Publication details [#18489]

Ahlgren, Katrin and Ulrika Magnusson. 2021. Second half part of the apple: Friendship metaphors in second language writing. Metaphor and the Social World 11 (2) : 279–301.
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Article in journal
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This article investigates the use of friendship metaphors in texts by adult second language writers, in relation to the occurrence and function of metaphor and the writers’ discursive constructions of identity. The texts come from the final assessment in Swedish for Immigrants (SFI), a language program in basic Swedish. The analysis confirmed the initial assumption that the emotional and existentially loaded theme of friendship allows for the use of metaphor. The results also showed that the experience of writers as newcomers in Sweden played out in the metaphors that were used and their contexts. In order to categorize the found metaphors, a model was developed to show how systematic metaphors reflect functions and values related to three thematic categories: guidance and help, belonging and inclusion, and sharing and solidarity. For several metaphors, the metaphoricity was created through novel and unidiomatic wording, i.e. a kind of neologism that can be considered a communication strategy. The importance of using universal and abstract themes in language testing is emphasized, to enable second language writers to express different facets of experience and knowledge through existential thoughts and attitudes – not only as language learners and newcomers, but also as social agents who create and keep transnational relations through friends.