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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton February 7, 2007

Metaphors of identity in dating ads and newspaper articles

Carol Marley
From the journal


This article investigates metaphors of identity in dating ads and in two types of newspaper writing, ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ news articles. It focuses on issues of textualization and processing, and particularly on the role of cotext in decoding metaphors. Taking a pragmatic approach founded in the cooperative principle, it argues that the maxims of quality and relation play related but separable roles in the interpretation of identity metaphors; and that this process is guided and constrained by cotextual selections in the environment of the metaphorical term. The particular kinds of cotextual guidance provided by the writer are seen to vary according to genre-driven issues. These include the purpose and stylistic conventions of the genre in which the metaphor occurs and the circumstances under which the text is composed and read. Differing functional motivations are suggested for the use of identity metaphors in each of the genres considered.

*Address for correspondence: School of Languages & Social Sciences, Aston University, Aston Triangle, Birmingham, B4 7ET, UK

Published Online: 2007-02-07
Published in Print: 2007-01-26

© Walter de Gruyter

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