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Text & Talk

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse & Communication Studies

Ed. by Sarangi, Srikant

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Volume 36, Issue 3


When bank stocks are hobbled by worries: A metaphor study of emotions in the financial news reports

Janet Ho
Published Online: 2016-04-30 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2016-0014


This study is a corpus-based examination of metaphors in the media coverage of the global financial crisis of 2008. Based on conceptual metaphor theory, it discusses how and why metaphors of living thing were used in the news reports, with a particular focus on the two negative emotions of fear and anxiety. The research started with the compilation of a 1-million-word corpus of news articles. With the use of the software suites Wmatrix 2.0 and WordSmith 5.0, metaphors directly conceptualizing the emotions of fear and anxiety were identified. The findings showed that these metaphors described various stages and intensities of negative emotions, and that they were tailored to increase the negative feelings of the readers, which in turn increased the news value of the articles for the newspaper. Various theoretical and lexicogrammatical implications have also arisen from the study.

Keywords: negative emotion; financial crisis; news discourse; corpus linguistics; metaphor


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About the article

Janet Ho

Janet Ho is Lecturer in the Department of English at Lingnan University. Her current research interests include language studies in intercultural and professional contexts, metaphor studies, corpus linguistics and pragmatics.

Published Online: 2016-04-30

Published in Print: 2016-05-01

Citation Information: Text & Talk, Volume 36, Issue 3, Pages 295–317, ISSN (Online) 1860-7349, ISSN (Print) 1860-7330, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2016-0014.

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