Metaphor evolution and survival in Hungarian public discourse on the Trianon peace treaty
The peace Treaty of Trianon, which was signed by the representatives of Hungary and the Allies in 1920, caused substantial economic, political and social changes in the life of the Hungarian nation. The paper explores how far these changes have been conceptualized by conceptual metaphors in Hungarian public discourse from 1920 to the present day. Specifically, it looks at whether there is a conventionalized metaphoric conceptual system concerning the treaty, which began (or was current) in 1920 and has been developing for almost a hundred years.
The paper applies a qualitative approach to a small corpus of written texts. The corpus contains twenty texts, which are taken from four different categories of public discourse (political, academic, informative and media) and four time periods (1920–1945, 1945–1990, 1990–2010, and 2010–2015).
The paper concludes that, within the public discourse on the consequences of the Trianon peace treaty, the same metaphors have fundamentally survived over nine decades. This conceptual history of metaphors suggests heavy conventionalization, which can play a crucial role in the survival of a certain mental image of the nation and in maintaining negative emotions about the treaty. It also suggests that the Trianon frame is still an essential part of Hungarian national identity.
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