Moral disgust at its best

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Conceptual metaphoric mappings – i.e., the comprehension of one, oftenabstract, domain of reasoning in terms of another – are a common means of framingpolitical issues, with direct fallouts for the electorate’s decision-making (e.g.Landau, Sullivan, & Greenberg 2009; Thibodeau & Boroditsky 2011). But what makes one givenmetaphoric mapping a particularly productive framing device in political communication?Using data from the Italian public debate as an example, this paperfirst introduces a distinction between higher-level and low-level mappings, arguing thata source domain’s degree of semantic specification can determine its potency.Second, the concept of structural parallelism is introduced; suggesting thatframe-inferential parallels between source and target domain can increase thepotency of political metaphors.


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