated compared to metaphors in general, so as to impose certain patterns of thought and the president's own ideology onto the citizens (Van Dijk 1991; Fairclough 1995). We conclude that our investigation here, based on a conceptual metaphor and a corpus constructional approach, has shown good promise in the rhetorical analysis of governance discourse from a cognitive light.