Publication details [#2852]

Abadi, Adina and Yaakova Sacerdoti. 2001. Source domains of metaphors in political discourse. A cross-cultural study: Israel and the U.S.A. Bakhtiniana: Revista de Estudos do Discurso 15 (10) : 27–51. 25 pp.


Our paper stems from a cross-cultural study of the source domains of metaphors in Israeli and American political discourse. The main source domains that emerged were war, certain branches of sports, and two games, all of which share the trait of competition. Several metaphorical expressions came from the source domain of navigation, where the target domain is competition in political leadership. The shared trait of competition turns the source domains of war, navigation, sports, and games into a "metaphorical family." Other vast source domains in political discourse stem from theatre and movies, as seen in the public and showy aspects of political life, which have been enhanced by the use of television. Thus, the use of television by politicians has diminished the distance between source and target domain. Comparison of these source domains in Israel and the United States shows that the source domain of war is more wide-ranging in Israel than in the United States, whereas the source domain of sports is more varied in the United States than in Israel. This is due both to the pervasive presence of the army in Israeli life and to the greater variety of sports played in the United States respectively, highlighting the fact that most source domains stem from reality. A number of caricatures and photographs appended to the article, in which politicians are depicted metaphorically, show that the use of metaphors is not merely a linguistic phenomenon but rather a cognitive one. (LLBA 2003, vol. 37, n. 3)