• Aleksandra Aleksandrova
Keywords: media texts, international relations, metonymy, metaphor


In media text on international relations, disagreement between countries is presented metaphorically as a disagreement between people.
The relation between metaphor and discourse is studied by Zinken and Musollf (2009). Mussolf studies metaphors related to the EU organized in “scenarios”. In his view, the thematic target (for instance, EU politics) is accessed through a source input for the metaphor complex (family/marriage/concepts) (Mussolf 2006) and this is “characterized by the dominance of a few traditional, gender-coded stereotypes of family roles” (Mussolf 2009: 1).
The present paper traces the ways disagreement in the sphere of international relations is presented in the media.
In this study, the observed patterns used to represent disagreement between countries are argument, disagreement, conflict, and fight. The level of disagreement varies depending on the metaphoric scenario used to represent it. It was observed that the strongest way of expressing disagreement is based on the “split up”, and “break up” scenario, followed by the “fight”, “conflict” and the “argument” scenario.
In expressing disagreement in media text on international affairs, Lakoff’s STATE IS A PERSON metaphor (Lakoff 1990, 1995) is used. In Chilton and Lakoff’s view, metaphors are not mere words or fanciful notions, but one of our primary means of conceptualizing the world. As they have stated, a metaphor is “a means of understanding one domain of one’s experience in terms of another” (Chilton, Lakoff 1989). Member states are presented as people who quarrel and disagree over issues related to international relations or policies. Along with that metaphor, a place for the institution metonymy is used. As Barcelona has stated, proper names are often metonymic in origin, i. e. they refer to a circumstance or distinctive aspect linked to their referent (Barcelona 2004, 2005).The place for the institution metonymy is found in two variants: the country for the institution and the capital for the institution. For instance, a disagreement between the governments of two countries is presented as disagreement between their capitals, as in “Paris and Berlin fundamentally “disagree” on who should succeed Jean-Claude Juncker” (https://www.express.co.uk)”. The same situation is presented as a disagreement between countries: „Germany and France ‘DISAGREE’ over Juncker replacement” (ibid). In the abovementioned examples, an item from one of the two metonymic chains is juxtaposed to a corresponding item in the other chain:
Paris (place name - capital) — Berlin (place name - capital)
Germany (place name- country) — France (place name- country)
It seems that names from one metonymic chain belonging to a certain class of names (country name, names of cities, capitals, regions, continents, etc.) are juxtaposed to names from another metonymic chain, belonging to the same class of names. However, there are texts in which this is not necessarily the case. A name of city (capital) is often juxtaposed to a name of a country, as in “Paris put its foot down, and won’t let Germany get its way” (www.politico.eu). Expressions may vary depending on the stregth of disagreement, ranging from “disagree”, “argue”, “conflict” to “fight’, “split up” and “break up”.


Barcelona, A.(2003). ‘On the plausibility of claiming a metonymic motivation for conceptual metaphor’. Metaphor and metonymy at the crossroads: a cognitive approach. Berlin: Mounton de Gruyter.

Barcelona, A. (2004). ‘Names: a metonymic “return ticket” in five languages’. Jezikoslovlje. 4.1

Barcelona, A. (2 005)‘The role of metonymy in discourse. Pragmatic inference’. Cognitive and Discourse Approaches to Metaphor and Metonymy. Publicacions de la Univecitat Jaume I: 2005

Chilton, P, Lakoff, G. (1989) Foreign Policy by Metaphor’. Monthly Newsletter of the Centre for Research and Language. San Diego: University of California. Accessed at http://crl.ucsd.edu/newsletter/3-5/Article1.html.

Lakoff, G. (1990). ‘Metaphor and War: The Metaphor System Used to Justify War in the Gulf’. Viet Nam Generation Journal and Newsletter. V3. N3. Viet Nam Generation, Inc.

Lakoff, G. (1995) Metaphor, Morality, and Politics, Or, Why Conservatives Have Left Liberals In the Dust, accessed at http://www.wwcd.org/issues/Lakoff.html

Lakoff, G., Johnson, M. (2003) Metaphors we live by. London: The University of Chicago Press.

Musolff, A. (2006) ‘Metaphor Scenarios in Public Discourse’. Metaphor and Symbol. 21(1)

Musolff, A. (2009). Love, Parenthood and Gender in the European Family: The British Perspective Europa – Stier und Sternenkranz. Von der Union mit Zeus zum Staatenverbund. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

Zinken, J., ‘Musolff, A. (2009) A Discourse-centred Perspective one Metaphorical Meaning and Understanding’. Metaphor and Discourse. Eds. A. Musolff and J. Zinken. Palgrave Macmillan 2009










How to Cite
Aleksandrova, A. (2019). WAYS OF EXPRESSING DISAGREEMENT IN MEDIA TEXTS ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS. Knowledge International Journal, 32(1), 197 - 200. Retrieved from https://ikm.mk/ojs/index.php/KIJ/article/view/1426