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Cross-analysis of English and Croatian Metaphors in Economics


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Juretić, Ksenija. (2006). Cross-analysis of English and Croatian Metaphors in Economics. PhD Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, UNSPECIFIED. [mentor Ivir, Vladimir and Kalogjera, Damir].

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The doctoral dissertation CROSS-ANALYSIS OF ENGLISH AND CROATIAN METAPHORS IN ECONOMICS is the result of several years’ detailed language research and analysis. It started with the presumption that metaphor, cultures and economics are inextricably interwoven. Therefore, in order to see whether the role of metaphors in our life is as crucial as cognitive linguists claim, our main objective was to thoroughly investigate metaphors in the language of economics in three cultural models: British, American and Croatian. Primarily focused on major findings of cognitive linguistics, the scientific research has relied on those cognitive linguists whose empirical studies of human embodied mind, cognitive unconscious, holistic gestalts, pre-conceptual structures and conceptual systems helped us investigate metaphorical mappings in economics (Langacker, 1987; Lakoff & Johnson, 1980, 1999; Johnson, 1987; Lakoff, 1993; Fauconnier 1985, 1997, 1999; Fauconnier & Turner, 1998, 2000). However, because of the deeply rooted traditional belief that metaphor is a device of the poetic language and rhetorical speeches, it was important to start with contrasting classic and cognitive approach to metaphors and defining the terminology used in the dissertation. Taking into consideration that in terms of economics, our success in work is measured by profitability, and values by money, time and knowledge, we paid special attention to image schemas and metaphors that convey the information of how humans conceptualize time, money and work in three different cultures. The investigation was based on the analysis of metaphors and image schemas extracted from a large domain-specific corpus (marketing, management, organizational structures and time management) in the English language and test data taken from the same domain in Croatian. Most of our evidence about cross-cultural differences has come from contrasting two languages - English and Croatian. Since each language has its own symbolic structure (Langacker, 1987), differences between English and Croatian metaphorical mappings have been expected. However, differences in physical and business environment, values, beliefs, priorities and traditions of Anglo-Americans, who share the same language with the British and whose culture is deeply rooted in Anglo-Saxon culture, became surprisingly obvious while analyzing differences between British and American usage of metaphors, and in this way, our research has proved that metaphors reveal the whole mechanism of human conceptual system and cognition which is primarily unconscious. The data of scientific research in economics and anthropology compared to the results of our in-depth analysis of primary meanings of words and phrases in economic literature - based on contrasting three cultural models –proved to be concurrent with the major findings of cognitive linguistics. We may conclude that our research has neither ended up in the sum of cultural differences nor in a mere list of conventional and innovative metaphors, but has proved that metaphors are not a matter of words, not a matter of “out-of-the-ordinary linguistic expressions”, but “principle vehicles for understanding” (Lakoff & Johnson, 1980), which reflect the way we function in our physical and business environment; the way we conceptualize values, our experience and interact with other people within our culture. Therefore, we hope that our research will contribute to further interdisciplinary research into the extensive role of metaphors in the language of science, economics as well as in applied linguistics.

Item Type: PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: metaphor, pre-conceptual structures, conceptual system, holistic gestalts, conceptual integration networks, cultural models, time, money, work, values
Subjects: English language and literature
Supervisor: Ivir, Vladimir and Kalogjera, Damir
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2012 14:13
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2014 13:09

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