The metaphorical basis of discourse structure
The present chapter provides an alternative approach to discourse analysis based on the Cognitive Theory of Metaphor (Lakoff & Johnson 1980, 1999; Johnson 1987; Lakoff 1993, inter alia). Unlike other studies on text structure, this paper argues that our metaphorical conceptualization of discourse as a form of motion through space and time is one of the basic structuring devices that shape the internal architecture of a text. To explore how this conceptualization of discourse affects the organizational patterns of texts and how it manifests in linguistic terms, a collection of journal abstracts from the field of biology is analyzed qualitatively. Our results seem to indicate that the configuration of this type of text is stable and tends to reproduce the <sc>topological structure of the metaphor discourse is a form of motion along a path influenced by force dynamics</sc>.