Publication details [#9881]

Semino, Elena. 2002. A sturdy baby or a derailing train? Metaphorical representations of the Euro in British and Italian newspapers. Letrônica 22 (1) : 107–139. 33 pp.


In this article I present an analysis of the metaphors used in relation to theEuropean single currency—the euro—in a selection of British and Italiannewspapers published around the time of the euro’s official introduction on 1January 1999. The analysis shows that the most frequent metaphoricalpatterns are shared between the two languages, and drawn from sourcedomains, such as birth, journeys, and containers, which are conventionallyapplied to a wide range of different target domains. On the other hand,there are important differences in the way in which shared patternsare realized in each language, and it is possible to identify a number ofmetaphors which are specific to the Italian or the English data only. Thedata also suggests that novel metaphorical expressions tend to be usedrhetorically in both languages to support particular views of monetary union.The analysis is broadly based on the cognitive theory of metaphor, and isbacked up by quantitative information throughout. Some attention isdevoted to the methodological issues raised by cross-cultural studies ofmetaphor, and to the implications of the findings for metaphor theory,particularly in relation to how to extrapolate conceptual metaphors fromlinguistic evidence.