Publication details [#59530]

Schröder, Ulrike. 2015. Metaphorical blends and their function in discourse on society. A cross-cultural study. Cognitive Linguistic Studies 2 (1) : 50–78.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


This article examines two corpora composed of four discourse genres — oral interviews, written interviews, newspaper articles, and non-fiction books — to explore the ways in which ‘society’ is discussed metaphorically in current German and Brazilian discourse. It discusses culture-specific ‘mixed metaphors’ (Lakoff & Johnson 1980) which can be seen as ‘metaphorical scenarios’ (Musolff 2004) or ‘integration networks’ (Fauconnier & Turner 2002, 2008). The results reveal that the Brazilian metaphors tend to incorporate the idea that SOCIETY AS A PERSON has didactic and poetic functions to a high degree. By contrast, the German metaphors have a stronger relation to motion dynamics, frequently argumentatively analyzed from an observer’s point of view. Finally, this article demonstrates that Blending Theory must be extended by a semiotic-contextual view to integrate elements like ‘relevance space’ (Brandt & Brandt 2005), and to account for culture-dependent variation and the involved speech functions displayed by real speakers/writers and hearers/readers in specific communication situations.