Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details

Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory

Founded by Gries, Stefan Th. / Stefanowitsch, Anatol

Ed. by Wulff, Stefanie

2 Issues per year


IMPACT FACTOR 2015: 0.429
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.849

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.281
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.971
Impact per Publication (IPP) 2015: 0.485

Online
ISSN
1613-7035
See all formats and pricing

How to identify moral language in presidential speeches: A comparison between a social-psychological and a cognitive-linguistic approach to corpus analysis

Kiki Y. Renardel de Lavalette
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Dutch Studies, University of Amsterdam, Spuistraat 134, Amsterdam 1012 VB, Netherlands
  • Email:
/ Gerard Steen
  • Department of Dutch Studies, University of Amsterdam, Spuistraat 134, Amsterdam 1012 VB, Netherlands
/ Christian Burgers
  • Department of Communication Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1081, Amsterdam 1081 HV, Netherlands
Published Online: 2016-12-03 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cllt-2016-0007

Abstract

Lakoff (2002 [1996], Moral politics. How liberals and conservative think. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press) presents the Theory of Moral Politics (TMR), as based in the roles of metaphor in moral thinking in American Politics. Two distinct methods of data analysis, one social-psychological and one cognitive-linguistic, have been employed to empirically test Lakoff’s assertions on moral reasoning, but have yielded different results. We applied both methods to the same corpus of speeches to determine whether they would yield similar results and could thus be considered to be equally appropriate ways of testing the presence of moral language. We show that the method affects what sort of conclusion can be drawn from research. Consequently, when testing TMR, we recommend that the corpus-linguistic method used is critically evaluated.

Keywords: morality; politics; corpus analysis; metaphor; political speeches

References

  • Bar-Lev, Zev. 2007. Reframing moral politics. Journal of Language and Politics 6(3). 459–474. doi: [Crossref]

  • Charteris-Black, Jonathan & Andreas Musolff. 2003. ‘Battered hero’ or ‘innocent victim’? A comparative study of metaphors for euro trading in British and German financial reporting. English for Specific Purposes 22. 153–176. doi: [Crossref].

  • Cienki, Alan. 2005. Metaphor in the “Strict Father” and “Nurturant Parent” cognitive models: Theoretical issues raised in an empirical study. Cognitive Linguistics 16(2). 279–312. doi: [Crossref]

  • Deason, Grace & Mari H. Gonzales. 2012. Moral politics in the 2008 presidential convention acceptance speeches. Basic and Applied Social Psychology 34(3). 254–268. doi: [Crossref].

  • Deason, Grace, Brad Lippmann, Marti H. Gonzales & Jennifer Filson. 2008. Exploring Uncle Sam: The role of family metaphors in political attitudes. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, Paris, France, 08 July.

  • Koller, Veronika. 2008. Metaphor and gender in business media discourse. A critical cognitive study. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • Kotrlik, Joe W. & Heather A. Williams. 2003. The incorporation of effect size in information technology, learning, and performance research. Information Technology, Learning, and Performance Journal 21(1). 1–7.

  • Lakoff, George. 2002 [1996]. Moral politics. How liberals and conservative think. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

  • Lakoff, George & Mark Johnson. 1980. Metaphors we live by. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • Landis, J. Richard & Gary G. Koch. 1977. The measurement of observer agreement for categorical data. Biometrics 33(1). 159–174. doi: [Crossref]

  • Level playing-field. n.d. In MacMillan Dictionary online. Retrieved from http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/level-playing-field.

  • Moses, Jennifer F. & Marti H. Gonzales. 2015. Strong candidate, nurturant candidate: Moral language in presidential television advertisements. Political Psychology 36(4). 379–397. doi: [Crossref].

  • Ohl, Jessy J., Damien S. Pfister, Martin Nader & Dana Griffin. 2013. Lakoff’s Theory of Moral Reasoning in presidential campaign advertisements, 1952–2012. Communication Studies 64(5). 488–507. doi: [Crossref].

  • Pragglejaz Group. 2007. MIP: A method for identifying metaphorically used words in discourse. Metaphor and Symbol 22(1). 1–39. doi: [Crossref]

  • Semino, Elena. 2008. Metaphor in discourse. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Steen, Gerard J. 2005. Basic discourse acts: Towards a psychological theory of discourse segmentation. In Francisco J. Ruiz de Mendoza Ibáñez & M. Sandra Peña Cervel (eds.), Cognitive linguistics: Internal dynamics and interdisciplinary interaction, 283–312. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

  • Steen, Gerard J., Aletta G. Dorst, J. Berenike Herrmann, Anna Kaal, Tina Krennmayr & Trijntje Pasma. 2010. A method for linguistic metaphor identification: From MIP to MIPVU. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

  • Wolters, H.C. 2012. Is Bush a strict father and Obama a nurturing parent? Metaphorical expressions of moral value systems in American politics. Amsterdam: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam MA thesis.

About the article

Published Online: 2016-12-03


The contribution of Christian Burgers was supported by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO VENI grant 275-89-020).


Citation Information: Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory, ISSN (Online) 1613-7035, ISSN (Print) 1613-7027, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cllt-2016-0007. Export Citation

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in