I did not say that the government should be plundering anybody’s savings
Resistance to metaphors expressing starting points in parliamentary debates
This paper examines how politicians employ metaphors to express starting points in British parliamentary debates. Because these metaphors are conceptual tools that may have presuppositions and entailments that are not in line with the ideas and values of all discussion parties, political opponents can resist them by advancing argumentative criticisms. This paper aims to explore how different types of metaphor can be used to express starting points, and how various types of responses can be instrumental to achieving diverging outcomes in the discussion stage at which starting points are commonly decided. To this end, we present a number of case studies of resistance to metaphorically expressed starting points found in British Public Bill Committee debates. Our analysis reveals that metaphors can be important strategies in parliamentary debates when starting points are established between parties, and that resisting them seems to be a pertinent skill.
Keywords: parliamentary debates, metaphor, argumentation, starting points
Published online: 24 June 2019
Bowdle, Brian F., and Dedre Gentner
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Eemeren, Frans H. van, and Rob Grootendorst
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